Billingsley-Middletown round­about will lead to road rage, ac­ci­dents

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

I have lived on the two lane part of Billingsley Road for more than 30 years now. I pass through the three-way stop at the in­ter­sec­tion of the two lane part of Billingsley and Middletown Road at least twice a day, al­most ev­ery sin­gle day. Imagine my com­plete sur­prise when I re­cently saw the large sign stat­ing that they were go­ing to put in a round­about at this in­ter­sec­tion. My ques­tion is, whose bril­liant idea was this? A cou­ple of thoughts for who­ever it was that de­cided this was a good idea.

First, as cur­rently con­fig­ured, all traffic from all di­rec­tions has to come to a stop at this in­ter­sec­tion be­fore pro­ceed­ing. In all my years of pass­ing through this in­ter­sec­tion, I can­not re­call ever see­ing an ac­ci­dent, nor ever hear­ing of one, ex­cept for one oc­ca­sion when some­one com­ing north on Middletown Road ap­par­ently missed the stop sign and crashed into the house on the cor­ner.

Yes, dur­ing the mid­dle of morn­ing and evening rush hours, there can be a sig­nif­i­cant back-up of cars wait­ing to get through the in­ter­sec­tion, how­ever, this back-up usu­ally only lasts for per­haps 30 minutes, twice a day, and the ac­tual time to get through the in­ter­sec­tion dur­ing rush hour is still only a mat­ter of a cou­ple of minutes.

Now, imagine the ef­fect a round­about will have. Two thoughts on this. First of all, even with the round­about, the cars ap­proach­ing the in­ter­sec­tion will have to slow down, al­most to — if not com­pletely to — a stop any­way, to see if it is clear to en­ter the round­about. Sec­ond thought, based on the way most peo­ple seem to drive nowa­days, with ev­ery­one seem­ingly think­ing their time is more valu­able than any­one else’s, I can fore­see peo­ple fur­ther ig­nor­ing the rules of courtesy and eti­quette, and “rac­ing” to beat ev­ery­one else into the round­about.

The ul­ti­mate re­sult, in my hum­ble opin­ion, is that there are go­ing to be a lot more road rage in­ci­dents by peo­ple who feel “they” had the right of way, and re­sul­tantly, a lot more ac­ci­dents at this in­ter­sec­tion. Bad idea for ev­ery­one who trav­els through this in­ter­sec­tion.

I am 99 per­cent certain that if the res­i­dents who travel through this in­ter­sec­tion on a reg­u­lar ba­sis were asked, al­most all of them would say the oc­ca­sional wait dur­ing rush hour is not an is­sue for them, and the in­stal­la­tion of this round­about is a very bad idea, which will lead to many, many more ac­ci­dents than the cur­rent three-way stop set up.

When our schools are un­der­funded, and our teach­ers have to come out of pocket for ba­sic teach­ing ne­ces­si­ties, can some­one please ex­plain to me why we are spend­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to fix some­thing that is not bro­ken? And, more im­por­tantly, why are we mak­ing the in­ter­sec­tion that much more dan­ger­ous? I will ask again, whose bril­liant idea was this?

Bill Beavers III, White Plains

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