County testing lane shift to slow traffic in Ellicott City

Kate Magill
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

Following a fatal accident in the west end of Ellicott City’s historic Main Street last month, Howard County officials are crafting plans for slowing traffic in the residential area.

The Department of Public Works plans to shift the center lane marker on the roadway, moving the line along a curve in the road closer to the inside of the curve, Director Jim Irvin said.

The move could help slow traffic allow more buffer space between drivers and parked cars on the street on the outside of the curve, Irvin said.

Residents have said that the limited space between parked cars and drivers makes it dangerous to get out of their cars along the roadway.

The posted speed limit is 25 mph. Residents have claimed drivers speed in the area.

An Ellicott City woman killed in an April 23 crash failed to navigate a curve in the road, veered off the road and hit three parked cars, county police said. Authorities haven’t said if speed was a factor in the crash, which remains under review.

Irvin and County Councilman Jon Weinstein, who represents the area, met earlier this week discuss how to slow traffic. Irvin hopes to present designs for traffic-calming measures to officials, including Weinstein and County Executive Allan Kittleman, in the next two weeks.

Before making any permanent changes, Irvin said the department will temporarily make the line shift for a few months to determine if it is the best solution. The project will not require any additional capital funding from the county.

Officials are also exploring the idea to create a traffic circle at the intersection of Rogers Avenue and Frederick Road, which becomes Main Street, as another way to slow drivers.

Next year’s capital budget has already been proposed, meaning funds for the traffic circle, if officials decide to pursue the idea, could be at least a year away.

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