Last Autumn, on the eve of Walk to School Day two students at Kingview Middle School in Germantown were struck by a car while crossing the street on the way to school. The incident occurred at the intersection of Clopper Road and Kingsview Road, which is very close to the school.
Thankfully, the girls were not badly injured in the incident, but it exposed a dangerous problem with the intersection, according to Kingsview Middle School Principal Jimmy D’Andrea. “Improvements were needed to keep students safe,” said D’Andrea.
With the help of Councilmember Craig Rice, who is a parent at Kingsview, a number of changes were made the intersection to better protect pedestrians. The first change is that there is now a seven-second delay between when the “WALK” signal to cross Clopper Road comes on and when the lights turn red in all directions. The delay gives students and parents walking to school seven seconds to get across prior to any traffic moving in the intersection.
The other significant change is that the County ended the practice of turning on red from Clopper Road to Kingsview Road. That intersection now has a “No Turn On Red” sign.
D’Andrea said that Montgomery County Police Department Traffic Enforcement officers have been at the intersection during student arrival and dismissal each day this week to monitor compliance with the new “No Turn On Red” sign. “They have informed me that they have issued warnings for the past three days, but they plan to start issuing citations very soon,” said D’Andrea.
“Since this is a three-way intersection, too many drivers did not look for pedestrians before turning left from Kingsview Road to Clopper Road, or before turning right from Kingsview Road to Clopper Road. These changes force drivers to stop, so that our kids, and all pedestrians, can cross safely,” said D’Andrea.
Photo by Germantown Pulse.