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Roundabout Monument Smashed Again

Another motorist drove through the monument of the traffic circle on Piney Orchard. This is at least the third such incident in the last two years.

UPDATED: (Thursday, 10:30 a.m.) —Once again, the roundabout monument on Piney Orchard Parkway has been damaged by a driver gone awry. 

Anne Arundel County police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said the driver of a Mercury Mountaineer struck the monument shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The monument was heavily damaged, with the entire top part of the monument knocked over. Landscaping on the traffic circle was also damaged along with the curb on the north side. Tire tracks were also visible in the mud surrounding the monument. 

A full traffic report on the incident was not yet available, Mulcahy said. 

Piney Orchard Community Association President Jeff Andrade said he was also awaiting the police report, but that repair workers had already examined the damage. 

This incident comes after the curb on the roundabout was damaged in August by a driver who police said may have fallen asleep at the wheel. 

The monument was also heavily damaged in February of 2011 after a young woman drove through it in her car, according to police. 

See also: 

  • Police: Sleepy Driver Smacks Roundabout
  • Photo Gallery: Destruction at the Piney Orchard Roundabout
Brian C. October 11, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Leave it the way it is. Better they run in to the sign than another motorist if they make it a four way stop.
Nancy Ellen Flanagan October 11, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Nancy My husband and I live in Cedar Ridge near the parkway and can watch traffic going in both directions. Most drivers seem to be driving way beyond the speed limit. When the flashing light went up saying 15 miles an hour in the roundabout, it seemed people slowed down. However, that did not last long. So, now if someone doesn't slow down, it is a raceway. I suggest putting large rocks around the circle as they would be both decorate and definitely stop faulty drivers.
Tommy Warshaw III October 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM
It never ceases to amaze me that an area with so many people who don't seem to understand how to drive in a traffic circle, has so many of them. People don't even understand the concept of yeilding the right of way to traffic already in the circle. I've almost been t-boned on a number of occasions when making my way into the shopping center here. Forget making it a four way stop. Most motorists around here seem to have very little understanding of how that works as well. Replace it with a traffic light and be done with it.
BadStatistics October 11, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I'm beginning to feel the urge to run into myself now.
Edward Charles October 11, 2012 at 03:04 PM
An alligator-filled moat is a better deterrent. Or quicksand. Problem solved!
Mike Brown October 11, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I have brought up about drivers speeding down PO Pky. I was told that the county engineers have told POCA that the road was made for 50 MPH. This is 3 traffic accidents near that circle due to alcohol, speed or falling a sleep at the wheel. There was another accident down the road towards Waugh Chapel road over the past year and a half as well. I feel that a light there might not be the solution but I seriously think that a camera would work. A camera that would be always on and recording for drivers who attempt to flee the scene and a speed camera. The circle was put there from what I was told from POCA to limit the number of head on collisions.
Richard Head October 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM
@Mike Brown - and you believe what POCA tells you? If so, I've got some oceanfront property for sale in Arizona. Are you interested?
Mike Brown October 11, 2012 at 05:04 PM
@Richard Head...I have just checked with County Engineering. That circle was not put in by the county engineers. It was put in when Piney Orchard was built. I am planning on going to the meeting next week to bring up safety on PO Pky again as I did last week. I think maybe the board does not want to do anything about that circle was it looks "nice" compared to a traffic light.
Susan October 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM
@Mike...that circle was not there in the beginning.
Brian C. October 11, 2012 at 06:05 PM
It seems as though the circle has done its job. A speed camera would not have stopped any of these accidents. Speed cameras are revenue generators not safety devices.
Richard Head October 11, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The circle was not there when I moved into PU in 2005.
Jeff Andrade October 11, 2012 at 08:12 PM
The circle was put in by the developer with the approval of the County DPW and all the other offices in involved in the planning process in 2003 as part of the development of the Cedar Ridge condo community, which previously was slated to be a business park. Since the roundabout was constructed, drivers have sucessfully driven around it literally hundreds of thousands of times without going through it. It is unfortunate that we have had these accidents damage the monument in the past two year, but in all cases the drivers were completely at fault, and their insurance companies paid for 100 percent of the repairs. Personally, I would rather see a driver who falls asleep or has had too much too drink, hit the brick monument and damage their car, then to run through a red light/stop sign and broadside another car crossing an intersection. With regard to speed on the approach, POCA has directed its secondary patrols to increase stationary radar on both Piney Orchard Parkway and Strawberry Lake Way during the daily patrols and they make a number of stops each time they set up, in addition to the numerous improvements that POCA safety committee worked out with County engineers in the early summer of 2011. People just need to learn how to drive around here.
Mike Brown October 11, 2012 at 09:01 PM
@Jeff I understand your point. I think a camera really needs to be installed. As I have been todl by the board before, the police can not be at every place all the time. The camera could work in place of an officer who might have higher priority calls to go on. Issuing tickets more and more is going to help the situation. I will admit, I have caught myself going fast through the area once in a while. I will state if an officer stopped me then I should have got at ticket. How much is the ticket for speeding for going 15+ over the speed limit? It is just like the issue we have around where I work with trucks. You start ticketing the truckers more it gets around and if you increase the fine to a large enough amount guess what people will start getting the idea they need to slow down or park legally in my work circumstance. Increasing the fines I know is probably a County Council decision right? What about putting up signs or what not stating double fine in this area? Another county council
river_runner October 11, 2012 at 09:22 PM
When the investigation is done with this accident I'm sure they'll find that fatigue or alcohol was a contributing factor. The problem isn't the circle per se it is the drivers and poor choices. Secondly, traffic/speed cameras don't contribute to increased safety. Just observe an area where cameras are installed - drivers brake hard just prior to the camera zone and then accelerate rapidly right after the zone. The county/state can argue it enhances safety all the want, but in the end it is really a revenue stream.
Jeff Andrade October 11, 2012 at 09:43 PM
@Mike Community associations have no authority to put speed cameras on public roads. Moreover, speed camera use is regulated by state law and Anne Arundel County has so far declined to participate in the speed camera program. The only speed cameras in AA County are placed by the state in highway work zones. Further, we have been told by the supervisor of our secondary patrols that the decision to issue a citation or a warning is up to the discretion of the officer. I believe the traffic violation fines are a matter of state law and are uniform across the state. And PS... slow down when driving on PO Parkway ;-)
ScottRAB October 11, 2012 at 10:57 PM
PO Pkwy looks like a fast road to me. Are there any warning signs about driving the modern roundabout at 20 mph? From the aerial and the story picture it looks like the driver came from the west and went over the median before hitting the circle. That's quite a bit of speed. Maybe some pea gravel in the circle would bog them down before they get to the wall?
Double D October 12, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Not sure why the cops keep details to themselves, word on the street was that the driver who hit it last and damaged the curb had been drinking. As hard as it was hit this time again at 1am alcohol was likely a factor. I'd rather they hit a brick wall than another car coming the other way, I just wish they'd fill the cinder block base with concrete this time
Robert October 12, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Time to build a tunnel under the circle.
Mike Brown October 12, 2012 at 03:24 PM
@ScottRAB There are not enough signs. There is a static speed gun and sign right near the roundabout. It is too close as it will not make any real difference for drivers to slow down. @Jeff I respect that you are saying that community associations are not allowed by law to put in speed or traffic cameras. Mabe the communication association of PO can get a petition signed by residents and present that to AA County Government. I have seen other locations in AA County that having a speed or traffic camera would benefit the situation. I was at the meeting where the supervisor stated that. It sounded like she also asked the board if they would rather have the secondary patrols start giving more citations and the board agreed to give the officers the desecration concerning citation. In Howard County it seems that some citations the amount can be deemed by the county council and not the state. I have seen people drive past me while i was going 40mph so fast if I blinked they were gone. I have seen other motoroists decide to tailgate or speed past becuase they were in a hurry because I decide to the legal thing and go the speed limit right after a multi car accident where speed was probably a factor.
Brian C. October 12, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Adding traffic/speed cameras will NOT stop motorist from running in to that sign. They accidents are occurring because of irresponsible drivers where speed doesnt seem to be the major issue.
Jeff Andrade October 12, 2012 at 04:34 PM
@Mike, as noted earlier, speed cameras are not an option because Anne Arundel does not participate in the speed camera program. But let's also be clear, speed cameras would not have prevented any of these accidents. -- the drivers were either intoxicated or asleep at the wheel. Further, my personal opinion is that getting pulled over by John or Jane Q. Law at the moment you are speeding, with the flashing lights and face to face to interaction with the officer is a more effective deterrent than receiving a speed camera citation in the mail a couple of weeks after the fact.
Arlene October 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM
People drive way to fast going down that road. A light instead of the circle is not the answer. Metal poles around the outside of the circle that a driver will hit first is the first step. Secondly rumble strips or traffic calming bumps to slow drivers down prior to the circle would be smart. They have a 40 mph sign then a short distance away is the slow to 15 mph sign. It makes no sense. People do not have enough time to slow enough for the circle. How many time does the sign need to be destroyed before we wise up and make the appropriate changes.
blythe October 14, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I agree with you Missy
blythe October 14, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Have to change it to one lane, much safer that way. Have a different Centre, no need for a monument.
Arlene October 14, 2012 at 09:25 PM
We need to get the drunks off the road ! Cops could rack up the speeding tickets on that road if they had a motocyle cop posted. I think the monument is fine and looks great when not smashed. That is why we need to have metal/cement pylons for the drunks to smash and total their cars on around the circle. The strawberry lake way roundabout also a monument but is on a slower road and never has had a problem. It is the speed of cars that has caused this one to have so many accidents attached to it. I would suggest making the speed limit 30 mph with calming bumps. Maybe then people would not speed. Install the traffic camera to give out tickets !!
Mike Brown October 15, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Or set up VASCAR
Steve October 15, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Under state law speed cameras can only be used in school zones or work zones, so they would not be legal here even if AACO participated. And putting up pylons intended to smash cars would kill people, possibly your friends, neighbors or children. All this to preserve a "monument" that memorializes nothing. This is a piece of landscaping, not something to die or kill for! People drive through circles all over the world every day, if this signage is that important move it out of the way and get over it.
Arlene October 15, 2012 at 04:35 PM
drunk drivers kill people. They had to be doing 60 to 70 mph to get airborne to smash that thing. Why should we allow vandalism or give drunks or speed freaks a pass. let them get what they deserve.
Steve October 15, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Yes, they do. As do speeders. And also inexperienced drivers and law abiding drivers faced with ice, rain, pedestrians, cyclists or animals. I don't consider any of this to be deserving of a death penalty. People have been speeding on this stretch of road long before PO was envisioned and will still be doing so long after we're all gone. Only effective enforcement will affect this and it needs to be done everywhere, not just this one road.
Arlene October 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I think the person that suggested a cop with a radar gun posted on that road periodically would be a good solution to stop speeders. Also change the speed limit to slower. Pedestrians cross that road and it would be safer all around. The pylons would not kill anyone. They have them on roads at locations all the time and people do not die. The car would take the impact in any accident. People need to slow up and learn to drive in the circles. Speeding on that road is unacceptable.

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