Maryland State Highway Administration announces Route 1 safety changes following three fatalities
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJLA) – It has been three months since Julieta Machado's son was killed on a weekend night on Route 1 in College Park, Md.
"He was an amazing person," she told ABC 7 News.
On Monday, authorities announced changes to the busy roadway that has seen three fatalities so far this year.
"It has been ignored too long," Machado continued. "The pattern of accidents, the frequency of accidents, and having had three fatal accidents in seven months. It's not OK."
Starting at the end of the month, the speed limit on Route 1 in College Park will drop from 30 to 25 miles per hour, and a fence will be erected between Knox and Hartwick roads.
In addition, an overhead pedestrian signal will be installed at that same intersection.
"Use marked crosswalks and follow the pedestrian signal indications," a Maryland State Highway Administration representative said in a press conference Monday. "Designate a responsible friend to remain sober and make sure everyone gets to their destination safely."
Other changes have already been made, including repainted crosswalks and curb markings, telling people not to jaywalk.
The changes are getting mixed reviews from people on the street—most referencing the fact that several accidents have been linked to students drinking before walking the road.
"There might have been three fatalities that happened, but that's people being drunk and not watching when they cross the street," Andrew Donham weighed in.
"The fences are a good idea. I don't know if it will prevent drunk people from trying to climb them—you could end up with more injuries," said Mark LaRosa. "We'll see how it goes."
The three people killed recently in the Route 1 corridor include 21-year-old Janelle Oni, who was killed by a drunk driver last week, just months after George Washington University student Carlos Pacanins, 23, was killed near a crosswalk in April. A University of Maryland student, 22-year-old Cory Hubbard, was struck and killed near Knox Road and Route 1 in January.