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County to Improve Safety at Middlebrook Road Intersection

Last month, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation released the results of a traffic study of the intersection of Middlebrook Road and Waring Station Road after the Germantown Pulse requested the study back in March.

The intersection has been the site of a traffic collision at least once a month and the County has determined that there are steps which they will take to make the heavily traveled stretch of road a safer.

“We have completed our evaluation at this location,” said Mark Terry, Area Engineer with the Traffic Engineering Studies Section of the MCDOT’s Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations in an email. “And determined that with the considerable volume of left-turning traffic having to cross three-lanes of moderate to heavy opposing through-traffic along eastbound and westbound Middlebrook Road, a modification to the left-turn signal phasing is warranted.”

“Crash data at this intersection between 2011 and 2015 indicated a pattern of collisions for the westbound left turn movement on Middlebrook Road which can be corrected with a signal modification,” continued Terry in the email.

The intersection has been the site of 94 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 been 12 collisions where Middlebrook and Waring Station meet through October 2017, according to MCPD’s collision database.

The data shows that the intersection has good months and bad months. In March of 2016, the area saw four collisions, but none in 2017. There have been just four crashes at the intersection during the month of June since 2010. However, the month of October leads with 12 crashes since 2010.

The major changes that will be made to the traffic flow at the intersection will be the red arrow for left turns, according to Esther Bowring, public information officer with Montgomery County. “There have been a number of collisions with people making left turns at that intersection, what they are going to do is make it an exclusive left turn signal. Traffic will only be allowed to turn left when there is a green arrow. While traffic on Middlebrook Road which is going straight will have a green light, traffic turning left will have to wait until the left turn arrow turns green.”

“The signal phasing will be changed from exclusive/permissive to exclusive for both the eastbound and westbound left turn movement,” wrote Terry. “The provision of exclusive phasing will enhance safety by allowing left-turning vehicles to safely complete their left-turning maneuver with a protected phase.”