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Franklinville Rd./Route 15 intersections could become J-turns

(3/1) Though the Myers farm annexation, if approved, would not be expected to have additional access to U.S. Route 15, the access points it does include would be J-turn intersections.

“Based on some of the information we have now is that we’re looking at J-turns,” said Mark Keeley with Traffic Concepts in Gambrills. Traffic Concepts is performing the traffic impact studies for the potential annexation of the Myers farm north of Thurmont.

A J-turn intersection involves a car merging into traffic flow from the right lane and then moving to the left lane to make a U-turn to continue traveling in the opposite direction. The Hayward Road intersection with Route 15 in Frederick is a J-turn, so too, is the College Lane intersection with Route 15 in Emmitsburg.

When asked about how much the traffic at Hayward Road backs up, Keeley said that the problem with the Hayward Road intersection is, “There’s not enough distance to weave into that left-turn lane to make that U-turn.”

The expected J-turns at the Franklinville Road intersections in Thurmont would be about .8 miles long.

Keeley added that it’s unlikely that the state would allow additional access points to Route 15 and the traffic volume does not justify building a full interchange.
“It’s not really going to be up to us,” Keeley said. “We’re going to have to work with the state.”

Traffic Concepts has conducted preliminary studies but still need to refine the data as background growth from Pennsylvania is added into the traffic growth projections.

As for additional traffic a retail center at that location might generate, Keeley points out two things. One is that the retail centers would most likely not open until after the morning rush hours and not all of the trips to the center would be additional traffic.

“A lot of traffic heading north-southbound is going to be pulled off into the site. So a lot of them won’t be new trips,” he said.

The Thurmont Commissioners have not taken a final vote on the project, but a recent poll of residents showed that 66 percent are against it.

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