Montgomery County will continue work on a busy stretch of Arlington Road in Bethesda, as part of a broad effort to make the area safer for pedestrians.

The county said it is has studied the corridor and plans to build on safety work that has been going on for the last three years. The area of Arlington Road and Bethesda road is a key area of focus, but it included the entire area of Arlington Road in Bethesda between Old Georgetown Road and Little Falls Parkway.

In 2018, the county plans to:
Montgomery County also plans to reconstruct the entire traffic signal at the Elm Street intersection in 2019.

  • Install the county’s first-ever All Pedestrian Phase traffic signal timing at the intersection of Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue. This will be designed to give pedestrians time to cross when traffic is stopped.
  • Put in a Lead Pedestrian Interval (LPI) for pedestrians crossing Arlington Road at Moorland Lane and Edgemoor Lane to allow pedestrians to begin crossing and establish themselves in the crosswalk before traffic proceeds. An LPI typically gives pedestrians a 3-7 second head start to allow them to cross safely.
  • Add “No Right Turn on Red” signs on the northbound and southbound approaches on Edgemoor Lane.
  • In the area near Bethesda elementary school, give pedestrians more time to cross by increasing the amount of time for the flashing “Don’t Walk.”
  • Change the traffic signal phasing on the eastbound and westbound approaches to Edgemoor Lane to remove conflicts between pedestrians and left-turning vehicles by providing a left turn arrow for vehicles.
  • Modify the signal phasing on the eastbound and westbound approaches to Elm Street to split phasing to separate pedestrian crossings from left turning vehicles, removing conflicts.

The county touted nine different upgrades that have already been made to the corridor, a full list of which can be viewed here.

These improvements on Arlington Road are part of a broader effort to eliminate traffic deaths and serious crashes by 2030. The “Vision Zero” plan includes 41 tasks to be completed over a two-year period.