New Traffic Signal is First Step in West Old Baltimore Road Intersection Improvements
If you commute on MD-355, you are very familiar with the bottlenecks just north of Germantown in the small sliver of Boyds which exists between Germantown and Clarksburg. You might have also noticed that is going a little smoother — just a little more orderly — over the last few weeks. You may have noticed the new traffic signal at the intersection of West Old Baltimore Road. The traffic light went “full color” on Thursday, June 29, according to Christopher Bishop, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. The traffic light is a temporary fix to an ongoing problem. The light was constructed in advance of a proposed intersection improvement project at Rt. 355 and West Old Baltimore Road. “The signal was installed in advance to address the safety concerns of the community,” said Bishop. “The signal was put up to address some concerns raised by the community regarding turning movements in to and out of West Old Baltimore Road on to MD 355, due to the high volume of traffic at peak times.”
The larger proposed intersection improvement plan is still early in the planning and design process, said Bishop. “The project calls for a realignment of Old Baltimore Road. Currently West Old Baltimore Road intersection with MD 355 at a fairly sharp angle. Once the project is completed West Old Baltimore Road will meet as a straight T intersection.” According to Bishop, the proposal also includes widening MD 355/Frederick Road to provide a northbound left-turn lane at West Old Baltimore Road, as well as a southbound right-turn lane north of West Old Baltimore Road. The project also includes an acceleration lane on southbound MD 355 for those making a right on to Frederick Road from West Old Baltimore Road.” Another aspect of the intersection improvement plan is a ten-foot wide shared use path along southbound MD 355 to the project limits, according to Bishop. However, since the project has not been designed yet, he was unable to give specifics about how long the path would be once completed. The intersection improvement project is still in the design phase, and construction is tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2018, said Bishop.
Captions: Top: Motorists can see these “New Signal” signs on MD-355 as they approach the intersection with West Old Baltimore Road. Next: The new traffic light at the intersection is a temporary fix for a safety concern due to issues at the intersection of MD-355 and West Old Baltimore Road. Eventually, a proposed intersection improvement project will realign where the roads meet and widen MD-355.