SHA Launches US 15 Project Planning Study

Citizens are invited to offer their opinions.

 


Baltimore, Md (KM)  The State Highway Administration is seeking public input on the future of Route 15 between Interstate 70 and 270, and Route 26. That’s approximately four miles within the city limits of Frederick.

Barry Kiedrowski, a Chief of Project Management for the SHA, says the purpose is to look for ways to increase vehicular safety on that stretch of highway, which has a high number of crashes. “The latest reporting period we had,  the time was between 2012 and 2015,  that there were some injury crashes and other crashes that were occurring during the morning and evening rush hours,” he says.

In a pamphlet sent out by the SHA, there 378 crashes between 2012 and 2015, with 128 injury crashes. 189 occurred during the morning and evening rush hours.

SHA says it’s also  looking at how smoothly motorists can enter and exit Route 15. Planners, according to the SHA pamphlet, use a Level of Service grading system to determine how traffic gets on or gets off a highway. A grade of LOS A means there’s no problem with drivers entering and exiting a highway, but a LOS F means there’s heavy interaction when getting on or getting off a highway. According to the SHA, at the northbound direction of West Patrick Street,  getting on and getting off of Route 15 has a grade of LOS F.

Kiedrowski says the SHA will be looking at environmental concerns when putting together alternatives for the future of Route 15. “But as the project moves on, those different types of environmental impacts there, whether there’s impacts to wetland areas, or if there’s highway noise concerns, those types of things would need to be evaluated,” he says.

There are six parks within the proposed study area: Baker Park, Waterford Park, Max Kehne Park, Rose Hill Manor Park, Apple Park and Rosedale Park. In addition, SHA has identified five historic resources: Rose Hill Manor, the Frederick Historic District, Schifferstadt House, Guilford and Linden Grove. There are also major stream crossings scattered throughout the 100-year floodplain: Rock Creek, Carroll Creek, Two Mile Creek, and an unnamed tributary to Carroll Creek.

SHA also says it must consider the dense development along the corridor.

“We’ll look at something we call Transportation System Management Efforts, which are looking at more immediate type of connections, and more long term efforts,” says Kiedrowski.

Residents  who want to be a part of drafting the plan can go on line to us15survey.com,and take a survey. They can also speak with the Consultant Project Manager by calling 410-545-8051, or toll free at 1-800-548-5026, or they can send an e-mail to Leo Sawada at lsawada@sha.state.gov. They can also follow the project is roads.maryland.gov.

After the survey period is completed, SHA will identify and evaluate alternatives and hold a workshop in the spring or summer of 2017. The alternatives will be further refined and a public hearing will be held during the winter of 2018-19. The plan for Route 15 is scheduled for completion by the winter or spring of 2019-20.

 

By Kevin McManus