State says Route 216 crossing doesn't need light or circle Residents say speeders make for tough left turns

April 18, 1997|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The State Highway Administration has no plans to modify the the intersection of Route 216 and Baltimore Avenue, despite complaints from North Laurel residents that the crossroads is dangerous.

Erin Henson, a SHA spokeswoman, said a traffic study conducted by engineers several years ago showed there was not enough volume or accidents to warrant a light or a traffic circle.

"There's just not enough traffic," Henson said.

Sgt. Steven E. Keller, a county police spokesman, said there were two accidents at the intersection in 1995 and one last year. None was serious, he said.

Because Route 216 is a state highway, SHA -- not the county -- is responsible for any traffic improvements.

Residents said they have been complaining for years that it has become difficult to make a left turn from Baltimore Avenue onto Route 216 because of fast drivers on both sides of Route 216.

Many have suggested building a roundabout, or traffic circle, such as the ones Howard County is building at Route 100 and Snowden River Parkway and along Route 103 on both sides of Route 100.

Tom Flynn, president of the North Laurel Civic Association, said motorists drive faster than the posted speed limit of 40 mph.

"They're doing 55, 60 coming off Interstate 95 to Main Street in Laurel," said Flynn, who lives off Baltimore Avenue in North Laurel Park. "From Main Street, it becomes a drag strip."

Others say they disagree with SHA that there are not enough cars on Route 216 and not enough accidents to warrant a roundabout.

"There are more and more homes every day, and that means more and more traffic every day," said Laura Zaner, who lives in nearby Settlers Landing. "And I don't see the harm in taking a preventive measure."

Pub Date: 4/18/97

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