Residents of north College Park have long been complaining about the vehicle and pedestrian safety at the intersection of Edgewood and Rhode Island Avenue. In addition to the safety concerns, the intersection poses a traffic nightmare for the motorists – it takes sometime 10 to 15 minutes to cross that intersection during the rush hours.

The County’s Public Works have been working to improve the intersection for several years.  On November 19, 2007, they arranged a public hearing at the Beltsville Agricultural Center to seek public inputs. They have also received many feedback from the local residents through their website here.

Comments from the residents were wide ranging. The include: (1) Install a traffic signal at the intersection, providing a three‐lane approach from each direction comprised of one through lane, one right turn lane and one left turn lane. (2) Continue the bike lane, which currently ends at Paducah Road, northbound towards U.S. Route 1 (3) Enhance safety at Sunnyside and Rhode Island avenues via geometric improvements to the intersection and the installation of a traffic signal (4) Introduce roundabouts with sidewalks and crosswalks to enhance safety and reduce cut‐through traffic

In reviewing the comments received, the Public works decided that there was an overall acceptance of the planned traffic signal at the intersection. Based on this, the county will proceed with the proposed Phase One improvement. This will include geometric improvements and the installation of a traffic signal at the Rhode Island Avenue and Edgewood Road Intersection.

“..the Edgewood Road Intersection was prioritized as a recommendation for Phase One of this project due to a traffic analysis performed by DPW&T, .. this as a failing intersection.”– commented Maureen Wilson, the project manager of the intersection improvement project.

According to the proposed design, there will be a three‐lane approach from each direction comprised of one through lane, one right turn lane and one left turn lane. There will also be modified access to the southbound Rhode Island Avenue Access Road at the Edgewood Road Intersection to allow for right turns out and improved bus turning movements. Future (additional) safety improvements include the installation of roundabouts at Indian Lane and Hollywood Road, and resurfacing and repaving of the entire roadway, as well as restoring existing crosswalks.

Ms. Wilson and Arman Abrahamian of DPW&T  were present at this month’s NCPCA meeting to discuss the intersection improvements. According to Ms. Wilson, work is slated to begin in the spring of 2011, extend through the summer, and into the fall. Signalization was slated to occur at the end of 2011. She however said she did not know when the City approved cameras would be installed at the intersection.

You can get more about the intersection improvement project here.