Speed Safety Gang

Frederick Speed Safety Gang founders Gayle Petersen, left, and Vicki Sipe stand with two of the many signs their group had made and placed along many city streets asking drivers to slow down. The initiative began in May.

If you’ve driven through Frederick’s Villa Estates neighborhood lately, the yellow signs are hard to miss.

They contain a variety of messages but have one common theme: slow down.

Gayle Petersen, a Lee Place resident who has helped organize the signage, said she noticed the problem when she moved back to Frederick about 18 months ago. But she knows from talking to neighbors that it has been a problem for much longer.

The streets in the neighborhood are about a half-mile long and mostly straight, which lets drivers get up to speed quickly, said Vicki Sipe, who also lives in the neighborhood.

“You get yourself a nice long head of steam, is what seems to be happening,” she said.

She believes many of the drivers are people cutting through the neighborhood, going from Rosemont Avenue to a nearby shopping center on Seventh Street, or vice versa.

“We’re between places for them. They just have to get through us,” Sipe said.

The problem also gets worse when U.S. 15 gets backed up, and drivers cut through the neighborhood to get to Fort Detrick, Frederick Health Hospital or elsewhere, said Harrison Fisher, who lives in the area.

His street is pretty wide, he said, but not wide enough for two lanes.

Residents have had mirrors knocked off of their cars, and Fisher hesitates to take his two young children out of the car on the street in front of their house.

“It’s borderline kind of scary,” he said.

The neighborhood used to have more older residents, but it has transitioned lately into more families with young kids, Fisher said.

Petersen said they’ve met informally with Mayor Michael O’Connor and had a good meeting with Frederick Police Department Chief Jason Lando and Zack Kershner, the city’s director of public works, to see what steps can be taken to help solve the problem.

They’ve also met with several city aldermen and have plans to meet with the others.

“Citizens have to take responsibility. And when they engage, things happen,” Petersen said.

Sipe said they would like to see speed limits lowered from the current 25 mph and some traffic-calming devices installed, but they’ve asked the city to come up with a list of options that could be done.

They’d like to use the neighborhood as a pilot program for what can be done in older neighborhoods around the city, she said.

She said a bigger police presence can make a difference, but officers can’t be there all the time.

“We need some short-term relief,” Sipe said.

Petersen said they realize the problem is bigger than just putting up a few stop signs or making other changes. But the residents of the neighborhood aren’t going anywhere.

“We are going to stick with this to see things implemented,” she said.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(27) comments


Shame we can't use the Hoke rope.


These signs only make me go faster




You've previously bragged in multiple comments about your skills at texting while driving, Pb, and your refusal to stop doing it. So, just out of curiosity, how fast do you go over the speed limit while texting at the same time?


Maybe a neighborhood program to record the speeders plate numbers and speed would help. Video the actual scene, and use a radar gun for the speed. This one is accurate to +/- 1 mph. Build a database, then present it to The city council and Mr. Lando.



I saw the signs but was going too fast to read them. Only a joke, folks.


There are so many of those signs up. They really put the point across. I think there are a lot of drivers that don't realize the speed limit in residential Frederick is just 25 mph.


I agree three. I don't think people are aware that the speed limit is 25.


who cares ?


The neighborhood does. Why do you ask?


Yes, I have been saying this for a long time, Worman's Mills neighborhood streets are speedways, they need these signs. They are just wait for something

drastic to happen.


Currently Military Road is a two-way street which only allows parking on the east side. The street is not wide enough to safely permit two-way traffic and parking. For years, many Military Road residents, have parked their vehicles with the right two wheels on top the curb to prevent vehicle damage.

While this may not be the perfect solution it might be worthwhile to consider this option. Residents should be allowed to retain parking in front of their residents. Designate the street as one-way north, this would continue to allow access to the Detrick main gate from Rosemont and could continue to be used by local motorist that may be traversing from 40W area to Frederick Shopping Center. Traffic flow could be reduced by 50%.

Motorists traversing from the Frederick Shopping Center/7th Street to Rosemont/40W area would retain safe travel from 7th to Rosemont on Schley and Wilson which possess traffic control intersections at Rosemont.


“… this would continue to allow access to the Detrick main gate from Rosemont…” Detrick’s Main Gate is off Opossumtown Pike.


I think the 7th St gate gets the most traffic and it used to be the only gate, so it is fair to call it the main gate.


Sorry, I am a geezer, to me the main gate was 7th Street.

But those exiting the 7th Street gate would be directed east on 7th Street and not south Military Road. Those that want access to Rosemont most likely would utilize the Old Farm gate if that is still open.


Not a bad idea.

Greg F

What area doesn’t have speeding? Waterside Dr…26 past the Walmart…65 - 70 there all the time. 15…70….270. Name a time when some jag off didn’t pass you doing 90….or tailgate you so bad until you moved over.


What's your point, that there's no difference between a speeding problem on a quiet residential street vs an interstate highway?


I beg to disagree with you, C.D. A residential street is more likely to have pedestrians crossing and some of them don't look either, But the driver of the car will always be guilty.


Ummm, Dick, that was not what I was asking Greg in my reply to his comment. Far from it, actually. When he brought up speeding on interstate highways in an article about speeding on a residential street, I was asking him if he thought that there's no difference between a speeding problem on a quiet residential street vs an interstate highway. Because there is. I hope that helps clarify it for you.


I don't know why speed cameras are limited to school and construction zones, but I believe a lot of speeding problems, including on Rt. 15, would be drastically reduced if those restrictions were lifted.


The Sheriff lives up that way and it has been a problem for years and he has done nothing about it. Instead, he goes down to the Mexican border to ride a speed boat. He should pay attention to his job and stay home!


Oh Christ, Dick, are you ever going to get over his trip down there? Jeesh, that was years ago! Why don't you have something to say about Harris refusing to go there herself for 100 days after Biden declared her the Border Czar? And then, when she finally went, all she did was a quick photo op in El Paso, refusing instead to go to where the real problem spots are? And what did her two day vacation to Guatemala and Mexico accomplish, huh? All she did there was to look at the news camera and say "Don't come." Yeah, like that's going to stop the problem Biden created. All the future immigrants planning to come up were watching her on their TVs and, when they saw her say that, they all thought, "OK, we won't go." Right? Good Lord man, you really need to open your eyes to what's really going on!

Now, I know you won't answer these questions, but what would you have Sheriff Jenkins do about the speeding problem on Rt. 15? And, if your buddy Bickle ever was to become the sheriff, do you expect him to do something about it? And, if he doesn't, are you going to criticize him for it? Think man, think!


One last question for you, Dick; the MD State Police are also responsible for patrolling Rt. 15 so, where is your criticism of them for not stopping the speeding on that highway, huh?


Harris is not a police officer and you know as well as I do that Jenkins was just showing off, grandstanding for his political supporters, like you. And he has done other things to show his lack of education and vindictiveness.


I never said Harris was a police officer, Dick, but she was put in charge of the problem and has done nothing about it. If she had, it would have been all over the news. As far as Jenkins "grandstanding," I suppose you would call it that whenever a president or other official visits a disaster area, like after a hurricane struck, huh?

I noticed you had no answers to any of my questions, how convenient! And, how typical for you.


It's about time someone got serious about this. The mess started when the city screwed up and had to allow the Sheetz store to be built. Traffic lights at 3 streets make it easy for traffic to use the neighborhood streets as a cut through. Historically, Ft Detrick has been terrible to work with until the last fiasco forced them to not close the Old Farm Gate. The gate that needs closing to daily employees is the Main Gate. Streets are literally flooded with cars and "illegal" trucks at rush hours (several streets have posted No Trucks Over 3/4 ton but it's not enforced). As far as traffic calming; it's a great idea but Fire Co 1 will strenuously oppose it, especially on Wilson Pl. It was tried previously and they said it would be dangerous for ambulances because they sit so low to the ground. Also, slowing down could be the difference between life and death for a patient. So, traffic calming will be a difficult sale.

I hope something can finally be done. It is dangerous in this neighborhood. NOTE: don't let the mayor off the hook. He knows the problem because he also resides in this neighborhood.

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