The Baltimore Sun’s traffic reporter Michael Dresser dug a little deeper into last Thursday’s epic traffic backup in and around Constant Friendship shopping center. While most people seemed to blame the Dec. 23 jam that trapped last minute holiday shoppers for hours on the center’s one way in and one way out design, Dresser heard from an area resident who suggested that the intersection’s reconstruction — meant to improve traffic flow — may have made it worse.
Dresser wrote in his “Getting There” blog post that an Abingdon reader who lives off of Tollgate Road suspected the removal of the dedicated right turn lane from northbound Tollgate Road to southbound Route 24 may have contributed to the nightmarish Dec. 23 backup that even police couldn’t help resolve.
The reconstruction is part of a Maryland Transportation Authority project to improve the interchange at Interstate 95 and 24 to create better traffic flow on northbound I-95.
Dresser checked with Maryland Transportation Authority spokeswoman Teri Moss to see what she had to say about the removal of the dedicated lane. She told him:
“The right turn dedicated lane from northbound Tollgate Road to southbound MD 24 was removed and other lane configurations have been adjusted as needed to allow for the new bridge/interchange construction while maximizing capacity on MD 24.”
She said the situation should be improved when the overpass is complete late this coming year:
“Once the project is complete (anticipated in late 2011), delays will be minimized as traffic turning right from northbound Tollgate Road to southbound MD 24 will no longer have to compete with MD 24 thru traffic. Motorists traveling on northbound and southbound MD 24 will utilize the new bridge overpass and bypass the intersection.”
But that still leaves the Constant Friendship shopping center with its four big box stores and only one way in and out.
Click here to read Dresser’s blog post: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/2010/12/route_24_mess_explained_sort_o.html#more