Community Issues

Intersection Level-of-Service

As a part of their traffic engineering activities, both the County and the State provide ratings of roads and intersections. Besides traffic "accidents", it is these ratings that drive the planning of improvements.

County, Department of Public Works

Each year, the Public Works Department prepares an "Adequate Public Facilities" report for the County Council and the Council passes legislation to enact the new maps and lists of intersection ratings. The maps include a depiction of "commuter sheds" for failed intersections. Theoretically, at least, residential development is supposed to be stopped with in these areas. (Commercial development is, for some inexplicable reason, exempt from these controls, although, in many cases, they are the primary cause of the deficiencies.

Council actions

  • Bill 20-12, May 7, 2012, changed traffic shed at Hillen/Stevenson, required that maps be posted on the county's website
  • Bill 24-13, May 6, 2013, required 3 intersections on Falls Rd to be studied when school is in session, modified traffic shed at Loch Raven/Joppa Rd
  • Bill 14-14, May 5, 2014
  • Bill 28-15, May 4, 2015
  • Bill 18-16. May 2, 2016
  • Bill 15-17, May 1, 2017, enlarged commuter-shed at Pulaski/Ebenezer, changed Belair/Rossville to "F"
  • Bill 25-18, May 7, 2018, enlarged commuter-shed at York/Burke
  • Bill 12-19 modified to reduce commuter-shed at Pulaski/Ebenezer to allow development, change Padonia/Deerco and Harford/East Joppa to "F"   My comments

Problems with the process

  • The County uses an old method for rating intersections.
  • There are no "commuter sheds" defined outside the URDL. For some reason, Public Works thinks the Adequate Facilities Law does not apply in rural areas.
  • It is easy for a developer to get an exception from the controls

Links to past LOS lists:

State SHA

Several attempts have been made to obtain intersection level-of-service rating information from SHA. The only thing they have provided is road ratings. Often, the road rating on opposite approaches to the intersection are different, so it is unknown how to apply this data to intersections. Also, the data that is available seems to be incorrect. Philadelphia Rd near Kingsville down to White Marsh is shown as congested in the north-bound direction (to Harford County) in the am and south-bound in the pm (to White Marsh Blvd - which is mislabeled as 67). Local residents know it to be the opposite.
Here are SHA's maps:

See here for current traffic situation in this area.

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Updated 4 Sept 2021 by MAP