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SHA to install new traffic signals that will only permit left turns from westbound MD 140 to southbound MD 91 on a green arrow in Finksburg

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Announced on May 1st, The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (SHA) intends to improve traffic flow and safety at the intersection of westbound MD 140 and southbound MD 91 by implementing a new traffic signal system. This will involve installing left turn signals that display a solid green arrow, a configuration known as “exclusive left turn phasing“. With this setup, westbound vehicles on MD 140 wishing to turn left onto southbound MD 91 will only be permitted to make the turn when the solid green left arrow is lit.

This is different from the current situation, where left turning traffic can turn on the green arrow or must yield to oncoming traffic before turning on a traditional green light (the ability to turn left on the green light is the part changing with the new system)

The benefits of exclusive left turn phasing are twofold. First, it reduces the risk of crashes by separating conflicting traffic flows. Left turning drivers have their own dedicated signal phase without having to find a gap in oncoming traffic, reducing the chance of collisions. Second, it improves traffic flow and reduces congestion. The left turn phase clears out queued up left turning vehicles, allowing the straight through movement to flow freely once the left turn arrow goes red. This prevents left turning vehicles from blocking the intersection during their turns. Overall, the new traffic signals with exclusive left turn phasing will enhance safety and mobility for all users at this busy intersection of MD 140 and MD 91.

The Observer spoke with SHA (Andrew Radcliffe) about the potential timeline for this project and indicated this would be implemented between 6 months to a year from now. Andrew mentioned that mailers will be sent out to residents of that area in advance of the implementation of the turn signal change.

The Previous “Intersection Improvement Project” that included removing the left turn lane and implementing a “jughandle” around Michele Brauning Drive and add bicycle lanes on MD 140 is currently on hold for the foreseeable future. Many in the community hope this previous project remains on hold forever or just goes away all together (based on the public meeting in September 2023 and various comments before and after that meeting).

You can track the progress of this project here: https://mdot-sha-md140-at-md91-cl1825187-maryland.hub.arcgis.com/

Observer Note: While some may not love this upcoming change I see this as SIGNIFICANTLY better than the “jughandle” proposal and I personally welcome this change for that intersection. I just hope they get the timing correct on the left hand turns during the busy times of the day for that area to allow enough westbound traffic to make the turn without waiting through multiple light changes.

Here is a look at that intersection (MD 140 and MD 91) for those unfamiliar with that area:


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