Traffic calming measures for Catonsville neighborhood

The numerous measures to slow traffic down on Beechwood and Beaumont Avenues are the result of a 10-year struggle to make the neighborhood a safer place for pedestrians.

Two speed humps and a raised intersection have been installed in the unit and 100 blocks Beechwood Avenue and two more speed humps and another raised intersection are slated for installation in the unit and 100 blocks of Beaumont Avenue.

"The neighborhood was very concerned about the speed and volume of cars," said Dorothy Noble, vice President of the Olde Catonsville Neighborhood Association. "It's been going on for years."

Noble said that the neighborhood association has been actively campaigning for traffic calming in the area for more than a decade.

She said the county has done numerous traffic studies in the area, but never deemed conditions dangerous enough for the desired calming measures.

"We've never quite failed them to the point where we would be granted traffic calming measures," Noble said.

David Fidler, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Department of Public Works, said the traffic calming program introduced in 2003 included strict specifications for both speed and volume of cars in a given area. Those specifications had to be met in order for the county to install calming measures.

Noble said her neighborhood repeatedly exceeded the limit on traffic volume and that played a role in it's failure to meet the requirement for speeding.

"We didn't quite meet it because the volume was so extreme, you couldn't quite speed all that fast all the time, because there are so many cars," Noble said.

Fidler said that the original policy was designed to address areas in immediate need of traffic calming, which would be proven when both limits were met or exceeded.

"The policy originally read that it required both volume and speed limits to qualify for traffic calming," he said. "They were adhering to the letter of the law.

"The county put this traffic calming system in place with the understanding that they could change it in the future, making the qualifications broader and more inclusive," Fidler said. "But there was a need at the beginning of the program to limit the number of projects they could include."

Though it has taken many years, Noble is proud to have the speed humps and raised intersection on Beechwood Avenue and is looking forward to celebrating the installation of the ones on Beaumont Avenue in the coming weeks.

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