Reporting Gigi Barnett
ANNE ARUNDEL CO., Md. (WJZ)– A dangerous stretch of road in Anne Arundel County has become the target of improvement by one state lawmaker. This comes after a string of fatal accidents on Mountain Road.
Gigi Barnett has more.
The twist and turns on Anne Arundel County’s Mountain Road, also called Route 177, can test the most experienced drivers. It’s a road with many accident memorials.
“There’s a guy that was killed here not too long ago on his motorcycle. He died on impact,” said Khurram Khan, who works at his family’s Osprey gas station and has a clear view of the accidents on Route 177.
So when 17-year-old Kala Marie Austin lost control of her vehicle, smashed into a vacant house and died on Route 177 earlier this month, State Delegate Nic Kipke decided to act.
“This road doesn’t forgive you. You make the slightest mistake, it doesn’t forgive you,” Kipke said. ”So, this community is rallying around in honor of this young lady who died and we’re going to find a way to make this road safer.”
Kipke wants the state to widen what was once an old country road and boost police presence.
“Frankly the biggest problem we have is aggressive driving and people far exceeding the speed limits. Young people driving, their cell phones up against their ears,” he said.
Rt. 177 is a state road and over the last five years, it’s made many improvements to Mountain Road. One of those big changes is adding more highly visible, full-color traffic signals.
“There are some spots on Mountain Road, the intersection on Woods Road, where there’s an accident every week,” Kipke said. “We believe the road is too narrow at this spot.”
Khan said it’s the quick pace of traffic that makes the narrow roads treacherous.
“Spread the traffic out a little bit, give people a little bit more room to drive,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the state says a study to improve Mountain Road is already underway.
Kipke says on average one person dies in an accident on Mountain Road every year.