A Mount Airy resident raised concerns this week about speeding on a main road in town.
Traffic on South Main Street, referred to as South Main Street extension, has been an ongoing problem in the town, said Mayor Pat Rockinberg. But the issue came up again Monday when new town resident Lisa Lessin and a neighbor said they have witnessed people speeding down the street and turning around in their driveways.
It’s a frequent occurrence stemming, in part, from folks who have just attended festivals or visited Linganore Winecellars and are trying to find Interstate 70 to head home. But they end up taking the wrong road having to turn around in residents’ driveways.
The town has taken multiple steps to try to prevent people from taking the wrong road, Rockinberg said, including putting up cones on South Main Street during busy days in order to make it almost like an obstacle course to turn down the road.
Another step included addressing a GPS service that mistakenly sent drivers down South Main Street extension, Rockinberg said.
But despite the town’s efforts, drivers continue to speed down the road and end up needing to turn around. Rockinberg said he was surprised that the cones did not prevent the problem from recurring.
The town plans to put electronic signs up during festivals, including an upcoming one on June 15, Rockinberg said.
“And if that doesn’t stop it, I’m not sure what we can do,” he said.
If the signs do not arrive in time, a Mount Airy police officer might be stationed on the road to inform people. It is not illegal to go down the road, but the officer can help with speed enforcement, Rockinberg said.
The road could be even more busy on June 15 when Mount Airy hosts its chili cookoff and Linganore hosts a festival, Patty Washabaugh said after the meeting.
Linganore has been a good partner in the road concerns, Rockinberg said, adding that Linganore helps bring people to the town.
“They’ve been very helpful and very good to work with,” he said.
Michael Borum said the winery tries to alert its patrons to the tricky road. It only happens when people leave the winery because the turn only happens heading to I-70.
For those attending the FreeState Beer, Wine and Seafood Festival, other Linganore events or just checking out the winery, when heading to I-70 on the way home, check for signs and for the sharp turn.