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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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After three pedestrian deaths, officials announce changes to road in College Park, Md.

Officials announced a flurry of security measures Monday for the road in College Park, Md. where three pedestrians have died this year.

By the end of this month, highway officials will reduce the speed limit on Baltimore Avenue from 30 mph to 25 mph, according to a statement released Monday, a change that city leaders have called for since the spring. They state will also build a fence to deter walking outside of the crosswalk, install brighter LED lights and add countdown signals.

Lined with bars and restaurants just off the University of Maryland’s campus, the intersection has been the site of three pedestrian deaths this year.

GW senior Carlos Pacanins was struck and killed at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Knox Road in April after he crossed the street while a “Do Not Walk” sign was flashing.

Last week, 21-year-old Janelle Marie Oni was struck by a drunk driver in the area and died. Six total pedestrians have been hit this year.

The College Park City Council will hold a vote Tuesday to expand speed camera operating times to help enforce the lower speed limit.

The University of Maryland will also partner with bars and restaurants to launch an information campaign for students this fall to educate them about safe crossing practices, according to the release. UMD president Wallace Loh met with highway officials last week to speed up improvements at the intersection, and said the announced changes were “important actions” to improve pedestrian safety.

UMD and College Park police will continue to patrol the area and conduct sobriety checks to help combat drunk driving.

Highway officials have already changed the timing of traffic signals, added pedestrian crossing warning signs at all crosswalks, placed signs reminding pedestrians to not cross in the median and re-painted the crosswalks at intersections along Baltimore Avenue.

By October, the state will also add yellow flashing lights north and south of the intersection with signs that read “Pedestrian Area – next 1.5 miles,” according to the release.

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