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Woodbridge Valley eyed for traffic calming effort

Woodbridge Valley eyed for traffic calming effort
(File photo / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Baltimore County will add four speed humps to Lincoln Woods Drive in the Woodbridge Valley community off North Rolling Road, if residents can muster enough support for the project.

In order to get the traffic calming improvements added, 75 percent of those who live along the street must sign a petition in support of the project, said Keith Link, engineering program manager with the county's Department of Public Works.

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Tina Brown, president of the Woodbridge Valley Improvement and Community Association, said speed humps have been placed on other streets in the community, including Pleasant Valley Drive and King William Drive, as part of an effort to prevent speeding.

They have been also been added to streets in the nearby Ellicott Mills community, she said.

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"We've done it throughout Woodbridge Valley... There are a lot of people who cut through to get to Route 40," said Brown, who has been president of the organization for more than 20 years. "King William [Drive] used to be the same way."

The street is a common short cut used to get from Rolling Road to Route 40, said Mary Owen, who wrote a letter to the county asking for traffic calming measures.

Brown said Lincoln Woods Drive is one of the last streets in the neighborhood that needs traffic calming.

She expects there will be enough support for the addition of speed humps to the residential street.

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"Most of the homeowners on that street want it," she said.

"The community made a request through our website," Link said, adding, "We completed a traffic study and saw that the cut-through traffic was high enough to warrant speed humps."

Speed humps are typically added to residential streets to slow speeding traffic. During winter months, they don't hinder snow plows from clearing snow accumulation from roads, said Lauren Watley, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Department of Public Works.

"Our snow plows have rubber blades on them, so really, the vehicles just slow their speed and the plow glides right over the speed hump," Watley said.

People with traffic concerns can request traffic studies through the county's Traffic Calming Program, Link said.

Through the program, the county installs traffic circles, speed humps, pedestrian refuge islands and other measures to slow speeding motorists, their website says.

Community members can do so by filling out a form which can be found at: baltimorecountymd.gov/contact/trafficcalming.

Once the form is received by the county, traffic engineers review and analyze speeds and traffic volume in the area, Link said.

Link said the Department of Public Works set up a traffic counter at the location, and found 115 vehicles traveled the road at its peak hour at an average speed of 37 miles per hour.

Because 100 vehicles is the minimum and the maximum speed limit is 35 MPH, the street was eligible for speed humps, Link said.

Points are assigned through the traffic evaluation according to the street's Peak Hour Volume, or number of vehicles traveling the road during peak hours of the day, which are normally between 4 and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Points are given on a scale of 100 to more than 250, county website information says.

Traffic volume, speed, cut-through traffic, school zones and sidewalks are all factors that determine whether a street is eligible for traffic calming measures and what kinds are in play, the county website says.

Those measures can only be implemented with support, such as a signed petition, from the community.

If implemented, the asphalt speed humps will be added between Upper Mills Circle and Chantilla Road, which will cost $17,000, Link said.

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