I applaud the Maryland State Highway Administration for attempting to create a safer U.S. 15 north of Frederick by eliminating some of the crossroads and installing center U-turn lanes, but they seam to have created a new problem.

Drivers who want to go south on U.S. 15 from Old Frederick Road must now turn right and travel north to use the center U-turn lane at Devilbiss Bridge Road to change direction and head south. No more crossing over and turning left.

This has created a situation where drivers will turn right from Old Frederick Road and immediately cut across the two lanes of traffic traveling at highway speeds to enter the left U-turn lane. They are often traveling well below the posted speed limit and rarely signal. This is a high-speed rear-end collision waiting to happen.

Drivers traveling in the right lane are taught to change to the left lane if we see someone entering the road from the right. We are not expecting that person to immediately cross into the left lane at a low speed.

I am not sure what the solution is, but this one may have made it worse.

Noel Hazelwood


(16) comments


Pennsylvania made the correct improvements to their Rt. 15 years ago, but they had the funds to do so because they didn't have a governor like O'Malley diverting transportation funds to balance a poorly managed state budget like he did. The same improvements are what are needed to be done in Maryland to do the job properly and the current "fixes" are nothing but band aid solutions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my belief that when a municipality employs speed cameras, they (city or county,) do not purchase the cameras. The company who supplies them places them at no cost and their compensation is a share of the fines collected from violators, the balance going to the municipality. I believe putting at least half a dozen cameras on each side of 15 from the state line to Frederick would go a long way to controlling the speeding on that road which is the major problem.


The first exit to the left on 15 Northbound is not a U turn lane. People are rushing to get over to make a U turn there. You need to drive to the next left turn off of 15 to make the U turn where there is a merge ramp for people who are making the U turn on Southbound 15.


If slow drivers moving to a U-turn and then merging the other way are at danger from being hit by others, the speed limit is too high. Any person who hits another in front of them is at fault - in my opinion.


Have you considered that maybe the u-turn is not far enough down the road? Would you lower the speed limit and have many slow down for the few (relative to through traffic) that may want to do a u-turn?


Good point, and I might suggest that if the "55 limit" were enforced, that it would be much safer. Either fix the problem or slow the traffic or even do both. "Budget solutions" can cost the most.


The U-turns are not safe. They should have seen that when people from Biggs Ford Rd crossing 2 lanes to turn at Sundays lane to go southbound 15 and vice versa. People haven't care there for years and cut people off causing accidents. This will in fact, makes matters worse for the people at Old Frederick Road trying to do the same thing.


Just curious... if I am going south on US 15 and want turn into Frederick Road, do I have to cross the northbound lanes?


Yep, seems like idiots are in charge of the highway planning. They did the same closing off Willow Road leading to Homewood. Seniors use to have no issues coming and going and now have to travel to Biggs Ford Rd and make a Uturn. These are people in their 60-80’s.


Yes, but in the case of Homewood, you get off on a ramp, going north and go over top of 15. If you are going south you can easily merge onto 15. Besides, you can always go out Opossumtown Pike into Homewood from the back side.


Yes it seems they're idiots. But it's more likely they are trying to make the highway safer on the cheap. The proper fix is proper interchanges each with a bridge over the highway for crossing and left turning traffic. But there's no money to do this. The gas tax is increasingly used for transit projects, but it is dying as a revenue source because of better fuel economy and, soon, electric cars. Meanwhile closing the median to cross traffic and forcing left-turners to go past their turn to a median U-turn does improve safety -- but at the cost to motorists of going out of their way.


I agree with the concern expressed in this letter. It is dangerous and not the best decision to make this type of change.


I suppose you will, but I can not even find "Frederick Road" on Google Maps. Does it have another name?


Old Frederick Rd. Just looked it up under that name.


road- [thumbup][thumbup]


True. But not even close to 15. What am I missing?


No. They closed off the cross over access to turn left off of southbound 15.

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