A recent spring storm dumped too much water for the storm drains to handle. More properties than we know took on a bit of water. The storm was a reminder that downtown flooding has had a significant impact on properties for at least five years.

The YMCA invested more than $1 million in flood control after a devastating flood. That’s more than a million dollars that could have gone to child-care programs, the new South County facility or employee salaries.

Last year, the city paid for a study performed by the Army Corps of Engineers to analyze the problem and make recommendations to fix the problem.

The project to increase stormwater drainage should be paired with a project to widen the Market Street sidewalks in response to the call to make outside dining a permanent amenity for businesses that want to offer outside seating.

If we widen the sidewalks, replace parking meters with centralized parking boxes, add a bike lane and continue to make the parking decks an attractive option, we can keep Market Street traffic flowing — especially for emergency vehicles — while we enhance our downtown streetscape.

If elected, I promise to deliver solutions, not just another study that gets put on a shelf.

Jennifer Dougherty is a Democratic candidate for mayor in Frederick.

(14) comments

Travis Bickle

One lane on Market St. That`s wonderful. Then every time a car attempts to park the traffic can back up from there to Lough`s Monuments. It shouldn`t take more than 30 minutes to get from South Market to 7th St. Please submit some more brain dead ideas.


You exaggerate, Travis. A single car parking won't do that. Also if someone wants to drive the length of Market they'll be better off taking the expressway route onto 70 and US15. We do need a third lane each direction on 15 and that is in the works. The primary function of Market St through downtown, I suggest, should be trips with an origin and a destination in downtown not a 2-lane speedway for through traffic.


Actually, I don't think Travis exaggerated.


3c: well you already have a single lane northbound from Lough's to S St, and north of 7th St. I haven't heard any outcry about delays from cars parking on those stretches. There is no logic to the two lanes S St to 7th, given the single lane on each end.


Jennifer is correct to pursue flood solutions and better sidewalks. YES! The bike lane thing is ridiculous folly, prompted by a single constituent who has several menu items named after them on Jennifer's restaurant menu. Jennifer....you are better than that. Stand on your own. You have everything it takes to win without pandering to that crap.


Some excellent points in both LTE and reader responses. To accommodate outdoor dining, proper sidewalk widths, and bike lanes (absolutely needed as bikes should be able to travel in both directions on the roadway), perhaps we should do as many larger cities have done and adopt rules that restrict truck deliveries to non-peak daytime or nighttime hours.


It's growth that has in a large part caused the flooding. More impervious surfaces lead to more runoff going into the same old drains and conveyance systems. The county chose to tax property owners only $1 each to help fund stormwater runoff solutions. What do you plan on doing to appropriately fund infrastructure before adding more growth that doesn't pay its way?


Key to improving Market and Patrick streets downtown is reducing them from two through traffic lanes to a single through lane lane, and adjusting traffic signals for a slower speed. Then a bike lane won't be needed. That extra 11 feet from the elimination of a. through lane will allow wider sidewalks. Jennifer D is right to emphasize the priority that should be given to enlarging storm water pipes as part of the rebuild. She's right too that on-street parking can be redesigned. Whoeve in the City chose those ugly white water-filled plastic monstrosities to enclose on-street dining should be kept well away from the street redesign.

Guy T. Ashton

It might be a hard sell to reduce down to one lane, but i think it has merit. The downtown as a whole would benefit from wider walks, slower (and quieter) traffic, and more outdoor dining. The question is where should the traffic go instead? But then, what we have now is clearly not the answer.


Guy, consider that we already have a chokepoint limiting traffic to a single lane northbound on Market St south of South St where it is one lane each direction. Similarly Patrick Street is a single lane westbound all the way from the Fairgrounds to East St. The additional lane where Market and Patrick go one-way cannot get more than one lane's through-traffic because they are fed through the chokepoints in those two-way segments feeding them. Similarly at the ends of those 2-lane one-way segments, they drop to a single lane: northbound at 7th St on N Market and at the west end of South St on West Patrick. So it isn't as if there is much traffic to be diverted elsewhere because of the four chokepoints. The way to 'sell' the idea is to demonstrate it for a month or so with temporary barriers, cones etc. At intersections there should be short turn lanes to hold turning traffic and prevent it blocking through traffic. But the bulk of the second lane can be used for wider sidewalk or bike lanes.


Yah, given the huge expense, I don't see any way forward on a proposal to reduce the traffic lanes and slow down traffic.


So you plan to widen the sidewalks and widen the streets for bicycle lanes. Is there space to do both? If so, I like both those ideas, but is it likely that all that new paving will mean there will be even less natural drainage when it rains, causing worse flooding? I remember hearing on NPR how construction and paving resulted in terrible flooding when combined with increased storms caused by global warming.


The traffic flow on Market St. is regularlyy compromised by truck deliveries to businesses there. If you widen sidewalks and add a bike lane the travel lanes and / or parking slots will necessarily be narrowed, or the parking slots will have to be eliminated.


Sorry, I left out that the NPR story was about Houston, which is sometimes a victim of hurricanes.

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