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Takoma Junction Signal Change Impeding Some Traffic

Task force members want a seat at the table.

Takoma Junction Signal Change Impeding Some Traffic

at the Takoma Junction is impeding traffic according to some Takoma Junction Task Force members.

The change in the traffic signal on Sycamore Avenue has created a better traffic flow on Carroll Ave., and probably keeps the traffic at status quo on Ethan Allen Avenue but created a problem on Sycamore Avenue, said Howard Kohn, the Takoma Junction Task Force co-chair at the committee’s meeting on Thursday.

Because of the change in the traffic signal on Sycamore Avenue, it appears that traffic on Ethan Allen Ave. is able to keep going at the same time the Sycamore Avenue traffic is trying to turn onto Ethan Allen Avenue, Kohn said.

The light on Sycamore changes while Ethan Allen Avenue still has the green, said Lorig Charkoudian, task force member. So Ethan Allen Avenue traffic is continuing at the same time Sycamore Avenue. traffic is trying to turn, and by the time Sycamore Avenue traffic is attempting to turn, there are cars on Ethan Allen Avenue preventing Sycamore Avenue traffic from turning, she said.

The traffic signal situation at Ethan Allen and Sycamore Avenues is creating “a jam up,” because before the cars on Sycamore can turn, three or four cars on Ethan Allen are halted at the intersection with their back ends out in the opposing lanes, said Susan Robb, task force member.

Robb said the change at the intersection occurred not long after she observed Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) employees working on a traffic signal at the junction. The change in the signal might possibly have created “dangerous situations” in the traffic, she said, adding “something needs to be done.”

Task force members noted the SHA took action at the junction not long after Takoma Park Police Chief Ronald Ricucci contacted the SHA. That has prompted some task force members to want to be part of any conversations with the SHA on the junction.

“There’s a chance too many people from Takoma Park are asking the SHA to do almost contradictory things,” Robb said. “The point is we need to stay abreast of the situations with the police chief, who has apparently contacted SHA.”

While Takoma Park residents, neighborhood associations, and even a city task force can have conversations with the SHA, “ultimately, the SHA is going to respond much more directly to the city staff than others, said Kohn. Therefore, the task force needs to find out which city staffer is tasked with meeting with the SHA, and task force representatives should be at those meetings, he said.

“We [task force members] should have a seat at the table because some of us know more about the traffic than anyone on the city staff,” Robb said.

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