Sunday, February 19, 2012

Franklin Avenue to Get a Lot More Fun This Fall

While the scheduled repair of the University Boulevard Beltway bridge may not  have a noticeable effect on those living close to downtown, some of us who live in the '01 should be a bit wary about the revised traffic patterns associated with this project.

The current plan is to close the outer loop beltway exit to University during the bridge repair and re-route traffic to the southbound Colesville Road exit and back across to University via Franklin Avenue. Additionally, the number of lanes on University crossing the bridge will be reduced from three to two during the duration of the work.

The work, which begins this fall, is scheduled to last two very long years. 

As someone who already makes that left turn onto Franklin from Colesville each weekday evening, I am definitely not looking forward to the implementation of this detour. I also think that residents of the Indian Spring neighborhood might want to consider lobbying for some sort of new traffic restrictions, as their neighborhood streets are an obvious cut-through alternative between Colesville and University.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the work or the detour, there's an "informational workshop" scheduled for Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 in the Blair High School cafeteria.

UPDATE:  Directing traffic to exit the Beltway at New Hampshire then cut across Piney Brand Rd to University is the best alternative I have heard so far. Doesn't this make far more sense than routing traffic through a residential neighborhood? For one thing, drivers would have to stay on the Beltway for two fewer exits.

I guess ultimately the 'official' detour is irrelevant, as people are going to take whatever route they deem fastest for them.

Did anyone get a chance to go to the presentation regarding the detour held at Blair HS on Tuesday night?


Justafed said...

Indian Spring resident here: no, we are not amused by this new construction project. There are the cut through issues, but also the potential problem of people trying to bomb down Franklin at beltway speeds; there is already a group working on how to calm traffic on Franklin (which is already in pretty bad shape). Apparently, nothing will be done with Franklin until after the bridge detour is over. Whee!

Of course, the situation is even more complicated than that since there will be substantial work on Piney Branch at the same time as well.

Plus, as soon as they finish these projects, with any luck they will start work on the Purple Line. So by 2020 we will be in awesome shape, but in the mean time, things will be tricky.

Anonymous said...

Of course,by the time the show airs, the restaurant could be history.

Robert said...

It seems like it would make more sense to have the detoured drivers to get off the Beltway and go west on University to the U-turn lane just beyond the McDonald's at U.S. 29 and then go back east on University to their destination. That would keep them off of neighborhood streets and probably be faster, too.

Mike said...

Robert, at first, I thought that was an eminently sensible suggestion. Then I realized the backups waiting for that U-turn will be horrendous. Ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

I live in the Four Corners area, and for us, it's confusing whether the *entire* ramp will close, or just the ability to make a left at the end of it. I think (and hope) it's the latter, but will be at the "open house" just to make sure. The big thing that I wonder is why they couldn't have done this before the godawful ramp redesign project that they did about two years ago. None of this would have been an issue if the old ramp was still there.

Alex said...

Another problem with this is the physical condition of Franklin. I drive that road quite a lot and it frequently has some bad potholes and road wear. The additional traffic that this re-routing will cause is going to no doubt place additional strains on the pavement.

Sligo said...

I am in full support of the New Hampshire > Piney Branch Rd > University Blvd alternative that has been proposed because it seems to make infinitely more sense.

Anonymous said...

Agree that New Hampshire > Piney Branch Rd > University Blvd makes more sense.
About the ramp... just the left turn to University East will be closed.

Anonymous said...

Reading the listservs (and here too) it's History's Greatest Tragedy, again. I suspect people will find their own way around once the minor closure starts as the official suggested detour will be ignored just like every official detour route has been ignored since time began.

Anonymous said...

While New Hampshire > Piney Branch Rd > University Blvd might seem to make sense to some, there is most likely far more foot traffic on that route then Colesville > Franklin. Piney Branch Rd is also a residential street, especially between NH and University.

Anonymous said...

Obviouly Annon 4:36 does not live in the area. Piney Branch is a 4 lane commuter highway between N.H. and Univ. and not residential. Franklin is 2 lane road with strickly residential single family housing. With the very long traffic light at Univ. and Franklin, there will cetainly be a lot of cut through traffic on the side roads.

Anonymous said...

Another Indian Spring resident here: I'm in agreement that New Hampshire > Piney Branch Rd > University Blvd makes a lot more sense than routing people down Franklin. Does anyone know if there will there be any other public meetings on this issue?

Anonymous said...

While there will probably be a lot of congestion along University at the project area because it will be down to 2 lanes in each direction, I think the detours only affect those who live in the Indian Spring, Franklin Knolls and Long Branch areas. Those who live along University closer to and East of Piney Branch will take Beltway to NH to Piney Branch route. Those who live in the Indian Springs area will take the Beltway to 29S to Franklin route. I'm not sure it will be a huge increase in traffic along Franklin as many of those that will use that route, live in that area and would just be entering the neighborhood from another direction.

Anonymous said...

Obviouly Annon 4:36 does not live in the area. Piney Branch is a 4 lane commuter highway ...

And please tell us what types of buildings mostly line either side of the commuter highway between NH and Univ. Do more people live on this stretch of road, or on Franklin?

Justafed said...

Concerning the number of people who live *on* Franklin and East Franklin vs. the stretch of Piney Branch in question...

Way more on Franklin. Over 80 houses directly on Franklin, a 2-lane road with only partial sidewalks. Hundreds more if you count the homes on the likely cut throughs. On Piney Branch, a lot of multi-family dwellings, but most of them do NOT have direct access from Piney Branch (all of the stuff on the south side has access from Carroll or NH, on the north, the buildings all have their own pretty long access roads/drives.

Nobody said this was going to be lots of fun, but Franklin is absolutely not set up for this where Piney Branch has twice the lane capacity and a much better (albeit still not great) light situation at University.

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