Plans Revealed for Light St. and Key Hwy. Roundabout

| December 10, 2012 | 1 Comments

On Wednesday, December 5th, the Baltimore Department of Transportation (DOT) held an open house to reveal plans for the Key Highway and Light Street roundabout project.  Currently there is a poor performing traffic light at the intersection which prevents southbound travel at Light St. during a red light, though no lanes of traffic intersect the street.  The intersection also features poor pavement with exposed discontinued train tracks and a lack of green space.

The new roundabout will provide two lanes of travel northbound and southbound on Light St. and Key Hwy. and will add access to southbound Light St. from Key Hwy., which is currently prohibited.  Hughes St. will also be changed from a westbound street to an eastbound street  between the roundabout and Charles St. Under the direction of the Baltimore Public Arts Commission, a public art element will be installed at the center of the roundabout.  The existing railroad track will be removed and green spaces will be added throughout the intersection and from Lee St. to Montgomery St. on Light St. and from Light St. to Battery Ave. on Key Hwy. A traffic light will also be added at William St. and Key Hwy.

From the DOT, “Projections of future traffic volumes, especially in light of the continued expansion and growth of Under Armour and other businesses in South Baltimore and Locust Point, will continue to be assessed as part of the project to make sure the roundabout can accommodate new commercial and residential growth in the area daily. The roundabout will be designed to handle the various busses and trucks that travel through this area.”

The geographic designs entering the roundabout – with the help of splitter islands – are designed to minimize the speed of vehicles entering the roundabout to between 5 and 15 miles per hour to increase pedestrian safety.  Though many worry about traffic roundabouts, the Federal Highway Administration notes that roundabouts improve safety compared to traditional intersections.  Their study reveals a 90% reduction in fatalities, 76% reduction in injuries, 35% reduction in all crashes, and slower speeds which are generally safer for pedestrians.

The DOT is hoping to begin this one-year project in approximately one year. The project will be constructed in phases, starting with the section between Battery Ave. and William St.  The ultimate goal is to have the entire project completed in time for the 2014 Sailabration.

Key Highway Looking Eastbound

Overhead View

Light Street Looking Southbound



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