Group studies solutions for increase in traffic Retail complex to open near intersection

August 09, 1996|By Alex Gordon | Alex Gordon,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A task force examining a long-term solution to congestion at Snowden River Parkway and Route 175 took a closer look Wednesday night at two additional interchange options: a partial diamond/cloverleaf and a single point urban diamond (SPUD).

The group is trying to decide how to best handle the traffic increase expected when the Columbia Crossing retail complex opens this fall near the already busy intersection, north of Route 175 between Snowden River Parkway and Dobbin Road.

The task force is in the process of reviewing the options and hopes to make a recommendation on a long-term solution for the intersection by the end of September.

The partial diamond/cloverleaf interchange would incorporate the diamond shape as well as a loop. As a result, said Steve Foster of the State Highway Administration, the interchange would share some of the advantages -- a good level of service and no median merges -- and disadvantages -- relocation of the Park and Ride -- of the diamond and partial-cloverleaf options.

The SPUD interchange, on the other hand, would be controlled by a single four-way traffic signal on Snowden River Parkway under a constructed bridge, Foster said.

Task force members seemed pleased with its compatibility and the fact that the Park and Ride would avoid relocation; concerns were raised, however, about access to and from the Park and Ride with the option.

Nearby Long Reach and Owen Brown residents have called for construction of an interchange to alleviate congestion, but some county officials want a less expensive, though untested, dispersed movement intersection, which uses a series of timed signals to move left-turning cars through the intersection.

The task force had studied two other options -- a partial cloverleaf and a full diamond interchange -- at its previous meeting.

The next task force meeting at the Board of Utilities building on 8270 Old Montgomery Road is scheduled Aug. 21, when members will view a video and computer simulation of the interchange options.

Pub Date: 8/09/96

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