Planners Launch Pedestrian Level of Comfort Map, Seek Public Input

The county’s Planning Department has launched a Pedestrian Level of Comfort Map to help evaluate the public’s comfort level when walking along sidewalks, pathways and trails, and through street crossings.

The online, interactive map includes the department’s scoring of local pedestrian networks, which are rated from “unacceptable” up to “very comfortable.”

“The scoring accounts for different aspects of the pedestrian experience, including pathway width, the width of buffers between pedestrian pathways and roads, posted speed limit, presence of on-street parking or a separated bike lane and other conditions,” according to a department announcement.

The map includes videos of pedestrians walking in various locations. Users can view and then share what they believe is comfort level that the video represents. This will help planners evaluate and adjust location scoring based on users’ reactions.

So far, the county has evaluated and scored networks in Silver Spring, Wheaton, Olney, Fairland and Bethesda, with additional networks to be added.

The map is a one of a series of studies begun in September as part of the Planning Department’s Pedestrian Master Plan process.

The work will include compiling best practices, gathering and analyzing information from walkers, and a crash analysis, among other tools.

The master plan “will address all reasons for walking—commuting to and from work or school, running errands, recreation, entertainment, exercise and everything in between,” the department announced at the time.

In addition, the department is looking for community members to be a part of the master plan’s advisory group. Members will serve as a link between their communities and planning staff to help develop the plan by contributing their community knowledge and technical expertise.

To apply to become a member of the Pedestrian Master Plan Advisory Group, please complete the online application by Sunday, Dec. 8. For more information, contact Eli Glazier at or 301.495.4548.

Photo courtesy Montgomery County Planning Department

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