Highway administration data show traffic volume on the roadway has been trending slightly downward in the past five years. But the average 8,400 vehicles that used the roadway north of Sweet Air Road each day in 1981 would likely seem a trickle compared with the 14,381 that used it per day in 2011.
There also has been an increase in traffic congestion at key intersections, people in the area said. The highway administration is drafting upgrades to the Four Corners intersection of Jarrettsville Pike and Paper Mill and Sweet Air roads because of severe back-ups.
"People just have to be more safe and be more conscious of what's going on around them because the roads are more congested," said Lt. Charles "Chuck" Moore, commander of the Bel Air barrack of the Maryland State Police, which responds to accidents along the northern stretch of the road. "The room for error has decreased significantly because of the congestion."
Glinowiecki said there is a "mass exodus" of cars from Towson that passes Jacksonville Elementary every afternoon, making departures dangerous.
Northbound traffic routinely backs up from the Four Corners intersection to Hillendale Heights Road, which the school sits on, and drivers must inch out between stopped northbound cars to head south, Glinowiecki said.
Drivers generally give school buses a wide berth, but some teachers and interns who have left the school and tried to pull onto southbound Jarrettsville Pike have been hit by oncoming traffic, Glinowiecki said.
She now tells staffers and parents unfamiliar with the road to go north regardless of their destination and turn around in a nearby parking lot if need be.
According to C. David Ward, traffic along Jarrettsville Pike has gotten increasingly worse since he first purchased his home along the roadway in 1970.
"We've talked about it for years and years and years, they've looked at feeder roads to try to alleviate some of the traffic on the pike, but nothing ever happened," Ward said. "In my lifetime being here, I've gone from a time when I could probably ride a bicycle in the evening from my house to Jacksonville and see a handful of cars, to a time when it just never stops."
Ward, who was paralyzed below the breastbone in a 1977 fall, has completely retrofitted his historic home — which sits just feet from the road — to meet his needs.
He said he has seen all kinds of accidents over the years, including one in which a young woman died after crashing along a curve near his home and another in which a man's vehicle crashed so far into the woods that police couldn't see it beneath the trees. Ward is amazed there haven't been more deaths along the roadway in recent years.
"Luckily, we haven't had as many people hurt as possible," Ward said. "They just don't drive sensibly down Jarrettsville Pike. It's not made to go 65, 70 miles per hour."
His personal assistant, Dena Bird, who also lives in the home, agreed: "When they drive by, it's driving by at 90 miles per hour. You can really hear it."