State considering a second roundabout on Route 94

March 27, 1997|By Dana Hedgpeth | Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF

State highway officials say they are considering putting another roundabout on Route 94 in Lisbon -- less than a mile from Howard County's only traffic circle, at Routes 144 and 94.

Ray P. Mercado, a traffic engineer with the State Highway Administration, said traffic studies of the intersection of Route 94 and Old Frederick Road -- at the Lisbon Shopping Center, not far from Interstate 70 -- are under way, and a final design plan would be chosen by summer.

Traffic engineers believe that roundabouts can be safer and more efficient than intersections controlled by traffic lights. The roundabouts have long been popular in Europe as a way to relieve congested intersections.

Howard County has three other roundabouts under construction: at Route 100 and Snowden River Parkway and two along Route 103 on both sides of Route 100.

"We've got people pulling out from the shopping center in front of fast-moving traffic off Interstate 70," Mercado said of the need for a second traffic circle in Lisbon. "A circle is better than a signal, and there won't be any delays in getting out on the road and it's cheaper in the long run."

The $200,000 new roundabout, if approved, would be identical to the circle at Routes 144 and 94.

Usually about 100 to 120 feet in diameter, roundabouts provide for one-way circulation around islands. Entering traffic yields the right of way to vehicles already in the circle.

But some residents and business owners oppose another roundabout in the area.

"We do need something out there to get people out of the crowded shopping center safely, but it seems like a circle will be awfully confusing for people even with the other one just down the road," said Ted Gill, owner of Mr. Teddy's Restaurant and Deli in Lisbon.

"But every day, I watch eight to 10 cars back up, trying to get out of the shopping center," he said, agreeing some action is needed. "With more traffic out here, you can see the writing on the wall that it's going to get worse."

Pub Date: 3/27/97

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