What's wrong with this picture?

September 19, 2010
  • Cars make their way through the busy Dual Highway-Cornell Avenue intersection in Hagerstown, where there is no traffic signal.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

Editor's note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.

We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes or consumer problems.

The problem: There is no traffic signal at the intersection of Dual Highway and Cornell Avenue.

"At any given time, there are vehicles entering Dual Highway from Cornell (Avenue), Howard's, the liquor store and the paint store," Becky Bruchey wrote in an e-mail. "In addition, there are vehicles trying to U-turn in both directions, and, last but not least, vehicles are turning onto Cornell from both directions of the Dual (Highway)."

Bruchey said the volume of traffic at the intersection increased when drivers realized they could use Cornell Avenue as part of an alternate route to Robinwood Medical Center and avoid the traffic light at Mount Aetna Road.


"Once the new medical center opens, it will just get worse," she said.

Who could fix it: Maryland State Highway Administration

What they say: SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said the SHA studied the Cornell Avenue-Dual Highway intersection in late 2007 to determine if a traffic signal was needed. At that time, none of the criteria that can justify a traffic signal -- factors such as traffic volume and number of preventable crashes -- was met, Gischlar said.

However, the opening of Meritus Medical Center at Robinwood and a commercial development near Mount Aetna Road could change those factors, Gischlar said. He said the state would wait until those projects were complete and operational, then conduct a new study to see if a signal is needed at Cornell Avenue and Dual Highway.

"Right now, since we just did a study not too long ago, there's not going to be significant changes at this point," Gischlar said.

He said the SHA encourages drivers not to use Cornell Avenue to access Robinwood Medical Center.

"For folks who are trying to beat a light, they're actually spending more time trying to make a left at Cornell there than if they go up the street to Mount Aetna," Gischlar said.

--Compiled by Heather Keels

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Hagerstown MD 21740

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