The citizens of Carney have been fighting for safety at Harford Road and Placid Avenue location for many years. There is a large hump in Harford Road just before the location of Placid Avenue that has been the cause of many accidents.
We thought the problem would be solved when the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) advised us that improvements were being made to Harford Road, but it was not. Again we are fighting to ensure the safety of drivers on Harford Road.
The simple solution is "No Right Turn" from either east or west Placid Avenue onto Harford Road. I have corresponded with Senator Klausmeier, Delegates Cluster, Boteler and Bromwell. Special thanks to Senator Klausmeier for her help early on and to Delegate Cluster for immediately taking time to contact SHA about this project.
I was alerted last week that curbing is going in for the east leg of Placid Avenue by Pat Rooney who is retired from the Baltimore County Police Department and spent over 20 years in traffic safety and accident reconstruction. Carney is and has been fortunate in our community to have Pat Rooney's counsel on traffic safety issues.
Now that the Bender-Vogel development is becoming a reality and Placid Avenue will extend across Harford Road, the hump on Harford Road again "raises its ugly head" both literally and figuratively. Carney citizens are concerned that there is no mention of a "Right Turn Only" restriction in the SHA requirements.
We are looking to whoever is responsible in Baltimore County or at the SHA to make sure that this restriction that currently exists for the east side of Placid Avenue also applies to the new west side of Placid Avenue.
I contacted Councilman David Marks who arranged for a telephone conference with the Councilman Marks, SHA engineers and me, Carney Improvement Association President. Thank you Councilman Marks for arranging the teleconference. I reiterated that the Carney community's serious concern that traffic entering Harford Road from either east or west side of Placid Avenue should be restricted to "Right Turn Only".
For those who do not know the history of Carney citizens advocacy for safety where Placid Avenue at Harford Road, read on.
When SHA improved Harford Road, Carney citizens thought that SHA planned to shave down or remove the hump in Harford Road just north of Summit Avenue which created a very dangerous situation for cars turning left from the west side of Placid Avenue onto Harford Road, especially during evening rush hours.
However, SHA told Carney citizens that it had been too expensive to shave down or remove the hump during the Harford Road improvements. What did happen? A "No Right Turn" sign was placed on Placid Avenue. [Somehow that sign has been replaced with a "No Left Turn" sign. This change in sign was reported to Councilman Marks. The Carney community has been assured by Councilman Marks that the "No Right Turn" sign will return.]
Next came the decision to build more houses in Carney, a subdivision refered to as Bender-Vogel, former owner of the land. After Carney citizens fought for important needed changes to the location of the storm water management pond and the addition of open space on Bender-Vogel blueprints, the development plan was approved by Baltimore County. Needed approval from SHA was also given with required improvements to Harford Road.
I am including the text from a 12/23/2008 email that I received from SHA District 4 Transportation Manager which details the improvements to be made on Harford Road at Placid Avenue by the Bender-Vogel developer:
Dear Ms. O'Hare:
This is in follow up to our earlier email regarding proposed improvements for the MD 147 (Harford Road) Bender-Vogel property in Baltimore County. We appreciate your interest in safety along our state highway system. The developer will be providing the following improvements for this location:
- Re-aligning the new leg to be opposite Placid Ave. AASHTO guidelines requires a minimum of 200' of sight distance for a posted 30 MPH speed limit. By aligning the new leg opposite of Placid Ave, approximately 238' of sight distance will be achieved. This meets the AASHTO sight distance requirement for the existing posted 30 MPH speed limit.
- Widening will be completed to provide left turn lanes along both directions of MD 147.
- 24" stop line and a stop sign will be installed along the new east leg of Placid Ave.
- The northbound MD 147 warning sign will be changed to reflect a four legged intersection.
- A new corner street name will be added to denote "Placid Ave." for the new leg of the intersection.
- New ADA sidewalk ramps and curb cuts will be provided for the northeast and southeast corners.
- A 30' wide roadway width will be provided for the new leg of Placid Ave.
These improvements will enhance overall traffic operations at this intersection. Also, the issuing of this permit is still pending approval by Baltimore County. Hopefully, this information is helpful. If there are any questions, feel free to give me a call.
Donald C. Distance Transportation Manager [MD SHA District 4]
As you can see, there is no requirement for "Right Turn Only" signs for both east and west Placid Avenue. SHA is now reviewing the plans for the new Harford Road and Placid Avenue intersection. In Carney, we hope they will be doing this with Baltimore County Traffic Engineering personnel.
We hope that their decision will be for safety. We hope they will decide to post "Right Turn Only" on the east and west sides of Placid Avenue at Harford Road.