Improvements Planned for Rhode Island Avenue

County Councilman Tom Dernoga came to the City of College Park Council in September to present a road improvement project for Rhode Island Avenue. The project’s goal is to use traffic circles and install traffic lights to better manage the surge of traffic on the avenue. Residents have made it clear that they do not want Rhode Island Avenue turning into a four lane roadway for commuters to zip through, but would like to maintain the residential character of the neighborhood.

Dernoga and staff presented the three phases of the project: 1) installing a traffic light at Edgewood Road, 2) facilitating pedestrian and bike access, and overall safety north of College Park at Sunnyside Road, 3) burying utility poles and building traffic circles at the intersection of Rhode Island Ave, Indian Lane and Fox Street, and Rhode Island Ave and Hollywood. The plan includes building sidewalks only at the intersections, and continuing the bike trail north of College Park, where it abruptly stops.

7 thoughts on “Improvements Planned for Rhode Island Avenue”

  1. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the vicinity of the National Agricultural Research Library are long overdue. Many more people walk and bike this stretch. On my bicycle commute this evening I was thinking about how pleasant it is to glide by cars at a standstill and how safe the (old trolley) right-of-way is now for cyclists, with its gentle grade and few people turning into the roadway between REI and University Blvd.

    I can’t imagine that traffic circles will make this ride any safer or more pleasant for cyclists. It sounds as if the priority is to encourage more people to avoid Route 1 and drive on Rhode Island Ave. The light at Edgewood is one thing, but traffic circles at the other two intersections would be a tremendous waste of money.

    Why not put some effort to make the intersection of Rhode Island and Greenbelt Road safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers instead? That intersection is a death-trap.

  2. Rhode Island Ave., north of University Blvd. is a county road. The one block of Rhode Island Ave. south of University Blvd is a state road. The City was working with the state about 5 years ago to fix Greenbelt Road in this area, but when Gov. Erlich was elected the project and many similar ones were killed to try to fix the budget mess at the time.

  3. Why is the speed limit on this portion of Rhode Island Avenue higher than on the same stretch of Route 1?

    Why do I have to DRIVE my children to Duval field for their practice? Because I do NOT want them crossing Rhode Island Avenue – isn’t that a shame?

    Why would we put in two traffic circles- which is a good thing – because it take a long time at night to leave Duval Field to cross Rhode Island Avenue since the traffic is moving so quickly above speed limit – and then put a LIGHT at Edgewood and Rhode Island?

    Three well built traffic circles should solve the problem and hopefully SLOW traffic down.

  4. Actually, I agree with CPResident and am changing my tune on traffic circles here. On tonight’s commute, at both locations where the circles are proposed, left-turning traffic prompted southbound drivers to skirt around him in the bike lane. With a circle, as you note, we all would be funnelled into a tight space, but it would slow things down.

  5. I would prefer that the Edgewood and Rhode Island intersection remain a four way stop. However, it seems momentum is building for a traffic light, which is not a favored solution, though I would agree with cpresident that three roundabouts would work.

  6. I regularly bicycle to work along the trolley trail and Rhode Island Ave.
    I agree that the intersection of Greenbelt and Rhode Island is a deathtrap for cyclists, and needs attention.

    A traffic circle or light at Edgewood would help immensely. At present, it’s a total bottleneck.

    Extension of the bike/pedestrian lanes north of College Park would make things a lot safer, and I know at least one co-worker who might bicycle to work if that stretch were improved.

  7. Why not put 4 way stop signs at the intersections were the circles are planned with right turn lines this would slow traffic and let our neighbors out of were they live and play.This would be bike friendly and no trouble for the fire department,then put the savings into the into greenbelt road intersecton these are proven traffic calming devices. I also disagree with a light at edgewood and road island how many accidents have we had, how many fatilties?This intersection works I am afraid of the school when people are looking up at the light trying to beat the light and not the cross walk or the school crossing a 100 yards away remember the schools play ground is used all the time not only during school hours that would mean kids would be walking across road island ave in the summer from 8:00 AM-8:00 pm not to mention we that walk to our stores in the area With all the development on route # 1 I do not want road island to turn into a better bypass then it already is the road was designed to be a neighborhood Road lets keep Hollywood a liveable community and Fix US # 1 instead

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