Montgomery Planning Awarded $120K Federal Grant to Develop Guidance for Safer, More Accessible Parking Lots in Montgomery County


Department receives $120,000 as part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program

The Montgomery County Planning Department has been selected to receive a $120,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to develop Multimodal Parking Lot Design Guidelines. This document will incorporate proven safety measures and innovative designs to improve safety, mobility, and accessibility for all users of public and private parking lots in Montgomery County.

“We are grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for helping Montgomery County advance its Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, including parking lots, by 2030,” said Montgomery Planning Board Chair Artie Harris. “Parking lots serve as important links between our transportation systems and the places where we need to go. Poorly designed parking lots that prioritize vehicle movements discourage people from using other modes of travel and pose unique safety risks.”

Between 2015 and 2020, Montgomery County had more than 6,400 parking lot crashes, resulting in 57 serious injuries and fatalities. In that time, there were 540 parking lot crashes in the county involving pedestrians, accounting for 20% of all pedestrian crashes in the county and 10% of serious injuries and fatalities involving pedestrians.

“Montgomery Planning will harness this opportunity to work on solutions to reimagine parking lots across Montgomery County,” said Montgomery Planning Director Jason Sartori. “Using innovative site design and best practices in pedestrian and motorist safety, stormwater management, and consideration for community character, the county can transform its parking lots, reduce impacts, and save lives.”

About the Multimodal Parking Lot Design Guidelines: The Multimodal Parking Lot Design Guidelines will be a “go-to” resource for designing or retrofitting parking lots for safe, multimodal access. The guidelines will clarify parking lot design and provide a user-friendly framework for users, such as developers, engineers, planning and transportation staff, policymakers, and community members, to make informed decisions regarding safety features, lot layout, services, amenities, and green infrastructure.

Specific planning activities will include:

  • Reviewing local and national data to better understand the context surrounding parking lot fatalities and injuries.
  • Conducting a literature review of historical precedents and evidence-based best practices in safety-based municipal and commercial parking lot design and operation.
  • Reviewing recent development applications to identify safety risks and design challenges.
  • Convening interagency workshops to bring together key decision-makers and practitioners around fundamental design strategies integral to safe and accessible places.
  • Identifying a context-based typology to help distinguish lots based on their services, amenities, and surrounding environments. The guide will address new and retrofit lots, considerations for public lots, bus loops, and parking garages.
  • Evaluating Montgomery County’s policies, regulations, and practices and how they help or hinder the ability to implement best practices, identifying needed changes, and seeking to implement them.
  • Developing parking lot design standards that improve safety and reduce conflicts between pedestrians and motor vehicles using evidence-based best practices.
  • Producing an illustrated guide with schematic drawings, precedent photos with callouts, and relevant notes on applicability and design features. The guide will provide various perspectives, helping users visualize the range of required, preferred, and suggested features.

 

About the Grant Program: USDOT’s Safe Streets and Roads for All is a competitive grant program that supports planning, infrastructure, behavioral, and operational initiatives to prevent death and serious injury on roads and streets involving all roadway users. This program was created and funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is a part of the more than $14 billion in the law dedicated to roadway safety.

Montgomery Planning is one of 385 grant recipients nationwide in this current round of grant announcements worth $817 million. The program’s grants go directly to regional, local, and Tribal communities for implementation, planning, and demonstration projects driven at the local level to improve safety and help prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.

Read more about the grant program and view USDOT’s press release summarizing this round of grant announcements.

Courtesy of Montgomery Planning

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