Roundabouts to stymie speeders

February 25, 1997|By Erin Texeira | Erin Texeira,SUN STAFF

In an attempt to slow traffic in Columbia's Kings Contrivance village, county traffic engineers will install roundabouts, turn lanes and road striping on Shaker Drive in the next few months.

At a village board meeting last week, county traffic engineers and Howard County Councilman Dennis R. Schrader -- a North Laurel Republican who has spearheaded the traffic-calming efforts -- presented a preliminary plan to board members and residents, said Diane Wilson, Schrader's assistant.

The changes come after years of complaints from residents that drivers often exceed the area's speed limits of 25 and 30 mph, endangering pedestrians and other drivers, said Anne Dodd, village manager. Many commuters use Shaker Drive between Routes 29 and 32 to avoid rush hour backups.

"There is a great deal of traffic and at high speeds," Dodd said. "Some drivers are in such a hurry they pass other cars on the street, even across the double lines. Residents are very concerned about speed on that road."

About two years ago, in response to residents' complaints, traffic engineers installed two speed bumps on Shaker Drive between Fair Beauty and South Carlinda Avenue, said George Pangburn, the village's representative to the Columbia Association.

But, Pangburn said, the speed bumps didn't accomplish much. So now these additional measures are in the works, according to Dodd and Ronald Lepson, chief of traffic engineering for the county: Three roundabouts -- 20 to 40 feet in diameter with centers raised several inches -- will be installed at Wayover Way, Cape Anne Drive and Roveout Lane.

Striping -- to add a center turn lane and shoulders -- will be painted the length of Shaker Drive, and a 90-foot-long island median will be installed near the Atholton Shopping Center at Donleigh Drive.

Left-turn lanes will go in at South Carlinda and Fair Beauty.

A choker -- a concrete curb to narrow the driving lanes -- will be added at a crosswalk near The Kings Contrivance restaurant at Deer Chase.

Lepson said he will return to the village to present residents a final traffic plan March 3, he said. Construction will begin in April or May, he said.

Driver of stolen car bails out, escapes; vehicle crashes

An early-morning high-speed chase through Howard and Baltimore counties ended Saturday with a crash in a Long Reach village neighborhood.

The chase began near Frederick and Rolling Roads in Catonsville about 2: 20 a.m. when a man driving a stolen 1988 four-door Acura Legend led Baltimore County police into historic Ellicott City, Howard County police said.

Police said the chase continued along Main Street in Ellicott City and into Columbia, where the driver bailed out of the car in the 8700 block of Cloud Leap Court.

The car -- still running and in gear -- then hit and damaged an unoccupied parked car. The man fled in an unknown direction on foot, police reported.

Howard County police, who said they were not involved in the chase, said the driver has not been apprehended.

Pub Date: 2/25/97

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