Earlier today, the State Highway Administration (SHA) shared some preliminary results of the 28/198 Corridor Improvement Study, which could transform the major highway in Spencerville and Burtonsville. The public is invited to share their opinions about the study at the public hearing on June 19, 2017 at Blake High School (more info below).
Where can I find information about the project?
According to project manager Jeremy Beck, the main project report, the Environmental Assessment, is currently being reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration and will be available on the project webpage for public review on or before June 2nd.
Detailed maps that show property impacts will be finalized and posted following the June 5th Open House for those who have property that could be potentially displaced.
Until more detailed information is made available, SHA has released the slides from last week’s stakeholder meeting as well as a project brochure, which they said were recently mailed out to interested and affected residents and property owners.
The two download links below are the most recent information about the project at this moment.
I would like to express my gratitude to our District 14 state delegation (Senator Craig Zucker and Delegates Eric Luedtke, Anne Kaiser, and Pam Queen) and Brian Anleu (Deputy Chief of Staff for Councilmember Tom Hucker) for pressing the SHA to publicly release this information so that the public has adequate time to review the project in time for the public hearing. Although SHA presented detailed maps of the proposed road improvements last week at a stakeholder meeting, the maps have not yet been made public.
You can also visit www.fix198now.com to learn more about the project, as well as several issues and solutions for various segments along MD 198.
What is SHA proposing?
The study splits the 28/198 corridor into five unique segments in order to separately evaluate the unique characteristics of the road through each community. Segments
Here are a few highlights of the report:
Segment B (Cloverly; Layhill to MD 650) will remain unchanged.
Segment C (Spencerville; MD 650 to Old Columbia Pike) will remain as a two-lane road. However, SHA is considering the following improvements:
- 8 foot-wide bicycle-compatible shoulder on each side
- 10 foot-wide shared-use path
- Possibly a median or a two-way center turn lane
- Possibly roundabouts at Good Hope Road, Thompson Road, and/or Peach Orchard Road
- Additional westbound left turn lane at MD 650 (New Hampshire Avenue)
The following improvements are being proposed for Segment D (Burtonsville; Old Columbia Pike to US 29):
- 4 foot-wide bicycle-compatible shoulder on each side
- 10 foot-wide shared-use path on south side
- 5 foot-wide sidewalk on north side
- Additional westbound left turn lane at Old Columbia Pike
- Either a two-way center turn lane or a median
The only improvement being proposed for Segment E (West Laurel; US 29 to I-95) is a 10 foot-wide shared use path along the south side of MD 198.
What is not being proposed?
Most notably, SHA is not considering the overwhelming preference of Burtonsville residents to make the commercial area a more walkable and connected community. This shortcoming by SHA has been discussed in detail in a recent opinion piece on Greater Greater Washington titled, “This Maryland road could be a lot safer, but only if community asks for it“.
Also notably missing from the study are any considerations of additional crosswalks or traffic lights.
Will there be any property takings?
The potential property displacements or impacts are listed below. A displacement means that a building will have to be demolished. An “impact” as defined by the SHA could range from negligible (a few feet) to significant (an entire front yard). For more information, refer to the documents above.
- Segment A: 2-4 displacements and approximately 70-90 impacts. According to the SHA, the Norbeck Community Church could be displaced and East Norbeck Local Park could be impacted.
- Segment B: no impacts
- Segment C: 8-9 displacements and ~100 impacts. Several churches, parks, and historical properties could be impacted, and the Washington Spencerville Korean SDA Church could be displaced.
- Segment D: 2 displacements and ~20 property impacts.
- Segment E: 1 displacement and ~30 impacts.
Information about the Public Hearing
Provided by SHA
Come to the upcoming Public Hearing regarding improvements to the MD 28 / MD 198 corridor! Provide written or verbal (public or private) comments for public record before a preferred alternative is selected. Please contact Mr. Beck by June 12, 2017 to add your name to the speakers’ list.
Monday, June 19, 2017
6:00 PM – Displays
7:00 PM – Presentation/Testimony
James H. Blake High School (Auditorium)
300 Norwood Road
Silver Spring, MD 20905
Mr. Jeremy Beck, Project Manager
Maryland Department of Transportation
State Highway Administration
Project Management Division
707 North Calvert Street, MS C-301
Baltimore, MD 21202
Toll Free: 1-800-548-5026
What can you do to get involved?
- Bring your opinion to the upcoming Public Hearing. You must email the project manager by Monday, June 12 to register to give testimony at the public hearing!
- Even if you are not planning to testify, please consider attending the public hearing to learn about the project.
- To learn more about the project, visit www.fix198now.com, a website created by the community to raise awareness of the project (disclaimer: fix198now was created by the author of this post and is not affiliated with SHA).