Queen­stown eyes traf­fic prob­lems on Dud­ley

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

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.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

Queen­stown Com­mis­sioner Ge­orge Plumbo speaks about the high vol­ume and speed­ing on Dud­ley Av­enue in the town.

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