Queenstown eyes traffic problems on Dudley
QUEENSTOWN — Town commissioners are considering barricading one end of Dudley Avenue or making it one-way to stop the large amounts of speeding traffic from using the road as a through street.
And the commissioners will be making a decision by their next meeting and it won’t require a vote, according to one commissioner.
At the commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14, Lennie Anthony of Queenstown brought up traffic problems on Dudley Avenue and he predicted a “catastrophe” will happen because of motorists speeding on the street.
A woman’s dog recently got run over by a car and died. “That dog is the only thing she had,” Anthony said.
The female resident confirmed on Thursday, Sept. 15, about Anthony’s statement, saying she was walking her dog on a six-foot-long leash when a woman driving down Dudley hit and killed the dog. The two-way street has no sidewalks.
Anthony also said the town’s efforts about the problem aren’t working, including speed bumps on the street and limited truck traffic. He asked for more police patrols and ticket writing to slow down the traffic.
“I’m here to ask what can we do,” Anthony said.
The town commissioners met in closed session immediately following the public session on Sept. 14 to discuss the issue. The public isn’t allowed in the closed session, sometimes called executive session.
But Commissioner George Plumbo later said the commissioners asked their attorney in the closed session if it is within their jurisdiction to turn the roadway into a cul-desac by putting up barricades on one end of Dudley Avenue, and the lawyer gave them approval.
Plumbo discussed the issue further on Thursday, Sept. 15, by coming in person on Dudley Avenue where it intersects with Del Rhodes Avenue. The street is narrow on the quiet neighborhood and it has turned into a through street, Plumbo said.
Also, the commissioners are considering making Dudley one-way starting from Route 18 to Del Rhodes, he added.
There hasn’t been a traffic study for that street, but Plumbo estimates that 200 to 300 cars use Dudley Avenue a day, up from the previous 50 cars a day.
It started when the state changed Route 301 so motorists can’t turn left from Del Rhodes Avenue onto northbound Route 301, so motorists instead travel down Del Rhodes and turn right onto Dudley and proceed to Route 18 to get back onto northbound Route 301, Plumbo said.
“You’ll see a constant drive [of cars]. These people don’t seem to live down here. Most people are going north to Route 18,” he said.
While standing on Dudley, he pointed to the tire skid marks on the road that curve from Del Rhodes onto Dudley, meaning the cars are traveling at a high rate of speed. The cars bounce high off the speed bumps on Dudley, he added.
Also, the problem is the traffic coming from Royal Farms that opened a few years ago at the intersection of Del Rhodes and Route 301 with cars cutting through Dudley, Plumbo said, adding that Google Maps seems to be directing traffic onto Dudley.
Speeding on Dudley is another problem, but the town has been working with the police about enforcement and police have increased patrols, he said.
But the state police won’t write tickets below 25 mph, he said, and the speed limit is 20 mph on Dudley. But the sheriff’s office has the option to still write tickets, he added.
Plumbo said he wants to get feedback from the residents, but he expects the commissioners to make a decision about Dudley by their next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
The decision won’t require the town commissioners to formally vote on it, he said, because it falls under executive power.
“For roads, we aren’t passing a law or an ordinance. It’s a change of use for the road,” he said.
Town officials also checked with Queen Anne’s County Public Schools to see if there’s a bus stop along Dudley, but there isn’t.
Queenstown Commissioner George Plumbo speaks about the high volume and speeding on Dudley Avenue in the town.