Roadthink – does one-waying of East Patrick St make sense

I’m back on road-think. Fred News Post had an interesting piece this morning on 270’s congestion and how its in the list of the worst in the state. State money applied to 3rd laning of 270 and 15 would do so much more for getting Frederick visitors than applied to conference center… oh well.
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/study-ties-i–traffic-flow-to-economic-health/article_d4038439-5d40-50fa-81ba-0ece40513387.html/

But more central to our beloved DH&CC in the winning Plamondon bid dated May 2014 on p102 it says “…A traffic impact study has been completed. The conversion of East Patrick Street to two-way traffic is strongly encouraged…”

I don’t have any opinion for or against at this point. If it were just a hotel then traffic would be no big deal — because 200 arrivals and departures are spread out over many hours. But with a conference center catering to 500 or 1,000 people you can have a single event start time and everyone attending arriving in a 15 to 20 minute time slot for the event start time and a large number wanting to depart at the same time. Then you can have major traffic impacts.

Two-waying of East Patrick from East to Carroll Streets may help. Apparently the study suggests it will. You get a lot of traffic at the intersection where one-way goes to two-way, in this case Carroll Street. Can Carroll Street north and south handle the extra traffic?

When you get any volume of turning traffic in our 36 ft wide streets (curb to curb) you need to dedicate a turning lane for a distance. If the traffic is 2-way then you really need to do away with curbside parking completely to have a central turning lane and through lanes on either side. What will the businesses and people say about that?

Traffic signals need to be completely rejigged at at least two intersections. Again, I have no preconception for or against. But it is quite a big deal. The traffic effects could be felt quite widely.

To start to discuss this reasonably we need the traffic impact study mentioned in May 2014 as “completed” back then. I’ve made a formal request to both parties, but we should – I suggest – work various contacts to get the study in the public domain.

Traffic could be a major issue for this project at the Planning Commission. 2016.05.18

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