Walkersville council puts a stop to intersection changes -- Gazette.Net


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The Walkersville Town Council has decided not to spend the money to install four-way stop signs or a traffic signal at a busy downtown intersection.

The burgess and five town commissioners discussed the issue Wednesday night, but took no formal action on a request from residents concerned about safety to make traffic-control changes at the intersection of Frederick Street at West Crum Road and Main Street.

However, Burgess Ralph Whitmore and the commissioners decided that no changes were needed at the intersection after hearing the findings of a $3,450 study recommending that the town not install four-way stop signs or a traffic signal.

Stop signs already exist at the W. Crum Road, Frederick Street intersection and at Main and Frederick streets.

The study determined that there are no safety issues or problems at the intersection that would warrant improvements.

“I didn’t want to do the study, and I didn’t want to spend the money,” Whitmore said. “I still don’t think there is that much speeding.”

Town Commissioner Donald Schildt agreed.

“I’m not in favor of doing anything up there,” he said.

There were four reported accidents at the intersection, from Jan. 1 2009, to Dec. 31, 2012, according to the study.

Traffic counts were also conducted at the intersection between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. 30. The study found that 68 pedestrians and 5,843 vehicles used the intersection during that time period.

The posted speed limit along Frederick Street, West Crum Road and Main Street is 25 mph. A radar speed study also conducted Jan. 30 showed that motorists were driving between 27 mph and 30 mph.

For several months, residents along Main Street have complained about the intersection, asking that four-way stop signs or a traffic signal be installed. They even presented the town with a petition signed by 30 residents asking for the signs or a signal.

The council hired Street Traffic Studies LTD of Glen Burnie to study the feasibility of installing a stop sign or traffic signal at the intersection.

Only one resident, Charles W. Combs, testified about the intersection at the Wednesday meeting.

Combs, who works at Galaxy Control Systems, a digital and technology corporation off of Frederick Street in Walkersville, said he has witnessed several accidents at the intersection in the 30 years he has worked for the company.

“What happens if somebody gets killed?” he said. “You can’t bring them back.”

Whitmore dismissed Combs’ concerns.

“Don’t threaten us with that ‘Somebody is going to die,’” he said. “They might, but we’ve only had four accidents up there.”

sgreenfield@gazette.net