Yesterday, Delegate Nic Kipke started soliciting opinions on how to improve conditions along the troubled Mountain Rd. In fact, the dangerous Pasadena thoroughfare averages at least one crash involving emergency response per week. Likewise, 12 people have lost their lives on this highway since 2003. In reality, absence of the state highway administration miraculously coming up with $100 million, local officials will need to rely on more practical solutions.
First, a moratorium should go into place forbidding any more development. This includes all residential and commercial ventures. Regardless of the promise of impact fees, the end cannot justify the means. Building more in hopes of alleviating this problem defies common sense. After all, the primary goal should focus on reducing vehicular traffic.
Next, Chesapeake High School issues parking permits to all juniors and seniors on demand. Before granting this privilege, all applicants should have to produce their MVA records every six months. Anyone with points on his/her license should forfeit their right to drive a vehicle to school. In the same way, anyone with grade point average of 2.0 should also lose their eligibility. Keep in mind, student athletes must maintain their grades. Thus, why not broaden this threshold to participate in other perks?
Automatically, this new rule would reduce the number of travelers on Mountain Rd. At the very least, it would only allow those students who have demonstrated a level of responsibility to enjoy this desirable fringe benefit.
Finally, the police department must step up enforcement on negligent traffic violations. Often, people pull onto Mountain Rd off Woods Rd without coming to a complete stop. Similarly, drivers routinely blow through traffic lights when it's clear they could have stopped prior to the change. If county police focus on this, as opposed to targeting those that go 65mph in a 55mph along Rte. 100, then it will naturally reduce the on-going hazard in Pasadena.
As mentioned, we need realistic solutions to improve the conditions along Mountain Rd. Luckily, the proposals outlined here would only place a minimal strain on scarce resources.