Speed limits on U.S. 40 to be lowered approaching Clear Spring

August 12, 2013|By C.J. LOVELACE |

CLEAR SPRING — Speed limits on U.S. 40 will soon be lowered approaching the town of Clear Spring.

The Maryland State Highway Administration has proposed transitional speed zones for eastbound and westbound traffic on National Pike, lowering posted speeds from the current 50 mph limit to 40 mph on the east side of town and 35 mph on the west side of town, according to a letter sent to Clear Spring officials.

“As part of the west end modifications, the existing 25 mph zone will be increased to 35 mph for about 1,200 feet,” K.C. Keith, acting assistant district engineer for the SHA, wrote in the letter. “This is needed to offer an adequate length for the 35 mph zone and is closer to the prevailing speed for this section of U.S. 40.”

Clear Spring Town Council members discussed the proposed change during a meeting Monday night.

Town officials sent a return email to SHA on July 23 acknowledging the proposed changes with no objections.

“Right now, they’re coming in at 50 miles per hour and hitting 25,” Town Clerk Juanita Grimm wrote in the email. “We’re going to reduce speed further out coming in.”

Currently, the existing speed zones traveling into Clear Spring change directly from 50 mph to 25 mph. The posted speed limit within the town’s corporate boundaries will remain at 25 mph, town officials said.

In the SHA letter, Keith wrote that the proposed speed zone changes were a result of concerns expressed by state Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, over the sudden change in posted speeds.

Town officials hope the proposed change will help further slow drivers as they enter Clear Spring’s posted 25 mph zone.

“That’s a good thing,” Mayor Paul D. Hose Jr. said. “That will slow people down a good bit.”

During Monday’s discussion, resident Betty Shank also suggested that town officials consider making a request to the SHA to change the posted speed limit on northbound Md. 68 from 35 mph to 25 mph to help slow drivers entering town from the south, coming off Interstate 70.

Shank said it’s not uncommon for motorists to be going faster than 40 mph as they approach town on Md. 68, which intersects with U.S. 40.

Much of the traffic coming off I-70 during the winter months is headed through town toward Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pa., she said.

“I think that would really help,” Shank told town council members. “There’s such a volume of traffic, I think lowering that speed limit would be so much safer.”

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