State to take second look at Route 140 intersection Residents want traffic signals

October 17, 1993

The State Highway Administration is going back to the starting point in an effort to satisfy local pressure for traffic

controls at the intersection of Route 140 and Royer and Meadow Branch roads west of Westminster.

"We're just going to re-evaluate the whole thing," said Gene R. Straub, SHA assistant district engineer for traffic.

He said that the decision was based on nearly unanimous opposition to a design for a jug-handle turn. The turn would have channeled traffic crossing Route 140 from the north and south or left-turning traffic from the two cross streets into a new intersection west of the existing intersection.

Elected officials and local residents spoke out against the jug-handle idea at a meeting last month. The majority favored a traffic signal.

Mr. Straub said that SHA will take new traffic counts on Royer and Meadow Branch roads between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. Counts from last year showed that traffic entering Route 140 from the two side roads was far below SHA standards to justify a traffic signal.

Mr. Straub said earlier that the SHA has some flexibility to install traffic signals at intersections that are close to meeting traffic volume standards. But the agency could be open to lawsuits if accidents occur at an intersection where SHA has put in an unjustified signal, he said.

Mr. Straub said that the SHA staff will look at four options. All include a right turn lane for Meadow Branch Road from westbound Route 140. Mr. Straub said that the right turn lane is scheduled for construction in 1994-1995 regardless of other action on the intersection.

The options under consideration are:

* Do nothing other than add the right turn lane.

* Keep the jug-handle design for a new configuration.

* Eliminate the jug handle from consideration.

* Install a traffic signal.

If the last option is chosen, Mr. Straub said, the SHA would have to decide when the signal should be installed.

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