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Mr. Gregory C.

Johnson, Administrator
Maryland State Highway Administration
Dear Administrator Johnson:
We are writing to you today concerning the recent fatal crash at the intersection of River Road
(MD 190) and Pyle Road/Braeburn Parkway in Bethesda that took the lives of three members of
our community. As representatives of the area at the state and county levels, we believe that
traffic and pedestrian safety issues at this intersection must be more comprehensively addressed.
We appreciate that you have agreed to evaluate this intersection again. Safety at this intersection
has been a priority of the local community since at least 2008. Local residents report that the
combination of high speeds on River Rd., limited visibility due to the nearby crest of the hill,
wide travel lanes, and proximity to the Beltway make this intersection particularly dangerous. As
this is a major entry point for a local high school, we must take all possible steps to address the
unsafe conditions.
Residents and members of the Whitman High School community are again calling for a traffic
light at this intersection via a petition that already has over 2,000 signatories. We ask that you
conduct a traffic safety study that examines all potential optionsincluding a traffic lightthat
could make that intersection safer for all users. We ask that you conduct this study as quickly as
possible.
We understand that the District 3 team recently reviewed the pedestrian safety issues associated
with the nearby crosswalk. We regretted SHAs initial determination to not make any significant
pedestrian safety improvement upgrades. We do not think that fresh paint will be sufficient to
address the serious safety challenges posed by an unsignalized crosswalk frequently used by high
schoolers where the posted speed is 45 mph. As we seek to improve traffic safety, everything
must be done to also ensure that students walking to and from Whitman can do so safely.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter. We look forward to your prompt reply.
Sincerely,

Chris Van Hollen


Member of Congress

Isiah Leggett
County Executive

Nancy Floreen
Council President

Roger Berliner
Council Vice President

Marc Elrich
Councilmember

Tom Hucker
Councilmember

Sidney Katz
Councilmember

George Leventhal
Councilmember

Nancy Navarro
Councilmember

Craig Rice
Councilmember

Hans Riemer
Councilmember

William (Bill) Frick


State Delegate

Ariana Kelly
State Delegate

Mark Korman
State Delegate

Susan Lee
State Senator

CC:

Brian Young, District 3 Engineer, Maryland State Highway Administration


Chief J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County Police Department
Captain Thomas Didone, Traffic Division, MCPD