County Executive Marc Elrich yesterday announced the appointment of Wade Holland, a veteran county employee, as the coordinator of the county’s Vision Zero plan.
Holland, who worked for six years in the CountyStat office, will be responsible for a cross-departmental plan that has a goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths and severe injuries by 2030.
“We’ve got to find innovative solutions and we’ve got to find them faster,” Elrich said during his announcement. “We’ve already had three pedestrians killed by collisions in January.
“There are high-tech programs that we are working on that are expensive and take time,” said Elrich in a press release. “I also want to start looking at low-cost projects that we can do fast. We need projects like intersections with wider corners for pedestrians. We need bright lighting at targeted locations—like intersections—to make sure drivers can see pedestrians. We know that human nature will have people trying to cross at mid-block so we need to consider putting in more mid-block crossings in urban areas of the county. I like the HAWK signals that flash red and force drivers to stop. I know this is a team effort and it takes time, but we need to have programs that get people to change their behavior.”
Elrich recently announced his recommended six-year Capital Improvements Program budget, which includes $266.6 million for projects that directly relate to the Vision Zero program.
Those recommendations include increases of $9.3 million for pedestrian safety initiatives, $4.5 million to improve mobility and safety around future Purple Line stations, and $4.2 million for Sidewalk Program minor projects.
Holland has been serving for three years as the part-time coordinator of the plan. He will assume a full-time position in the County Executive’s office once the County Council approves the appointment.
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