SHA Plans to Improve Rt 1 Pedestrian Safety At I-495 Ramp

Recently a north College Park resident and high school student came to the NCPCA meeting and suggested to make some improvements at the I-495 ramp near the Edgewood Road and Route 1 intersection.

The SHA engineer studied the intersection further and made the following changes.

(1) SHA review confirmed that pedestrians currently do not have adequate time to cross the south leg of US 1 at Edgewood Road.  As a result, we have increased the crossing time to better suit pedestrians.  Please note that SHA uses 3.5 ft/sec of walking speed, as recommended by the nationally-accepted Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), to determine the pedestrian crossing time at signals.

(2) SHA will consider the idea of in-pavement lights, especially with the solar-powered LEDs.  SHA previously approved new traffic control device products for use on State roadways.   In the past, we have piloted in-pavement lights to illuminate a crosswalk at MD 500 (Queens Chapel Road) and Northwest Branch Trail crossing.  However, the pilot project failed due to maintenance issues.  Specifically, water leaked into the devices and caused them to malfunction.  Since then SHA has not used any in-pavement lights to illuminate crosswalks or pedestrian paths.

(3) SHA will install pedestrian signals for the crosswalk across the Ramp from I-495 Inner Loop (IL) on to US 1, lighting at both crosswalks at the intersection and a sidewalk connection between the Ramp crosswalk and the crosswalk on the south leg of US 1.  SHA initiated design efforts to implement these improvements.  The design and construction of these improvements will take more than a year to complete.

SHA also reviewed the left-turns from the off-ramp from I-495 IL on to US 1.  Motorists were observed to be navigating this movement appropriately, and have adequate green time to turn left on to Edgewood Road.  The off-ramp traffic moves independently of all other movements at this intersection.  As a result, they do not recommend any additional changes for this off-ramp movement at this time.

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