Speed limit changing along Golden Mile in Frederick Co. this week

The speed limit along the Golden Mile in Frederick County, Maryland, is changing from 45 mph to 35 mph this week, the state’s highway administration said.

The new speed limit applies to the nearly 2-mile stretch of Route 40 (West Patrick Street) between U.S. Route 15 and Old Camp Road.

Andrew Radcliffe, a district engineer with the Maryland State Highway Administration, said the agency started studying speed patterns along the stretch last fall.

In October of last year, Frederick police said a man in a wheelchair was hit and killed by a garbage truck along the Golden Mile. The incident prompted the agency to “take another look at operations.”

Even though the current speed limit is 45 mph, Radcliffe said most traffic was moving at or below 41 or 42 mph. But the agency also considered pedestrian patterns, and noticed in addition to the commercial development in the area, there are also a considerable number of residents nearby.

“We have residential development, just off of the commercial development,” Radcliffe said. “A lot of people walking the corridor and crossing [U.S. Route 40], as well as a lot of signals with traffic entering and exiting US-40.”

Many people nearby seem to walk to work, he said, and the change to 35 mph was selected to “balance mobility and accessibility through the corridor.”

The agency considers the stretch a “suburban activity center,” Radcliffe said, and for those, it usually recommends a 35 mph speed limit.

The number of crashes, he said, isn’t significantly increasing, but crash data for the area is above the state average, which he called concerning.

Signs are being installed to reflect the change.

Between 45,000 and 120,000 cars drive along the road every day, the agency said.

“That mobility factor is big in the consideration here, but it’s also the balance of the mobility of the cars traveling through, the people trying to get across the road and the local trips trying to get off and on the road,” Radcliffe said.

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Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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