Stop signs sought for Macbeth Way Residents complain of high-speed traffic

November 17, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

With the average speed along Macbeth Way reaching well above the posted limit, residents are asking the county to deter speeders with stop signs.

In a meeting with the county Department of Public Works yesterday, Michael Merges of the Hilltop Community Association said recent studies show that the average rate through the 25-mph zone is 43 mph.

Macbeth Way, a 40-foot-wide road that winds through several South Carroll developments, attracts speeders, said Mr. Merges, who lives on the road.

"The width makes the street a perfect fly-through," he said. "Drivers have been clocked at 70 miles per hour."

Carroll County Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said she opposes wide roads through residential areas.

"It provides an opportunity to drive fast and makes the road seem like a major highway," she said.

The commissioner said a stop sign posted at Macbeth and Jasmine Avenue several years ago helped slow traffic.

Traffic volume on Macbeth also has increased significantly, said Lyman Hood, a resident of the road for 30 years.

"They planned it as a feeder road with large homes on large lots," Mr. Hood said. "Then, they went with quarter-acre lots."

Among the most dangerous intersections, he said, are the two points at which Saddle Drive meets the north side of Macbeth.

Curves in Macbeth Way dangerously limit sight distance, he said.

He would like the county to post four-way stop signs at both points, which are a quarter-mile apart.

Signs are not the solution, said Keith Kirschnick, county director of public works.

"Macbeth is a collector road, which ultimately will tie in with Marriottsville Road and extend across Route 32 to Piney Run Village," he said. "Stop signs should not be used for speed control enforcement."

Mr. Kirschnick said more monitoring will cut down on speeding. Mr. Merges said enforcement would have to be constant.

"The police are extremely effective when they are out there," Mr. Merges said. "But they can't be there enough."

Mr. Hood said resident troopers often spend an entire day writing speeding citations.

"It will be quiet for a few days after that, then they are right back up to speed," he said.

Stronger traffic controls will help ensure the safety of the nearly 100 children who walk to Carrolltowne Elementary along Macbeth, which has sidewalks only on its north side.

"All the children in our neighborhood are required to walk and many must cross the road," Mr. Merges said.

Traffic will continue to increase, Mr. Hood said.

If the county denies the sign request, he said, he will repeat it "as soon as possible."

"Macbeth is mainly a shortcut to Route 70 or Carrolltown Center," Mr. Hood said. "We get a lot of construction traffic, and there are a lot of kids walking."

Mr. Kirschnick said that if the county posts more signs, it must develop a more specific policy.

"We just withheld action on a similar request for a stop sign," he said.

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