SHA to re­duce MD 213 speed limit

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — A week af­ter telling Sym­phony Vil­lage res­i­dents at­tend­ing the Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil’s Thurs­day, Sept. 15, meet­ing in the age-re­stricted com­mu­nity’s club­house that the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion was look­ing at low­er­ing the speed limit en­ter­ing town on MD 213, Town Coun­cil­man Jim Beauchamp con­firmed that SHA was in fact go­ing to re­duce the speed from 50 mph to 45 mph.

SHA of­fi­cials did not re­turn a call re­gard­ing a timetable for the speed re­duc­tion.

“What they were say­ing is it will get the stair-step then from 55 to 45 to 35 to 25 mph, so it will be that in­cre­men­tal pro­gres­sion,” Beauchamp said.

As well as the low­ered speed en­ter­ing town, Beauchamp said SHA is look­ing into ru­ral traf­fic calm­ing de­vices to “re­in­force peo­ple to slow down.”

On March 24, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from SHA came to the Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil meet­ing to hear res­i­dents con­cerns re­gard­ing the Route 213 speed limit en­ter­ing town. Cit­i­zens in Sym­phony Vil­lage con­ducted a com­mu­nity sur­vey re­gard­ing the po­ten­tial change from 50 mph to 35 mph had more than 165 sig­na­tures in fa­vor of a lower speed limit.

Cit­i­zens re­quested the speed re­duc­tion cit­ing older ages of res­i­dents leav­ing Tay­lor Mill Road, which pro­vides in-and-out ac­cess to Sym­phony Vil­lage, and dif­fi­culty gaug­ing speeds of on­com­ing cars. One in­di­vid­ual wanted the lower speed be­cause of res­i­dents who walk and bike out of the com­mu­nity.

Jeff Wentz, dis­trict two traf­fic en­gi­neer with SHA, said so­lu­tions could be looked at and di­rected staff to con­duct a traf­fic study to col­lect driver data. The town re­ceived a let­ter on May 10 from SHA stat­ing a speed limit re­duc­tion was not nec­es­sary.

Hav­ing had a grow­ing list of top­ics Beauchamp wanted to dis­cuss with Mary­land De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion of­fi­cials, the coun­cil­man met with SHA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Greg John­son, SHA Deputy Ad­min­is­tra­tor Dave Coin, the SHA deputy direc­tor for traf­fic and safety, SHA deputy sec­re­tary and dis­trict two en­gi­neer Greg Holsey. “So a room of heavy weights,” Beauchamp said.”

The laun­dry list of top­ics in­cluded low­er­ing the speed limit com­ing off of US 301 onto MD 213 go­ing into town, a po­ten­tial school zone des­ig­na­tion in front of the Wye River Up­per School, the in­ter­sec­tion of Rolling Bridge Road and US 301 as well as the po­ten­tial use of the open land across from the Citco en­ter­ing town.

The Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil sent a let­ter to MDOT about a school zone des­ig­na­tion for Wye River Up­per School in which of­fi­cials came out and con­ducted a sur vey. The re­sults, of­fi­cials found, was not wor­thy of cre­at­ing a school zone des­ig­na­tion.

In­stead, a cross­walk from the high school across Com­merce Street to Kid­well Av­enue will be cre­ated as well as signs warn­ing that there is a school ahead. Beauchamp said of­fi­cials will co­or­di­nate with the town re­gard­ing side­walk align­ment be­cause Kid­well is soon to be un­der con­struc­tion.

“So those were three def­i­nite steps for­ward, which I was re­ally pleased to hear,” Beauchamp said.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @ mike_k­ibay­times.

Cen­tre­ville res­i­dents fill the Sym­phony Vil­lage club­house dur­ing the Thurs­day, Sept. 15, town coun­cil meet­ing. Coun­cil­man Jim Beauchamp up­dated the res­i­dents about the po­ten­tial speed limit re­duc­tion on MD 213 by the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

PHO­TOS BY MIKE DAVIS

The State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion has acted on the cit­i­zens’ of Cen­tre­ville re­quest to lower the speed limit from 50 mph to 45 mph head­ing into town from the US 301 in­ter­change.

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