Lawmakers Act To Improve Rt. 177 In Anne Arundel Co.

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.

More from Gigi Barnett
  • road runner

    uh hello….its not the road thats the problem, its the drivers….just sayin!!!

    • William Trexler

      10-4 … 1 stupid driver a year..i can live with that

    • Dave Kirkey

      I could not agree with you more. Maybe it is time to put emphasis on drivers taking responsibility for their actions. If you know that the road is treacherous, SLOW DOWN!

  • tylerjake

    but yet they keep building more homes and shopping on this road!

  • T

    Have any of the current posters familiar with Mountain Rd?

    If not, know that it’s the only way in and out of that end of Pasadena and Gibson Island, so there’s very high traffic. And there’s a fair amount that is still very much “old country road.” So while we can’t legislate intelligence (i.e. safer driving), we can make long overdue improvements to a long and heavily traveled road.

  • mr k

    The only reason this road is “dangerous” is the dangerous drivers that use it The best action that can be taken immediately is for the Police to aggressively enforce the law against speeding and reckless driving which are the main problem. Widening of the existing road requires buying additional rights of way which would be very costly with high impacts and would likely be a minimum of five years to complete.

    • RT

      When theres no where safe for police to patrol the road how do you expect that to take place. On the more dangerous parts theres no where safe to even do Radar, especially at rush hour. It is a death trap. I consider myself pretty experienced and at rush hour it can even be tough to do right turns, and left turns are practically out of the question.

  • sauce

    It’s always interesting when people who don’t know about the subject make comments.

  • roadgeek

    It doesn’t help that you have one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) expressways in AA County dumping you right onto this narrow, heavily used, roadway.

  • Jessica Mettle

    Most of you have no clue and no heart!! These comments are hideous and mean!! My friend lost her only child by accident and you want to say such terrible things!!! Mountain Road is a difficult road to drive on and extremely scary when the middle lane is opened as a driving lane twice a day!!! I agree some people make bad choices regularly and that is their cross to bear but accidents do happen and Mt Road doesn’t allow for a hairline of a mistake while driving!!! Please be considerate of those who have lost their loved ones no matter how!!

  • Sherr

    I left Lake Shore area 15 years ago. The congestion on Mountain Road (177) is due to the over population of Lake Shore. Most areas on Mountain Road (177) is one way in and one way out. They should have seeked alternative routes in and out before, Anne Arundel County allowed these builders to build. Because of this heavy traffic is a daily problem on Mountain Road.. I feel sorry for the family of the young lady who lost her life, and for all the families who lost a family member due to driver error. They should have stopped building down Lake Shore 20 years ago.

  • Trevor

    Why don’t we make Gibson Island residents pay fro their own road out of Dena?? They should be the ones to pay for such an exclusive road. If they get their own post office make them pay for their own road to relieve congestion. Not to mention that so many people don’t know how to be a defensive driver so who do you blame? Everyone! It’s full of bad drivers. My heart goes out to the family but if everyone is not taught how to be ready for the next idiot to cross your path, history is bound to repeat itself. The section 8 near one end of 177 and the aristocrats on the other end make it a perfect mess. I’d rather drive through afganistan with an american flag on it over driving through Pasadena MD! They’re both like russian roulette, someone is guarenteed to die. It is a real shame. More lanes and brighter signs will do nothing more than make a flashier death for those lost.

    • RT

      That post office makes money at that location and rent is only $56 a year.

      • Trevor

        If they can eat the rent to have their own post office on gibson island then they can fork out more money for guard rails and improved roads.

  • Can't Fix Stupid

    “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,” Is a PERFECT statement. Sad thing is these kids are learning this trait from their parents. I live in Pasadena (not for much longer thank goodness) and have never seen such rude, aggressive drivers in my life or anywhere else in the metro area. These people seem to think laws apply to everyone else but them. PEOPLE PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN AND DRIVE! SLOW DOWN. I actually saw some kid pass another car on Leeds Drive. When that kid smacks into a tree, I’m going to walk past and snicker.

  • MR

    Have any of youd riven on this road in rush hour traffic? It is extremely dangerous. When the middle lane is open, this road is a gateway to hell. And when it comes to Kala, you people need to get your facts straight. It was raining and it was 7oclock in the morning before school and she was running late, traffic was crazy. She was young. I know many people who were close to her and knew she did not drive wrecklessly. The area that she crashed in ia terrible, I have always said that turn is way too sharp and dangerous. Yes, people do drive too aggressive. But that’s everywhere and if that can’t change, then the roads need to. And it’s frankly stupid and immature that you are calling us all “rednecks”. Everyone is not the same in Pasadena, and we shouldn’t be stereotyped. Grow up. You’re probably all stuck up rich snobs who think you’re better than everyone so I don’t take anything you say too offensively.

  • Missy

    Mountain Road is a death trap. We have lost way too many lives to turn our heads and look the other way. We tried to get a traffic light at Mt & Woods Rd years ago but the request was declined because there hadn’t been 3 deaths at that intersection. How sad is that! Now a young girl was should be enjoying her senior year and getting ready for college is gone and her family in pain and now they want to fix the road when this should have been done YEARS AGO! then maybe she’d still be here. BTW she wasn’t drunk or a redneck she was a young lady.

  • Jessica Mettle

    Yes she was wearing her seatbelt. No she was not on her phone it was in her purse when the police arrived at the scene. Kala was a VERY responsible young lady and your comments and disrespect are completely uncalled for. And based on your comments and that of others I would rather be all the things you have referenced those of us in Pasadena than be like any of you. I pray that karma comes right back at ya!

  • Trevor

    If no one has a fear of what can happen, we can never get over this. My father was a firefighter and had taught me one major thing more than any other. You are driving a deadly weapon when you turn that key. Be aware of everyone around you as many others cause the accidents. In leau of Kayla dying I will leave this. It is a tradgedy that this happened, I didn’t know her but am aware at how easy it is to lose control. To say this could have been prevented would be trite. I wish there was more to say but maturity on the road comes from experience and many parents only go as far as to getting the license for their children. The law states that traffic violations come from non-prudent driving. If we teach the youth about pulling g’s and the shifting of a weights vehicle in motion, a lot can go a far way. River road and Dicus Mill are prime examples of highly dangerous roads and 2 miles an hour can be the difference in getting home safe and ending up in a ditch. Everyone should be blamed, she learned her driving methods from her peers, family and other drivers. This girl does not need to be displayed for ya’lls entertainment. I watched a girl survive an accident where if she was wearing her seatbelt, she’d be decapitated. Ironic yes. Tragic yes.

  • Brenda Lins

    There are absolutely no words for you heartless people commenting on here. There is always someone that thinks they know it all even though they don’t have a clue. Some people like to just spread rumors because they have nothing better to do with their life or time except to blame an innocent person that is unable to defend herself.

    Don’t worry about these Losers posting on here Jessica, we know what happened and that is all that matters. Kala didn’t do anything wrong.

  • Brenda Lins

    Oh and to “Bernard” above, since this tragedy happened I have been asking myself why “the powers above” would take such an innocent life and not someone more like you instead, but then I realized that who would want your ignorance in heaven since it is supposed to be a beautiful and peaceful place.

    • the truth

      Brenda, Yeah sure toot’s like anyone who ever went to heaven has come back & told us how great it is? Dream on girlie this is what keeps little people like you going.A promise , like a fart in the air, you can’t see it or feel it.

      • Liar

        @ the truth, I guess you belive in hope and change over morals and values, if someone wants to believe in something it is their right as a human and an american so why crush someones dreams. Did your daddy crush yours? I guess it only hurt for the first 30 seconds huh?? Did he spit on it first to make you more comfortable?

    • Look under the bridge...there be trolz

      TheTruth is the same troll as sheriff, Willie, Bernard mcKernan, et al….. pay him/her/it no mind. If the real posters keep it civil, respectful and open, the trolz don’t make their money from JZ.

      As for the poster from WVa: Dude, you are so right. I travel out to the panhandle quite often and the roads are TREACHEROUS, but if you drive carefully (and I don’t mean 25 MPH)…with care and attention, it is an awesome drive. The biggest threat to drivers out there comes in the form of deer families. eesh.

  • Joe Hill

    your telling me that a year and half worth of stuff to get your license and people still cant drive i live in west Virgina and seen a lot worse roads then mountain road and their not a problem you need to place the blame where blame is due and that in the drives them self wasting tax payers money isn’t the answer

  • the truth

    Liar, Listen up hoss, People can have their dreams but just don’t push them on me.
    As for you, if I wanted to listen to an azzhole, I’d fart.

  • Crazy!

    If they would ban high school kids from driving to school and force them to take the free bus provided for them, that would stop 98% of the accidents on Mountain Road. Worst thing the county did was build a high school at the end of Mountain Road.

  • Patty Mohr

    I think that there are alot of opinions on what the problem is and how the police should fix it. I have lived in the area my entire life. Mountain Road as always been an issue. I feel more comfortable with my kids driving on I95 with speeds of close to the highway #. Maybe we should be looking not only to make physical improvements to roads. But also re-evaluate speeds on these roads. It is general knowledge that if the speed limit is 40mph, most will say I can go approx 10mph over and be pretty safe not to get a ticket. The thought should be “HOW FAST CAN NOT ONLY I BE SAFE BUT OTHERS AROUND ME” Stop thinking about ourselves for a change and look at the big picture. The other problem is that our law enforcement personnel DO NOT have the tools necessary to protect us. The laws that are made to protect us are the same ones that the criminals are hiding behind. My niece was also killed this year crossing Ritchie Highway. There was no drug testing of the driver because police could not find “JUST CAUSE” to test him. We now find out that less than 5 months later he was arrested for Two hit and run accidents in approx a 4 hour period, using two different vehicles (wrecked one, went home got another and wrecked that one both hit and run) There were other self disclosures on the police report which is public information if you want to research it. Now, saying that, If every driver or individual (since a lic is a privelege not a right) that is involved in a tragic accident with fatal or life threatening personal injury would be required to submit to a drug/alcohol screening there would be no doubt as to the details revolving around the accident. This would give the police the tools to get dangerous drivers off the street. I am not indicating this was the case in my niece’s accident, however, now the seed has been planted and there will always be doubt. This type of law would not only protect the victim but also the driver.

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