Safety Officials Address High Crash Rate on I-83 in BaltimoreMarch 27, 2019
There are over a dozen major interstate highways that run through the state of Maryland. None, however, have a crash rate as high as I-83, which has more than double the amount of crashes compared to other Maryland highways. A recent study found that there are some short-term solutions, but they could cost the city millions of dollars. The study examined the causes of these accidents and identified potential short- and long-term solutions that could improve the safety of the highway and prevent future accidents.
The study found that there were close to 38 accidents per mile on the highway between 2010 and 2014. Other Maryland highways only had roughly 16 crashes per mile. According to the Safety Study by a Philadelphia-based civil engineering consulting firm, the Jones Falls Expressway/Interstate 83 does not have regularly posted mile markers that help police and Baltimore’s Traffic Management Center report accurate crash locations. For example, there are no mile markers south of the Howard Street overpass. The cost of posting additional mile markers is approximately $104,300.
Proposed Safety Improvements
Possible short-term solutions include high-friction surface treatments, improved signage, solid line lanes, and pavement temperature sensors. The high-friction surface treatments involve a skid-resistant layer of pavement that makes the roads safer during inclement weather conditions. Locations that could receive treatments include the turn at Penn Station near the Guilford Avenue exit, and the curves south of Cold Spring Lane, including the 41st Street overpass and north of Falls Road. The cost for these projects is estimated to be close to $2 million.
The researchers made long-term recommendations as well, from automated speed enforcement and variable speed limits to dynamic message signs and closed-circuit TV cameras that would provide improved monitoring. Improved signage could also help prevent speeding, which the consultants agreed was a significant issue. The estimated costs for these long-term projects were not included in the report.
According to the study, most of the accidents occurred during the 2 a.m. hour, which suggests that the crashes were not directly related to a high volume of traffic. Close to 42 percent of the accidents occurred when the roads were wet or snow-covered. The researchers stated that the study provided valuable information on how to make improvements to highway safety, transit services, traffic, and effective ways to protect the surrounding residential streets.
Some residents in the area who drive the I-83 everyday were not surprised that the study revealed a high incidence of crashes. They did not need a study to tell them that the highway was poorly built and potentially unsafe. According to a city councilman, other measures like reducing the number of lanes and knocking the highway down were not considered.
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If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident involving unsafe roadway conditions, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. Your safety should not be compromised by public roads that are hazardous or unsafe in any way. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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