West Patrick Street crossing project wrapping up

May 1, 2014 / / News

By Kelsi Loos News-Post Staff

Pedestrians along the Golden Mile should have an easier time getting around by this summer.

After being delayed by the harsh winter, a project to create six crosswalk improvements on West Patrick Street is scheduled to wrap up in the next few months, according to the State Highway Administration.

The larger medians at Hoke Place, Hillcrest Drive, Willowdale Drive, McCain Drive, Old Camp Road and Grove Hill Road will give people on foot a place to wait safely if they are unable to cross West Patrick Street before the light changes.

The crossing upgrades were added on to a traffic light upgrade project, which was expected to be finished in February. Changing the design to include the space to wait in the median, coupled with bad weather, pushed the project back several months, SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said.

“It’s getting there,” he said. “Thanks for bearing with us on the Golden Mile.”

The total improvements, including the traffic lights, will cost $1.25 million, according to the SHA.

The crossing improvements were the brainchild of the Golden Mile Alliance, a group that promotes the area and its businesses.

Alliance President Justin Kiska said the project will help improve safety and make the area more pedestrian-friendly. In turn, he added, it will be good for local businesses.

“Anytime that people have the opportunity to walk, it will give people more of a chance to visit shops and things,” Kiska said.

One of the goals of Frederick’s Golden Mile Small Area Development Plan was to make the area more accessible to pedestrians and connect the different plazas. Kiska said the improved islands are a small step toward reaching that goal.

Tee Pecora, chairman of the alliance’s design committee, seemed pleased that the SHA was receptive to the group’s suggestion. He said he was looking forward to the project’s completion.

“It will certainly improve … safety,” he said, “and provide pedestrians a convenient and safe way to cross the Golden Mile.”