SHA denies speed limit reduction in Centreville
CENTREVILLE — In a letter dated May 10, the State Highway Administration notified the Town of Centreville that it will not be altering the speed limit on MD 213 near Taylor Mill Road as requested by the town and its citizens.
After conducting a traffic study and review, which examined speed, crashes, volume data, traffic delays and sight distances, SHA found that “the roadway is relatively straight with good sight distance to and from the intersection as well as along the corridor,” wrote Greg Holsey, district two engineer with SHA.
Having reviewed the past three years of data, no crashes were reported at Taylor Mill Road, which leads to the entrance to Symphony Village. Symphony Village is a residential community available to residents age 55 and older. The study also found that of the crashes along the MD 213 corridor in town, none of the crashes were related to speed.
Holsey said the installation of a stop light at the intersection is not recommended at this time because “the traffic volumes are below the minimal criteria for a traffic signal, there are no crashes at the intersection, sight distance is good to and from the intersection, and there is minimal delay.”
Residents of the town spoke out during the March 24 Centreville Town Council meeting to request a speed limit reduction from 50 mph to 35 mph from the US 301 and MD 213 intersection to the Food Lion shopping center. Citizens stated that due to slower response times, among other concerns, some residents of Symphony Village feared pulling out into oncoming traffic.
During the March 24 meeting, Jeff Wentz, SHA district two traffic engineer who attended the meeting, said the administration sets a speed limit using the 85 percentile speed guideline. The guideline is “the speed at or below which 85 percent of the motorists drive on a given road when unaffected by slower traffic or poor weather,” SHA’s website states. “This speed indicates the speed that most motorists on that road consider safe and reasonable under ideal conditions.
Centreville Town Council Vice President Tim McCluskey asked the town to write a letter back to the administration requesting information about the 85 percentile data as it was not referenced in SHA’s letter to the town.
Councilman Jim Beauchamp talked about the possibility of coordinating the signals at the US 301 and MD 213 intersection with the signal at Coursevall Drive to allow for a larger gap between cars so residents have more time to pull out into the intersection.
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Symphony Village residents requested during the Thursday, March 24, Centreville Town Council meeting a speed limit reduction from 50 mph to 35 mph along a segment of State Route 213 near Taylor Mill Road.