For most Frederick residents, the opening of a new section of Christophers Crossing is an important addition to the local infrastructure to help ease traffic concerns on the north side of the city.
But some residents of the Clover Ridge community have concerns that the new road will lead to more drivers speeding through their neighborhood.
People in the neighborhood have been worried for a while because they knew that the project – which was officially opened Friday – was preparing to open, said Laura Rigsby, whose family lives in Clover Ridge.
The new segment connects the end of Christophers Crossing in Clover Ridge to a roundabout at the intersection of Walter Martz Road and Poole Jones Road.
The $4.9 million project fills in a 1,850-foot, four-lane missing section of Christophers Crossing, which will ultimately stretch from U.S. 15 north of Frederick to U.S. 40, on the system’s west side, an important transportation corridor in the city.
With the opening, Rigsby worries that people from outside the neighborhood will be cutting through to get to U.S. 15., and what speeds they’ll be traveling when they do.
The city recently raised the speed limit in the neighborhood from 25 mph to 30 mph.
She said she doesn’t want to keep cars out of the neighborhood, just make sure they’re traveling at safe speeds.
She’s also concerned about a straightaway that runs from Opossumtown Pike to the new traffic circle, which creates another worry.
“It looks like a drag strip. And that’s how it’s going to be treated,” she said.
Ron Prue, another Clover Ridge resident, also worries that there’s nothing to slow drivers down on the stretch between the entrance to Clover Ridge and the new circle.
Like Rigsby, he’s not worried about the increased traffic, just the speeds of drivers.
At 73 and retired, Prue said he’s not concerned about himself.
But the neighborhood has a lot of young families with small children, who don’t always pay attention when they walk or ride their bikes around the neighborhood, he said.
In an email to several residents who had contacted him, Cherian Eapen, a traffic engineer for the city, acknowledged their concerns and said that the city always looks to engage citizens through a comprehensive planning process that looks at improved traffic flow and transportation access, and enhanced pedestrian safety.
Eapen noted that Christophers Crossing is classified as a primary arterial road by the city.
“This roadway encircles the city along with Monocacy Blvd and is intended to move traffic through the city safely and efficiently at slightly higher speeds, connect communities between regional and local residential roadways, and to ensure timely emergency response throughout the city,” he wrote.
The city is planning more improvements to Christophers Crossing to help with traffic and pedestrian safety, he noted, including installing a traffic signal at the intersection of Opossumtown Pike and Christophers Crossing, which will have enhanced pedestrian crossings.
They’re also looking at chances to improve pedestrian crossings at Moran Drive and Wheeler Lane, he said.
To help address speeding concerns, Frederick police will provide extra traffic enforcement in the area and collect speed data for further analysis, he said.