WHILE THE RECENT opening of Route 100 in Howard County amounts to answered prayers for many road warriors, there's a flip side of angst swirling about the state's newest highway being used as an alternative to Routes 32 and 175.
Stop-and-go snarls have cropped up at Route 100 and U.S. 29, where, commuters complain, the evening rush hour can cause vehicle crawls lasting up to 10 minutes. That seems like an eternity to many who are stuck on one of Columbia's main drags.
Relief could arrive just after New Year's.
Valerie Burnette Edgar, State Highway Administration spokeswoman, said traffic engineers have been dispatched to the site to study commuting patterns. Adjustments are on the way, she said, possibly including the addition of extended turning lanes to accommodate the gridlock.
"We recognize there's been growing pains," Edgar said. "We're trying to give it some time to see how people will use [the road]. The novelty may wear off. Overall, [Route 100] is working very well -- but it's not an exact science."
Two pedestrians hit at intersection in city
Your wheelster has been concerned lately about the city intersection of Collington Avenue and Lombard Street.
Within the past 45 days, two pedestrians have been hit by cars while crossing the Butchers Hill streets near Patterson Park.
Community activists are pushing for a traffic signal at the crossroads as a way to calm traffic, sources tell Intrepid.
Inquiries to the city Department of Public Works have yielded little information on the troubled corner. Spokesman Bob Murrow said Friday a report on the area was filed, and bureaucrats are attempting to retrieve it from the mothballs to study the problem. Action is forthcoming, Murrow promises.
Local gasoline prices are lowest since 1989
Park the reindeer. Start the engine. At an average of 98 cents a gallon for regular, gasoline prices this month are the lowest since 1989, a survey of Maryland service stations shows.
Experts say unseasonably warm temperatures and an oversupply of crude oil are the reasons for the low average price, which is nearly 6 cents less than last month and almost 20 cents cheaper than last December's average fuel price.
A holiday gift came early to Mrs. Katz of the Village of Cross Keys. She recently called the Intrepid One to complain that the left-turn lane on Falls Road at Northern Parkway was worn invisible. Two days later, she called back to render news of a miracle of the season: "Goodness gracious, there I was today, and there was a line all freshly painted." Kudos go to the city's Department of Public Works for its diligence. Beware of road rage and passive-aggressive philosophies at work during these last few days of holiday rush. Particularly menacing is the mall parking lot, which seems to void the holiday spirit every time. Look for the long-awaited electronic toll collection computers to fire up early next month for commuters at the Fort McHenry and Harbor tunnels and the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Harford County's McFadden Road Bridge, which spans Falling Branch, will be closed for two days beginning Jan. 4 for a geotechnical exploration. In Fallston, expect delays on Route 165 and Greene Road through New Year's because of construction. In addition, don't expect the Schuster Road bridge over Winters Run in Jarrettsville to reopen until July, officials say.