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Traffic concerns residents

October 11, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

FUNKSTOWN - A Poplar Street couple told the Funkstown Town Council on Monday they were concerned that roughly 600 vehicles pass by their home each day.

Greg McCoy said he has watched traffic increase on Poplar Street - a side street in town - each year. He mentioned his concerns about traffic to a friend who is a Washington County Sheriff's Department deputy, McCoy said. The deputy send a "speed trailer" to Poplar Street to measure the number of vehicles that pass by, and also their speed, McCoy said.

In a little more than five days, 3,375 vehicles passed by the trailer, according to McCoy's data. The maximum speed was 35 mph, and the average maximum speed was 28 mph. Denise McCoy said there is no speed limit posted on Poplar Street.

The average speed on the road during that time was 22.56 mph, according to the data.

Greg McCoy said a deputy told him after the week of tracking vehicles and speeds that the street is a "goldmine" for the department.

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McCoy said children, who often ride bikes or walk along the road, could be hurt because of the number of cars on the road each day.

Town council members agreed that Poplar Street is easily the second busiest street in Funkstown. Baltimore Street is the first, they said.

Town council members told the McCoys to speak with neighbors and see if they agree there is a problem. Greg McCoy said he would like to make Poplar Street a one-way street.

Mayor Robert Kline said traffic along the road will only get worse as the town's roads cope with the impact of growth and new development. He said Poplar Street is being used as a shortcut for Hagerstown and Smithsburg residents.

At last month's town meeting, the council voted to place four white strips at two intersections with stop signs on Poplar Street. The strips were installed two weeks ago, and some council members said they aren't doing much to help the problems plaguing the street.

"I knew when we put (the strips) down, they weren't going to work," said Councilman John Phillips III. "They help people to stop, but they won't help relieve the traffic."

He said one problem might be the fruit trees that block stop signs along the street.

"They can't see the stop signs," Phillips said.

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