(August 6, 2013) – With an average of 100 fatal pedestrian crashes in Maryland each year, safety is everyone’s business.  Nearly all of us are pedestrians or encounter pedestrians each day, whether getting on and off a bus, walking the dog or driving to and from work.  In an effort to increase safety along MD 4, a heavily traveled corridor for both motorists and pedestrians, the Maryland State Highway Administration, together with Prince George’s County officials, today activated a new mid-block pedestrian crossing signal in Forestville.

"As we prepare for a new school year in Prince George's County, I am very pleased that we've added another element of safety to provide safe passage for children traveling to and from school," said State Senator Ulysses Currie. "The new signal and increased signage are additional measures to protect pedestrians and remind motorists that we all share the road."
The new $186,000 mid-block crossing signal includes additional safety components and is located along MD 4 between Donnell Drive and Walters Lane in Forestville. The project includes:
• A new pedestrian-activated signal on MD 4 midway between Donnell Drive and  Walters Lane
• Advanced warning lights in both directions of MD 4, altering motorists of pedestrians crossing the road
• New signage alerting motorists and pedestrians of the signal and marked crosswalk

o “Watch for Peds” and “Ped X-ing” signs with flashing warning lights will alert drivers to the new mid-block pedestrian crossing. 

"Highway safety improvements are not only for motor vehicles, but equally for pedestrians and cyclists," said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. "We're asking that all citizens follow the rules of the road and practice walking and driving smart every day."

From 2008 to 2012, there were 12 pedestrian crashes along MD 4 between Donnell Drive and Walters Lane.  SHA worked closely with local elected officials and the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works to identify short-term improvements to bring immediate safety improvements to the area.

"Any injury or fatality on our roads is one too many," said Prince George's County Department of Public Works and Transportation Acting Director Darrell B. Mobley.  "I am pleased the County's strong partnership with the State Highway Administration results in projects such as this that demonstrate safety is our number one priority."

The new full-color signal allows pedestrians to activate the new crossing signal, which will flash overhead lights on both east and westbound MD 4 to alert motorists a pedestrian is crossing.  By law, pedestrians have the right-of-way while in a crosswalk; however, always attempt to make eye contact with a motorist to ensure they are stopping at a safe distance.
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