Montgomery County

Traffic Safety Measures Sought on Connecticut Avenue in Montgomery County

Fatal crash in Kensington

Safety changes are being called for along Connecticut Avenue in Montgomery County, where a 72-year-old woman died from injuries suffered in a crash Tuesday.

Michaele Belford had just left home and was a passenger in an SUV when it collided with a pickup truck in the intersection of Connecticut and Franklin Street in Kensington, causing the SUV to roll over. The crash remains under investigation.

Belford’s family supports a speed camera at the intersection to slow drivers.

The fatality happened close to where Walter Reed National Military Medical Center radiologist Dr. Grant Bonavia was struck and critically injured two years ago.

“When something like this happens, when somebody actually has a very serious accident like that, you kind of relive the whole process and everything you went through,” he said.

He was standing on the sidewalk at Connecticut Avenue and Saul Road when a pickup truck came up on the sidewalk, pinning him. He has since recovered.

According to Maryland Del. Emily Shetty (D-Montgomery County), several things are happening to improve safety.

  • The timing of lights on Connecticut Avenue has been changed to slow down traffic.
  • An effort is underway to get a speed camera installed near the intersection where the fatality occurred.
  • The Connecticut Avenue and Saul Road intersection is being redesigned -- construction is expected in the spring.
  • And a corridor safety study could be complete by the end of the year.

Bonavia said he supports efforts to improve safety, including adding a dedicated left turn signal at the intersection where he was hurt, but said drivers need to stick to the speed limit.

“Hitting somebody and destroying their life for two years or potentially forever, you should think about that every time you hop in your car,” he said. “I do now.”

Shetty said local lawmakers are going to push the highway administration to implement all safety improvements that are recommended in the safety study.

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