RALE: Town center study underestimates increased traffic

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
11/28/2013
A report commissioned by Monrovia residents states that a transportation study for a proposed 1,510-home development in the area is riddled with flaws and underestimates the traffic that would be created by the new housing. The group of residents who oppose the Monrovia Town Center project has sent the analysis to officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration. The group, Residents Against Landsdale Expansion, also requested a meeting with state transportation officials before Frederick County commissioners begin deliberating on the town center project planned near Md. 75 and Md. 80. In his letter to the SHA, RALE’s president, Steve McKay, wrote that the development as planned would put drivers at risk. “It is difficult to imagine that there will not be serious adverse safety consequences that result from adding the amount of unmitigated traffic to Md. 75,” McKay wrote. “These safety concerns have been underscored by 11 hours of testimony by well over a hundred residents over the course of three nights before the Frederick County Planning Commission — many recounting first-hand accounts of severe traffic accidents on Md. 75.” After the series of recent meetings, the planning commission recommended approval of the developer’s request to rezone 457 acres from agriculture to planned unit development. The commission members also voted favorably on a proposed agreement between the county and developers.

One in four county bridges in line for upgrades

Frederick News Post
Kelsi Loos
10/20/2013
Keeping Maryland's bridges safe for traffic is a big job. Frank Mills, a State Highway Administration supervisor, oversees 18 inspectors who work in seven teams to check the integrity of bridges and overpasses around the state. “A lot of them work seven days a week,” he said. Inspectors check welds, bearings, cement and guardrails for deficiencies. They also make sure a thick coat of paint is in place to prevent rust damage. “We use pretty simple tools, geology picks, that kind of thing,” Mills said. A geology pick is a small hammer often used to chip rocks. When counties issue a flood warning, like Frederick did earlier this month, crews check bridges for scour — or erosion — on bridge pillars as waters rise. Mills' crew has thousands of bridges to inspect and keeping up with all of them can be challenging, he said. “We're always shoveling sand against the tide,” he said.

County hears input on transportation priorities

Frederick News Post
Kelsi Loos
09/23/2013
County staff members and representatives from the State Highway Administration met with the commissioners last week to go over transportation priorities for Frederick County. Transportation projects tend to develop slowly, so many of the items on the county priorities list were carried over from earlier years. The overall top priority remains widening U.S. 15 between I-70 and Md. 26. However, three key changes were made possible by state funding. Planners secured construction funding for the U.S. 15, Monocacy Boulevard interchange and a streetscape project on Main Street (Md. 144) in New Market. Streetscapes generally involve improving or adding sidewalks and upgrading roadways to make them more navigable.

City, county officials back regional transportation plan

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
07/31/2013
Residents should speak up for easier commutes and road and bridge repairs, according to Frederick city and county leaders. At a joint news conference Tuesday, Frederick County Commissioner Paul Smith and city Alderwoman Carol Krimm praised a drafted transportation priorities plan that is under development by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Almost all major transportation projects need the council's blessing, so it's important to make sure the group's long-range plans reflect Frederick's needs, said Smith and Krimm. The Frederick area has significant infrastructure issues, the officials said. "We are actually behind the curve," Smith said.

U.S. 15-Monocacy interchange gets regional stamp of approval

Frederick News Post
Kelsi Loos
07/25/2013
It could soon get easier to travel across town in Frederick now that a regional transportation planning board has given its blessing to the long-awaited U.S. 15 and Monocacy Boulevard interchange. The Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board voted last week to include the project in its transportation improvement program. Construction is set to be completed in 2016. The state agreed in May to use funds raised from the gas tax increase to foot the $84.5 million bill for construction, but the plan still had to be approved by appropriate regional authorities — in this case, the council of governments.

Frederick aldermen begin discussions on Crum and Keller properties,

Both properties could mean 2, 050 new homes on 555 acres of farmland
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
07/17/2012
The mayor and the Frederick Board of Aldermen this week will begin reviewing plans that, if approved, could mean the construction of 2,050 homes on 555.43 acres of annexed farmland north of the city.

State Highway Administration: Keep county slogans off signs on state roads

Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
01/31/2012
Frederick County wants to make it known that the county is "open for business." That might be the slogan the board of commissioners has adopted, but the State Highway Administration says those three words don't belong on signs along state roads. "People put up signs because it sends a message," Commissioners President Blaine Young said Monday. "We want to send a message that we're open for business. We are thankful for the businesses here, and we are doing what we can to make the environment more business-friendly." The signs in question say: "Welcome to Frederick County. Open for Business."