The State Highway Administration, the College Park City Council and this university are developing a Route 1 median fence they hope to have in place by the fall to discourage jaywalking.
At Tuesday night’s City Council worksession, City Manager Joseph Nagro and Mayor Andrew Fellows said they will meet with university President Wallace Loh to discuss implementing the barrier.
“We want something done as quickly as possible,” Fellows said.
SHA representatives also presented a sidewalk retrofit program designed to refurbish and develop sidewalks on the east side of Route 1 from University Boulevard to the Capital Beltway, where parts of the street do not have sidewalks in both directions.
The SHA has $450,000 to put toward the retrofitting; that money will be available in the spring. The city would first have to put forward an estimated $200,000 to build a retaining wall, SHA representatives said at the meeting.
Council members said the asking price was high, though District 1 Councilman Patrick Wojahn added, “[It’s] only a matter of luck that we haven’t seen more accidents in north College Park.”
Council members urged immediate action after a car struck and killed 21-year-old Janelle Oni at Route 1 near Hartwick Road on Sunday. Oni was the fifth pedestrian hit and the third killed since January.
“[I’m] getting emails people don’t want to come to College Park,” said District 1 Councilman Fazlul Kabir.
District 2 Councilman P.J. Brennan said he had concerns about the growing Knox Road area population. Brennan said he worried reactionary measures had been taken where proactive ones were needed.
Wojahn suggested establishing new crosswalks to reduce pedestrians’ incentive to cross illegally.
The SHA is in the process of executing an extensive study into reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, representatives said at the meeting. Other changes have already been made, such as adding new signage and lighting and giving pedestrians a walk signal every traffic light cycle.