As a resident of the Hollywood neighborhood, I have mixed feelings about the new light that's been installed (but not yet activated) at the intersection of Hollywood Road and Route 1. Although I’m looking forward to making easier left turns from Hollywood on to Route 1, I’m not excited about what will surely be an unintended consequence of the light: increased “thru traffic.”
See, when that light starts to go red, traffic is going to back up in the northbound lanes of Route 1. When that happens, impatient drivers hoping to avoid the traffic insanity at the intersection of Route 1 and Cherry Hill Road will cut through the neighborhood via Fox, Cherokee, Delaware, etc., en route to the intersection of Route 1 and Edgewood Road. (This is why citizens concerned about the impact of new development on traffic are rarely appeased by the installation of so-called “traffic calming” measures.)
Now, I don’t like sitting in traffic either, so I can’t really blame drivers for wanting to take the road less traveled through the neighborhood.
However, I can and will blame them for speeding through the neighborhood with little disregard for residents, including the kids riding their bikes in the street. We’ve only just begun to have nice weather and I’ve already seen kids narrowly escape getting hit by careless drivers on two separate occasions.
So what can be done about this? How about some “No Thru Traffic from 3:00–7:00 pm, Monday through Friday” signs on the streets like Fox that run perpendicular from Route 1, into the neighborhood? I confess that I have no idea how these things are enforced—or if they’re enforced at all—but I’ve seen them on the edge of other residential neighborhoods, and if they keep some cars on the main roads then they just might be worth it.
The other option, of course, is to have police hang out in the neighborhood with their eyes peeled for those flaunting the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit (I’m not sure this is enforced, either). After all, weren’t the city’s speed cameras supposed to free the officers up so they could focus on other things?
And speaking of Fox Street, have you noticed the giant pothole near the intersection with 48th Avenue (or maybe it’s 48th Place…). Given its width, “pothole” really isn’t the word—I’m going with “depression”—but no matter what you call it, it was born of WSSC’s previous work on the neighborhood’s sewer lines.
Word on the street (no pun intended) is that WSSC’s contractor will begin repairing the depressions in mid-May. However, the specific dates for those on streets west of Rhode Island Avenue have not been released because the contractor is reportedly behind schedule.
Smith is a resident of north College Park. He blogs (occasionally) at www.ncpinformant.com.