Glenn Dale Citizens Association

P.O. Box 235

Glenn Dale, Maryland 20769

Henry Wixon, President

January 10, 2005

Charlie K. Watkins, P.E.
District Engineer
Maryland State Highway Administration
District 3 Office
9300 Kenilworth Avenue
Greenbelt MD 20770

Dear Mr. Watkins:

With increasing traffic and possible declines in the funds available for new road construction, it is particularly important for the state to use the existing road network as efficiently as possible, both to keep traffic moving and to keep the roads as safe as possible. In and around Glenn Dale, there are a number of intersections where questionable or obsolete lane striping on state roads impedes traffic or creates a possible road hazard. Repainting the lanes would be very cost-effective.

  1. At the intersection of Glenn Dale Rd (Md-953) and Annapolis Rd (Md-450), south bound Glenn Dale Road has two lanes at the traffic light. One lane is for turning left (east) onto Md-450, the other lane is for through traffic and right turns. Because of this configuration, a single vehicle going straight at the light will block all the vehicles attempting to make right turns. It would make much more sense to have one lane for right-turn only and another lane for through traffic and left turns. The majority of traffic makes a right turn at this intersection (going toward DC), and very few vehicles make left turns. The few left-turning vehicles would not impede through traffic anyway, because the lights are timed to give the oncoming traffic a head start, meaning that left turning vehicles rarely need to wait for the intersection to clear--and the intersection is so wide that through traffic could pass a left turning vehicle anyway. Moreover, the intersection seems designed for right-on-red turns onto Md-450, because an extra right lane on Md-450 starts at that intersection while through traffic on Md-450 is directed to the center and left lanes. The intersection seems to have been designed to allow right-turn on red from Md-953 to westbound Md-450--and in fact before the lanes were painted that is how the cars tended to queue up on their own. Therefore, we request that the signs be alterred so that the right lane of southbound Md-953 is reserved for right turns onto westbound Md-450.

  2. Three lanes of Md-564 approach the intersection with Md-450, Princess Garden Parkway, and the Capital Beltway (I-95). The right lane of Md-564 is reserved for people turning right onto Princess Garden Parkway; the center lane of Md-564 feeds into the ramp to I-95 North; and the left lane of Md-564 feeds into the right through lane of Md-450, which people also use for I-95 South. None of the Md-564 lanes feed into either the center or the left lanes of Md-450. The striping does not reflect the actual distribution of traffic flow: ( a). Because well less than one third of the traffic makes a right turn onto Princess Garden Parkway, about half of the vehicles in the right lane of Md-564 change lanes between where it merges onto Md-450 and the light at Princess Garden Parkway. (b). Similarly, about one third of the traffic in the center lane of Md-564 makes a leftward lane change before being forced into I-95 North. This is hardly surprising, since far more than one third of the traffic coming from Md-564 is either continuing on Md-450 or taking I-95 South. All of this lane changing in the midst of a complex intersection is a safety hazard.

We suggest that the lanes be restriped to reflect the reality of the traffic flow. We see two ways of doing so. The best way would probably be for the right lane of Md-564 to serve right turns onto both PG Parkway and I-95 North; the center lane of Md-564 could feed into the right through lane of Md-450 and thus serve I-95 South, and the left lane of Md-564 would feed into the center and left lanes of Md-450. This approach would stop both types of lane changes from cars coming from Md-564; we do not know whether it would affect the traffic coming from Whitfield Chapel road on Md-450. Another possibility would be for the right lane of Md-564 to continue to be an exit only lane onto PG Parkway, and the center lane of Md-564 being painted onto the right through lane of Md-450, which would enable that lane to convey traffic from Md-564 to I-95 in either direction, with the left lane of Md-564 again feeding into the center and left lane of Md-450.

3. On Glenn Dale Rd (MD-953) near the Glenn Dale Elementary School, a cross walk is painted between the day care center and Jim Titus' long gravel driveway at 6718 Glenn Dale Rd. This leads some people to assume that the gravel driveway is a public thoroughfare--not a safe assumption given the blind corner on that driveway and the bushes that line it. If the crosswalk was moved 15 feet to the south, it would connect the daycare center to the school parking lot.

4. On MD 564, at the new entrance to the Eastgate Shopping Center, a left turn lane needs to be painted for cars traveling north. We are glad to see that part of the right shoulder has been painted as a right turn lane for cars traveling southbound.

We hope you can make these cost-effective improvements in the next several months. If you have any questions about our concerns, please feel free to call me at 202-942-8459 ( ) or have your staff contact Jim Titus at 202-343-9307 ( Thank you for all your efforts to move traffic in Prince George’s County.

Yours truly,

Henry Wixon

Cc: Senator Leo Greene
Del. Mary A. Conroy
Del. James W. Hubbard
Del. Marvin E. Holmes