LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
I've been employed at Thos. Somerville Co. on the corner of Airport View Dr. and Rte 235 in Hollywood since we opened in April of 1999. In the past 8½ years, I've had
a front row seat to one of the most dangerous intersections in St. Mary's County. I have personally witnessed numerous accidents, with the most recent being this morning at 8:30. After the truck involved finally came to rest in a ditch, after an SUV pulled out and smashed into the side of it, I found myself calling 911 once again.
Today's accident might be a sad one--the driver of the truck laid motionless in the ditch. He was ejected from the vehicle and ended up half-emerged in the cold water that had collected from rain the night before. I'm not sure if he survived, but it did not look promising.
I wonder how many more people must be injured or killed before we take action. What is the magic number? 3 people? 5 people? Who decides? One is too many if it's a member of your family.
Airport View Drive, for those who are unaware, houses a small but thriving industrial park. We employ roughly 200-300 people on our single stretch of road.
All traffic from the industrial park must exit onto Rte 235 north or south. We must deal with the naval base traffic which is usually bumper to bumper. It's practically impossible to reach the median because of southbound traffic. Once in the median, the situation worsens when having to deal with the traffic northbound. People bunch up in the median trying to go multiple directions. Views are obstructed, cars block other cars, and driver impatience leads to poor driving decisions.
St. Mary's County has experienced major growth in the past 10-15 years. We have an obligation to address the issues that come with that growth—namely traffic and the safety of the residents that travel our roads.
This intersection is long overdue for a traffic light. I just hope I'm around to see it and one of my coworkers isn't calling 911 for me. Is adding another minute or two to someone's commute worth the price we pay in lives?