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The Howard County Office of Transportation sent out a notification that is near and dear to my heart…the Oakland Mills Road Complete Streets Study. Here is the information they sent out via email:

Dear Community Members,

We have completed gathering and reading all of the input we received about Oakland Mills Road, including both online and in-person comments. We received over 40 survey responses, as well as emails, phone calls, and helpful conversations.

Linked here is an overview of the public input we received, as well as the following draft vision statement for Oakland Mills Road, based on the public’s expressed concerns about and ideas for the roadway:

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Proposed Vision Statement for Oakland Mills Road

“Oakland Mills Road shall facilitate access between residential, retail, recreational, and other destinations for users of all transportation modes, while prioritizing safety of people walking and bicycling, transit riders, and turning vehicles over the speed of drivers traveling along Oakland Mills Road.”

This statement will be the basis for the development of concept proposals for Oakland Mills Road, so it is essential that it reflects the vision of as many Oakland Mills Road community members and road users as possible. Therefore, we are requesting comments on the draft vision statement. To provide comments, click here.

Please feel free to distribute this vision statement and comment form to friends, neighbors, and others who use Oakland Mills Road. Comments on the vision statement will be accepted until March 15, 2019.

While the review of public input was ongoing, the project team perform also detailed counts of motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic at every intersection along the corridor, and is in the process of reviewing the crash data for trends, recurring issues, and common themes. We anticipate holding our next public meeting, to present our concept proposals, in late summer or early fall. As a reminder, all project information, including past presentations and boards, is available at the project website: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/County-Administration/Transportation/Transportation-Projects/Oakland-Mills-Road-Complete-Streets-Study.

Sincerely,

Howard County Office of Transportation

Here is a summary of public input:

What Respondents Liked about Oakland Mills Road
Respondents like that Oakland Mills Road is a low-traffic “shortcut” that helps avoid congestion on MD 175 and Snowden River Parkway. Several respondents, who lived in the Sewells Orchard or Orchard Hill communities, pointed out that for them, Oakland Mills Road is the only way to
access their homes. Several respondents commented that Oakland Mills Road was well treated in winter weather.

What Respondents Found Challenging about Oakland Mills Road
By car: Respondents found turning onto and off of Oakland Mills Road hazardous, for reasons including vehicle speeds, limited sight distance due to terrain or oncoming vehicles also desiring to make a left turn. Respondents also commented on congestion at the Oakland Mills Road/Snowden River Parkway intersection, and dark conditions at the Old Montgomery Road roundabout.
On transit: No respondents completed this question.
By bicycle: Respondents stated that high vehicle speeds and a lack of bicycle facilities were significant challenges to bicycling on Oakland Mills Road.
As a pedestrian: Respondents noted two distinct challenges as a pedestrian along Oakland Mills Road: lack of continuous sidewalk, especially all the way to Snowden River Parkway, and a lack of safe crossing opportunities, even where crosswalks were provided. Respondents stated that vehicles tended not to yield to crosswalk users at Dawn Day Drive.

Here is a map with “Project Objectives and Themes”:

A few comments I have and will be sending forward:

  • I could not agree more with the statement “Respondents also commented on congestion at the Oakland Mills Road/Snowden River Parkway intersection”. Traveling south/west on Snowden and trying to take a left on Oakland Mills is a disaster during afternoon rush hour.
  • Oakland Mill goes further than just Snowden River Parkway…and I hope they consider extending the review all the way to Guilford Rd. Here are a few reasons why:
    • (1) Taking a left off of Berger Road onto Oakland Mills is a disaster and regularly vehicles have to pull out into traffic to attempt to go left from that location.
    • (2) Taking a left off of Oakland Mills Road onto Procopio Circle is not great…there is a serious blind spot for oncoming traffic created by the hill the road is on and it is dangerous.
    • (3) Turning left from Oakland Mills onto Guilford Rd can be congested during rush hour. This is a popular cut through from Snowden River over to RT 1 (which is part of why Snowden and Oakland Mills can get congested as well).

Here is a map with my notes above listed on the map:

Click for larger image

Have other concerns…”The initial public comment period for this project has concluded. However, general comments, feedback, or questions are always welcome. To provide a comment, or for more information, email transportation@howardcountymd.gov or call (410) 313-4360.”

Scott E