Pedestrian deaths on the rise in Baltimore County

On May 1,  a pedestrian was hit by a car and killed after an accident in Randallstown.


More than a month later, a drunk driver is behind bars after hitting a pedestrian in Middle River.


And this past Saturday, Rommy Parsley, 43, died after a car hit her and drove off just after midnight at the corner of North Point Road and Charlesmont Road in Dundalk.


In the last decade, Baltimore County police have noticed a significant uptick in the number of pedestrian related deaths and accidents.


The uptick has lead safety officials to re examine different ways to bring the number down.


“One death is too many,” said Baltimore County police spokesman Cpl. John Watcher. “The numbers of pedestrians killed in collisions with vehicles is going up.”


Between 2011-2013, the number of pedestrians killed in collisions rose from 18 to 22.


So far this year, 11 pedestrian deaths have occurred.


“From the beginning of this year up to June 7, 9 of the 11 pedestrian deaths involved pedestrian error,” he said.


The three most deadly roads for crahses include Liberty Road in Randallstown, York Road in Towson and Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk, police officials said.


Watcher said a significant portion of the accidents involved pedestrian error.


To address the uptick, police have partnered with other county agencies. One of the suggestions talked about has been to move bus stops near crosswalks.


In an effort to cut down on the 400 pedestrian-vehicle crashes reporter a year, police have also launched their safety initiative “Heads Up! Walk Safe,” to educate pedestrians about motor laws.


“The best way we are going to bring the number down is through education,” Watcher said.


Linda Grossman, president of the Gray Manor Community Association in Dundalk, said more sidewalks and speed bumps would make the roads of her neighborhood safer.


North Point Road, which runs through Gray Manor, is where Parsley was killed Saturday night.


“On a daily basis I see people walking to the Walmart,” she said. “They’re on the side of the road because there is no sidewalk to travel on.”


Grossman said it’s been hard to get the upgrades because many government agencies aren’t claiming jurisdiction over North Point Road.


“Sometimes it’s just hard to get transparency,” she said.


Baltimore County Police are still investigating the the circumstances that lead to Parsley’s death.

Del. John Olszewski Jr., D-Baltimore County, said that when he hears about an uptick of pedestrian deaths on certain roads in Dundalk, it's important to be proactive.

"We have to make sure our roads are as safe as possible," he said. 


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