Nominate Your Biggest Traffic Headaches

It's getting harder and harder to get around town. What are the most frustrating bottlenecks for you?

If you haven't noticed, it's getting harder and harder to get around town these days. There's construction work on Maryland Route 175 and Maryland Route 170. There's a growing line of cars going and in and out of the MARC station. There are rush hour backups near Fort Meade and Seven Oaks.

What's the worst spot for you in the Odenton and Severn area?

Over the next couple of months, we'll be taking a look at traffic concerns and highlighting a new tough spot each week. I have some choices of my own, but I'm looking for nominees.

At the end of this whole project, I'll post a poll, and we'll officially announce the worst traffic headache in the community.

Tell me in the comments where the worst traffic headache is, what time of day it's most onerous and how it affects your ability to get around town.

McGibblets April 22, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I hope you're right Jen :) Considering the first traffic light was installed in 1868 it baffles me that this is the best technology we've developed to date. So you can see my reluctance to being optimistic.
Ryan Stavely April 22, 2012 at 01:29 PM
That light (or a traffic circle, which is what the people that live at the intersection prefer) is sorely needed.
Tim Lemke (Editor) April 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM
We're looking to highlight traffic problems in the Odenton/Severn area, specifically. Sorry if that wasn't clear. But this could include things that affect local residents on a daily basis, such as congestion on Route 3, delays getting on and off the BW Parkway, etc.
McGibblets April 22, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Ryan, I'm not sure if you're referencing an intersection in the article or one named in the comments, but either way I am on board for a circle instead of a light every day of the week!
Katie Elmer April 22, 2012 at 01:46 PM
The traffic circle on 175 and Sappington and Odenton Rd. Not that the circle is the prob, more the stupid drivers who have not a clue how to yield! They just drive right into the circle without looking let alone stopping for oncoming traffic. Traffic from 175 and Sappington is getting so heavy though that its backed up at rush hour but also difficult to get out into the circle. That's my vent for the day. Thank you :)
Jen Blanford April 22, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Even if we have to wait sometimes when no one is there, it sure beats playing chicken...
Valerie Frances April 22, 2012 at 02:21 PM
The light at bluewater and 175 Intersection really backs up at rush hour in the mornings and evenings. It can take several cycles to get through the light, especially in the evenings going west on 175. People drive way too fast at rush hour as well and try to whip around the slow traffic. There are issues with people trying to go left on 175 out of the Dunkin Doughnut and the Radio Shack parking lots - so many blind spots, so close to the main light intersection in both cases although they are different lights. It is so dangerous. I see people in right hand lanes when going west trying to let people out of the parking lots all along 175 and then people will come racing up on the left side and don't realize someone is trying to cross traffic in front of them. Screeching tires, violent swerving - it is totally frightening. In addition, trying to walk from the train station going west on 175 is nearly impossible - sidewalks are non-existent and not even remotely pedestrian friendly - what were they thinking when they installed 175 so long ago without sidewalks?
Hammbone April 22, 2012 at 02:51 PM
They changed the lights on piney orchard at 175 and Odenton rd. It used to change fast if there was no cars on the opposite road, not you just sit and sit and sit. even if your the only car at the intersection.
Hammbone April 22, 2012 at 03:03 PM
You can put in a customer service request to state hwy . http://marylandsha.force.com/customercare/request_for_service
JS April 22, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Sometimes in the evenings it can take 20 minutes to get from the MARC station to Blue Water Blvd via 175. We used to be able to fly (as in even a year ago), but now the traffic there seems excessive.
Bryon April 22, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I agree I've been going this way taking kids to school for a few yrs now. Seems to have gotten worse after they reduced to a single lane. Just imagine how much fun we'll have once those 150 apts open along with the medical center.
John "Rob" Burk April 22, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Waugh Chapel and Route 3 still get my vote for the worst. Traffic studies in recent years regualarly point out that many of the intersections in the area are failing... Bad planning and poor governance.
Paula April 23, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Not sure who designed that, but I am in total agreement with you. Very poor planning!
Justin April 23, 2012 at 01:23 AM
very poor planning this will get my vote, while could they not put in a overpass?
Tim Lemke (Editor) April 23, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Here's a recent story we wrote about the new traffic pattern on Route 3, with some explanation from state traffic engineers. http://odenton.patch.com/articles/residents-question-engineers-on-route-3-traffic-pattern
Elizabeth Ann April 23, 2012 at 09:26 AM
living off of waugh chapel road has gotten horrible I have lived off this road for 8 years now and the traffic is horrible at times it backs up from the light by old dairy farm road all the way down by the church on the right hand side (not sure what the name is) and beyond. don't try making a left out of there during rush hour, your life is in your hands and NO ONE does 35 down that road....now if the County and State want to make a killing of speed camera that's the place to do it. Yep, I will say if, more lights are needed on this road for safety purposes. And with the new shopping mall opening on route 3 -- good lord don't want to see the traffic on waugh chapel road at Christmas time. I will need to make an appointment to get onto the main road!
Susan Kim April 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM
"Not that the circle is the prob, more the stupid drivers who have not a clue how to yield!" Well said, Katie! This area gets my vote.
Patch reader April 23, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Route 170. They finally put in a middle turn lane, but some people don't know how to use it. They still wait for the traffic to be clear in both directions before pulling out, OR they will pull out and just sit there waiting for traffic to be clear. I think some guidance should have been provided to drivers for this area. The proper procedures are to get into the middle lane as soon as you are able, then speed up to the traffic speed, then merge. This does require that you understand the 'zipper affect' and you know how to merge, one car from one land, one car from the other lane, common courtesy stuff. Maybe that is the problem - there are a lot of drivers that just don't understand the entire merge process. Tim, maybe you should start posting little 'how to drive' tid-bits in the PATCH! :)
Deb Peak April 23, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I'd say it's coming south on Rt170 in the afternoon where it loses a lane, at the point where traffic from Rt100 is merging onto 170. Traffic is always backed up from Donaldson to that point. However, the merging traffic always assumes they have the right of way and force their way into the lane, even if it's a solid line of waiting cars.
Carol Petrosky April 23, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Try going to Annapolis on a Friday afternoon after 3:30 from Rt. 3 N. First you have to merge into a second lane just to get in a lane for 97S then merge onto 97S near the Crownsville Exit. Drivers will drive pass all the 97S traffic and merge at the last second. Then you have to deal with the slow drivers in the left lane. You finally make it to Rt. 50/Riva Rd area and it is at a standstill due to traffic going east on Rt. 50. Drivers will take General's Hwy. thinking they are escaping the traffic but it can be worse because now you are driving single lane all the way to the Annapolis Mall. Good luck. I come from Waugh Chapel Rd. and just trying to get on Rt. 3 N from the Waugh Chapel light can start the slow trip because the traffic is already backed up pass the light that allows northbound drivers make the left on Rt. 3N. And planners thought the Michigan Circle was a good idea.
O-Boy April 23, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I agree. I hope the good ol' Patch can help educate people on how a roundabout works so it can return to two lanes as it was intended. I wish we had more traffic circles and even more drivers that knew how to use them. Circles are cool :-)
Shanna April 23, 2012 at 04:22 PM
That whole middle lane doesn't work while turning onto 170 just for the fact that most people WONT LET YOU MERGE. I have that problem all the time. Just like they won't let you merge if you are coming from Dorsey road towards Ridge Road. It goes from like 3 lanes down to one. If you are in the right hand lane trying to merge left, NOBODY wants to let you over. I had a lady run me off the road, litterly, with my granddaughter in the truck just because she did not want me to merge. Most people have no road courtesy. These people MUST come over and it is up to the other lane to allow them in when there is heavy traffic. And by the way, right there were it merges and the whole light at 170 Ridge Rd. and Donaldson Ave is horrible. That's my complaint.
Shanna April 23, 2012 at 04:25 PM
If my lane is ending and there is a line of cars......it is just courtesy to allow cars in. That is what I just complained about. Let a car in and just keep moving. They cant wait in rush hour traffic for a spot to be available. They will be sitting there for hours. Its calle ROAD COURTESY and more people need to learn it.
Michele April 23, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Route 170 & Old Mill Road From Burns Crossing there is no signalized left turn onto 170. (Left across 170 at certain hours is just a wish.) The choices are Donaldson Avenue or all the way around from the Sappington Station Traffic Circle. Instead of just activating the flashing signal which was already there, SHA forced all traffic to go right at Old Mill. This adds a lengthy amount of travel time & puts you into more backed up traffic.
Diane in Odenton April 23, 2012 at 08:04 PM
The problem right there is that many people deliberately pull over into the right lane so they can pass all the cars waiting and then they cut in at the last minute. People see that and that's why they don't want to let cars in. Then everyone suffers because the traffic backs up even worse and people who didn't pull that rude maneuver and legitimately need to merge are met with resistance.
Shanna April 23, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I agree with you Diane. But I would like to say that if someone does change into the right lane that it is perfectly legal to do so. They are not breaking any law. And the people that sit in the left lane could change to the right lane if they choose to. Its there choice to stay in their lane. When I am in the right lane and someone opens up, I go over. I am not one of the people that ride the lane out to the end, and then I wave to give thanks to the person who let me in. But again, for the people who ride the lane out......I still let them in because they are not doing anything illegal but they should also learn some road courtesy. We all have to get through it so we should just deal with it and go. I let a lady over one time and everytime someone would try to pass in the right line, she would swerve over to block her. She did this to multiple cars. I let her over so she should should have had some courtesy to let someone over. But she was so worried about someone passing her. So after about 6 cars or so she blocked, when she went into the left lane to bock someone I just passed her. Then she had to merge all over again. And at that point, all the people she blocked were behind her and nobody wanted to let her in. Just have courtesy and we would all have a better ride home.
Matt S. April 24, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I nominate the intersection at Odenton Rd and Piney Orchard Pkwy. In the morning the traffic sometimes backs up almost a quarter mile. Throw into the mix all the people trying to make a left out of the Odenton Christian School and it can turn into real mess. It's caused me to miss the MARC several times. I don't know if there's anything they can do to time the lights better.
Cecilia Pfau April 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Katie - you make a very good point about the circle at 175, Sappington and Odenton Road. I don't know what kind of signage would help but most people don't have a clue as to how to take turns and which lane gets the right-of-way. I read on-line to always allow traffic to the left go first. Well, the people getting into the circle from 175 think they have an automatic right to just jump in the circle without checking who is coming from their left. How do people who think totally about themselves learn how to play the game correctly and obey the rules? Since most people don't even bother to use their turn signals the "complexity" of driving in the circle must be so very confusing (what else could it be?) so they just barrell on through not paying much attention to anybody else. Actually, I don't think anybody knows the correct way to use the circles and the county should be responsible for making sure people get that info.
mes April 29, 2012 at 07:40 PM
295 south and 295 north any time , all the time
Ariana G. August 30, 2012 at 10:31 PM
175 & Town Center Blvd


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