Prince George’s traffic deaths rose sharply in 2019

A photo, taken from the center lane of the Baltimore Avenue-slash-Route 1 corridor looking directly south from the intersection of Oglethorpe Street and Baltimore Avenue, shows an urban vista. The green hills of Bladensburg are in the far distance, set against a cloudy evening sky and above a ribbon of roadway. Nearer to the photographer, an urban streetscape reveals row-houses and mid-rise commercial buildings south of Madison Street set against tree-lined sidewalks. Light traffic is seen on the roadway.

Michael Theis/Route 1 Reporter

Cars drive in light traffic through downtown Hyattsville's Baltimore Avenue and Route 1 corridor, looking south from the vantage point of Oglethorpe Street and Baltimore Avenue.

2019 was a much deadlier year on Prince George’s County roadways, according to data from the Prince George’s County Police Department. Traffic deaths across the entire county rose 76 percent in 2019, climbing from 38 total deaths in 2018 to 67 in 2019. Among those 67 deaths are 21 pedestrians killed by motorists, up 40 percent from 15 pedestrian deaths in 2018. The remaining 46 traffic deaths in 2019 in Prince George’s County were non-pedestrians. 

It is unclear from year-end police statistics provided to Route 1 Reporter how many cyclists were among the last two years’ traffic fatalities. Prince George’s County Police Department’s records do not break out cyclist incidents into their own category, according to a police spokesperson. However, according to Prince George’s County Police media releases, at least three cyclists were killed on Prince George’s County roadways in 2019, one in Hyattsville, one in Largo, and an unsolved fatal hit-and-run in Brandywine

The big jump in traffic deaths in 2019 came the same year that first-term Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks launched a “Vision Zero” campaign with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths from Prince George’s County roadways. 

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