Monday, April 27, 2009

getting serious about traffic calming in calverton

The reconstruction of Calverton Boulevard is designed to slow drivers down (or is that person slowing down because I'm in the street?) Note the surface of the road, which was ground down in an earlier attempt at traffic calming.

Roughly fifty feet wide from curb to curb, Calverton Boulevard is a neighborhood street that's become a cut through between Route 29 and I-95. It's got two lanes for traffic, two parking lanes and two bike lanes (which, unfortunately for bikers, suddenly become regular traffic lanes at the Prince George's County line.) Wide and fairly straight, it's a road that encourages speeding, despite MoCo's attempts to mill down the asphalt (the resulting noise was supposed to "scarify" drivers into slowing down) and the introduction of roving speed cameras (one of which, of course, caught me speeding two years ago), all in the name of improving pedestrian safety.

Two years after this great experiment in driver reengineering began, MoCo's finally done something to give walkers an easier time. You might have already seen the construction on Calverton Boulevard, which when completed in a few weeks (warning! PDF file.) will include bump-outs (curb extensions at the corners, giving pedestrians a shorter crossing and a better view of oncoming traffic), islands (which gives pedestrians a safe place to stop halfway across the street) and between Craiglawn Road and Palermo Drive, a narrower street altogether.

While one disgruntled resident wrote the Gazette complaining about these changes last fall, I'm sure many Calverton residents (myself included) are looking forward to an easier time walking around. If you want drivers to slow down, don't make them look out for cameras mounted in white vans. Give them street trees, narrower lanes and places where they can see pedestrians and vice versa. When drivers know they have to pay attention to their surroundings, they'll hit the brakes.

3 comments: said...

Dan, does this mean they'll be paving, finally? I can't tell from your article.

Dan Reed said...

I would assume so. The County has been kind of vague about that, though I assume now that they have actual solutions for speeding they'll replace the asphalt. said...

Thanks! It's about time. I moved to the area 3 years ago, and was wondering why this wasn't paved. No wonder this never worked and required the speedcams. Now, if they could just stop folks from parking roadside on weekends. Thanks for the explanation.

Tanglewood resident and big fan of your blog, BTW.