Some don’t feel safe driving in Bowie. More speed cameras are about to show up

In the city of Bowie, Maryland, residential speed limits are 25 mph. But drivers use some streets there to cut across town and avoid red lights on the state-maintained roads. The residents who live there say they don’t always feel safe.

“Sometimes it’s scary,” said a woman walking her dog along Millstream Drive. She didn’t want her name used in this story. “You never know when people are paying attention or when they’re not.”

That stretch of Millstream Drive, near the intersection with Chapel Forge Drive, as well as a block on Pointer Ridge Drive in south Bowie, will be the first to get new speed cameras. The city authorized cameras in 21 residential areas.

“People pass me on the road and you’re not supposed to pass on double yellow lines,” said one man who lives on Millstream Drive. “I almost got hit turning into my driveway because I was getting ready to turn and a guy was passing me.”

Anyone who lives or drives along Millstream Drive, as well as other residential streets such as Stonybrook Drive and Belair Drive, have similar stories, which is why cameras will eventually go there, too.

“I had sons that I was training to drive and (other drivers) would pass them on Belair Drive, on Millstream, because they were going too slow. But they were doing 30, which was speeding themselves,” said the dog walker. “You have to train them to go a little faster so they don’t endanger their own lives.”

Speeding on residential roads in Bowie has generated complaints for decades, and was even the subject of a recent city council hearing, where leaders pledged to come up with other ideas to address the issue.

“It’s pretty much our No. 1 complaint in the city of Bowie,” said Cpl. Aaron Saunders, who oversees traffic enforcement for Bowie Police. “The expansion of the speed camera law gave us more leeway as far as what we could do to help the citizens of the city to bring speeding down.”

While the city has 21 new areas where cameras are authorized, to go with 12 school zones where they’ve already had cameras, only about 12 cameras will be in use at any given time. But unlike school zones, which have limited hours as to when a civil ticket can be issued, cameras in residential zones are in use 24/7. That also goes for cameras that are in both a school zone and a residential zone.

“They’re going to get in there gradually. We’re hoping to have at least a couple in by the end of the month,” Saunders said.

Boxes should be up in all 21 locations by the end of the year.

“As the year goes on, we get more and more complaints of speeding in the city,” Saunders said. “Last year alone we had an increase in fatal crashes, and speed is a contributing factor in most of our crashes here in the city. Crashes have gone up.”

Here’s the list where new cameras could show up soon:

  • 3000 block of Belair Drive
  • 2400 block of Mitchellville Road
  • 3500 block of Mitchellville Road
  • 15500 block of Peach Walker Drive
  • 15725 Pointer Ridge Drive
  • 8100 block of Chestnut Avenue
  • 12907 9th Street
  • 12415 Kembridge Drive
  • 14100 block of Dunwood Valley Drive
  • 2817 Stonybrook Drive
  • 14704 Dolphin Way
  • 12121 Tulip Grove Drive
  • 15900 block of Penn Manor Lane
  • 13300 block of 11th Street
  • 14400 block of Old Stage Road
  • 16020 Alderwood Lane
  • 12700 block of Brunswick Lane
  • 12911 Kendale Lane
  • 15021 Nashua Lane
  • 14911 Dahlia Drive
  • 12500 block of Millstream Drive
John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up