As the 2017 Mobility Assessment Report, released earlier this year concluded, traffic in Montgomery County continues to be an issue in the county, but for Germantown residents, one intersection has become a larger problem than others in the area.
The intersection of Middlebrook Road and Waring Station Road seems to be the site of a traffic collision at least once a month, and now after a request by Germantown Pulse, the County will study the intersection to determine if there are steps which can make that heavily traveled stretch of road safer.
“The Traffic Studies Section of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations is conducting a traffic study for this intersection based on your request,” said an email from Dewa Salihi, Chief of the Traffic Engineering Studies Section to the Germantown Pulse. “In general, traffic studies are initiated proactively by MCDOT or in consultation with police in areas where crashes have occurred. Or, traffic studies occur when MCDOT responds to MC311 inquiries or emails, phone calls or letters from residents, community associations and elected officials.”
The intersection has been the site of 87 traffic collisions since 2010, according to MCPD’s collision database. In 2016, the intersection saw 14 collisions, while there were only seven the year prior in 2015. There have already been five collisions where Middlebrook and Waring Station meet in the first two months of 2017, according to MCPD’s collision database.
“Middlebrook Road is a major arterial in the Germantown District, so these numbers are not surprising,” said Capt. Thomas Didone, Director of MCPD’s Traffic Division. “Anecdotally, I would say that less than one a month would be low for a roadway with that volume.”
The data shows that the intersection has good months and bad months. In March of 2016, the area saw four collisions, while there have been just two crashes at the intersection during the month of June since 2010. However, in the months of January, April, November, and December there been nine crashes, while the month of October leads with 10 crashes since 2010.
The intersection was already part of an ongoing Pedestrian Road Safety Audit along Middlebrook Road. The onsite audit was completed last November and focuses primarily on pedestrian and bicycle safety issues along the corridor.
The traffic study, which the County is now undertaking at the intersection will take 90 days and includes a more in-depth analysis of the signal timing and the phasing components, according to Salihi. “We will consider several factors such as the intersection turning movement count, the most recent Police-reported three-year crash history at this location, current signal timing and phasing, intersection and roadway geometrics, field observations and prevailing speeds. We will look for crash patterns and, if warranted, develop countermeasures to address the crash trends.” The MCDOT has promised to share the results with Germantown Pulse once the study is complete.
Top: An old photo of one of the 17 reported collisions at the intersection of Middlebrook Road and Waring Station Road in 2014, according to the MCPD collision database.
Next: A chart of the collisions at the intersection of Middlebrook Road and Waring Station Road, showing a total of 87 crashes since 2010
File photo by Germantown Pulse.