What's wrong with this picture?

December 12, 2010
  • There are no signs showing the upcoming intersection of Indian Lane and Md. 64. This photograph is looking at Md. 64 toward Antietam Creek.
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: On Md. 64 east of Hagerstown, signs are needed to warn traffic of upcoming turns into the Sunset Acres development, just east of Antietam Creek, area resident Constance Nunamaker wrote in an e-mail.

“When turning into the lane, you put (on) your (right) signal and pray that the car behind knows that there is a road,” Nunamaker wrote.

She said that, headed east on Md. 64, there are signs warning of upcoming turns into many other streets, but no signs warning of the turns for Indian Lane, Cheryl Drive or Scott Hill Drive, which make up the Sunset Acres development.

“This problem has been going on for over 50 years,” Nunamaker wrote. “Now that this road is so heavy with traffic, it is a must to make sure these roads are marked.”

Nunamaker said she contacted the State Highway Department, which is responsible for signage along Md. 64, but was told it was not possible to put up the signs she requested.

Who could fix it: Maryland State Highway Department

What they say: SHA Spokesman Charlie Gischlar said Friday that traffic engineers would take another look at the area within the next two weeks.

However, based on video footage from SHA’s Automatic Road Analyzer, engineers didn’t think side-road warning signs were a good idea for the Sunset Acres streets, Gischlar said.

“There simply is not enough room to continue to put all those signs,” he said. “It would begin to get confusing.”

Gischlar said side-road warning signs are not required unless there is a sight-distance issue, but they are also placed in areas that are busier in terms of traffic or pedestrian volume. However, having too many of that type of sign can cause confusion for drivers not familiar with the area, so SHA is careful not to place them where they are not needed, Gischlar said.

 — Compiled by Heather Keels

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