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Many factors determine whether a road should be widened. The first step would be to perform a traffic study. Most of the time these are initiated by citizens’ complaints or the need to correct a problem due to growth in the area. Other factors include the amount of traffic, safety concerns, and the number of accidents on the road. You may call Highway Engineering, 410-638-3509, for information on county road widening projects.
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These usually mean that some type of construction is about to take place. These marks have been painted by Miss Utility and show the location of utilities in the road. For example, gas lines are yellow, water is blue, sewer is green, electric is red, and telephone is orange.
The first thing the county would do is determine exactly where the water is coming from and whether it is a county problem or one that needs to be addressed by the developer or adjacent property owners.
Sometimes a neighbor can change the grade of his property, creating water problems for his neighbors. If the county decides it is a county problem, we will send an inspector to the area to make sure it is not being caused by routine maintenance, such as a clogged pipe or culvert, a curb that needs to be replaced, or a drainage ditch that needs to be cleaned out.
Both the county and the state are responsible for installing traffic signals on county and state roads. If the intersection involves a state and a county road, the state is responsible for installing the signal. A traffic count is performed and the accident history of the intersection is researched. Then, if the intersection meets federally established criteria, the light is programmed for funding and construction into the capital account and installed.
Please refer to our Road Reports for a listing of roads closed due to weather, construction, or special events.
Maryland vehicle law sets basic speed limits for various classes of streets and highways. The law provides that these limits can be raised or lowered, based on the results of traffic engineering studies.
The following conditions may influence speed limits:
- Atypical traffic characteristics because of particular land use or other conditions- Road design elements substantially above or below what are atypical- Prevailing speeds consistently higher or lowers than the statutory speed limit- Transition between rural and urban areas on major highways- Schools or other significant pedestrian traffic areas- Road construction activity- Frequent collisions in which speed is a contributing factor- Unusual or unanticipated conditions
A traffic engineering study is the observation and analysis of road and traffic characteristics to guide the application of traffic engineering principles. The study of traffic limits includes the following:
- Review of the road's environment, features, and conditions and traffic characteristics- Observation and measurement of vehicle speeds at one or more representative spots along the road in ideal weather and under free-flowing traffic conditions- Analysis of the vehicle speeds to determine average and 85th percentile speeds and other characteristics- Review of the road's crash history- Review of any unusual conditions not readily apparent to the driver
The 85th percentile speed is the speed at or below which 85 percent of the motorists drive on a given road when unaffected by slower traffic or poor weather. This speed indicates the speed that most motorists on that road consider safe and reasonable under ideal conditions.