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Eastern Boulevard safety discussion continues

Kroboth says staff is working on options, estimates for possible changes there

Kroboth says staff is working on options, estimates for possible changes there

November 11, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County is continuing to examine a stretch of Eastern Boulevard that has come under scrutiny for crashes there, the county's public works director said Tuesday.

Joseph Kroboth III told the county commissioners that staff members are working on options and cost estimates for possible changes.

The most recent crash at the intersection of Eastern Boulevard and Chartridge Drive was Nov. 5. A Hagerstown Police officer said last week that a Berkeley Springs, W.Va., woman leaving the YMCA parking lot misjudged the distance of an SUV coming around a curve and the vehicles collided.

The woman was listed in serious condition at Washington County Hospital last week, but her condition was considered "good" Wednesday.

Kroboth has said county traffic engineers studied the intersection in the spring and determined it had visibility problems, heavy traffic volume and speeds too high for the sight distance.

After last week's crash -- at least the sixth in that area in six months -- Washington County Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire wrote in an e-mail that the city and county need to "jointly discuss possible more permanent solutions" to improve safety, such as a traffic light.

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Commissioner James F. Kercheval said Tuesday the commissioners should talk about which intersections are the worst.

Kroboth said the six accidents reported for that section of Eastern Boulevard since May include three at the Chartridge Drive intersection, while others were closer to the nearby curve.

There were two crashes at the intersection in 2008 and one each in 2007, 2006 and 2005, he said.

Of the 17 worst locations for crashes in Washington County in 2007, one was a state route in the county, four were on interstates and the rest were in Hagerstown, Kroboth said.

County Administrator Gregory Murray said the county already is taking measures to remind drivers of the proper speed in that area.

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