NewsRegionAnne Arundel County

Actions

What's being done about dangerous Rt. 50 and Highway 97?

Posted: 11:17 PM, Nov 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-14 23:18:57-05

Since 2012, there have been six wrong way deadly crashes on US highway 50 and I-97 in the Annapolis area.

On Wednesday night dozens of people came out to Magothy River Middle School to voice their concerns to Highway Administration Officials and State Police. 

“It’s the darkness and it’s just the fear of going out on a road and you just don’t know when it’s your time,” said Marc Greenspan who lives in White Hall.

That darkness even confusing people like Phil Ferrara who has lived in Arnold for 20 years.

“We were driving to Pennsylvania at 6 o’clock on a Saturday morning. There wasn’t a single light on exit 28. Not a single light was burning, and I almost turned onto the exit for eastbound 50 I almost went down the wrong way and I’ve been living here 20 years,” said Ferrara.

Greenspan said another issue is the design of the interchanges

“Not normal cloverleaves which it would be a lot more difficult to go the wrong way on a cloverleaf then it is on some of the entrance ramps we have. I get off on exit 31 right before the Bay Bridge it’s a very odd intersection. I always warn my friends before they come over of the very dramatic slowdown where you have to make a right turn through a guardrail.”

Maryland State Police Commander Michael Daugherty said In four of the six deadly wrecks alcohol was involved.

“We’re up 36 percent right now on DUI enforcement, and that's significantly up from last year,” Daugherty said. “We’re going to continue that throughout the Christmas season and the rest of the year.”

Kimberly Tran, the Acting Deputy District Engineer for The Maryland Highway Administration said they have already been to work improving and adding signage and arrows on the ground at the 22 interchanges.

“Add the one-way sign underneath the do not enter sign, lowering the signs closer to the ground,” said Tran. “Studies have shown that impaired drivers don’t tend to look up as high. If we can get those signs directly into their come of vision, three feet mounting height for the wrong way sign we think they will be more likely to see those.”

Tran also took suggestions from the crowd for specific areas that need improvements and creating work tickets for them.

Many people reported that a lot of the lights on the interchanges and highway haven’t been working for months.

Tran said they are working to fix the lights but didn’t have a timeline when they would all be up and running. 

If you want to report a light out or a road issue click here