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MD 30 Hampstead bypass

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This evening I got a chance to check out the completed bypass.  I won't assume it's unique in its construction, but I haven't seen one quite like it before.

There are 3 roundabouts: one at MD 482 in the middle and one at each end of Business MD 30, the new designation for the old, straight route through the town.  Between each pair of adjacent roundabouts, the bypass has 2+2 divided lanes that quickly narrow down to 1+1 undivided lanes, then expand back to 2+2 divided lanes to approach the next roundabout.  

Quick schematic:

I wondered if this was the original plan, or if the bypass was scaled down, rather than being built as 2+2 divided the whole way. There was an overpass over a 2-lane section of the bypass that clearly couldn't house a 2nd pair of lanes.  I enjoyed the speed limit of 55, the near lack of traffic after dark on a Sunday evening, and roundabouts instead of traffic lights.

A similar bypass around Hanover to the north would do wonders for PA 94 as well.

I think roundabouts are going to be very common across the country. In Benton Harbor, MI. a new BL 94 is going to have two roundabouts where there used to be signals. Not only are roundabouts supposed to save time, but it will make traffic signals become obsolete. It's a money and an electric power saving mechanism.

The part that I hadn't seen before was the  flipping back and forth between single and dual carriageways so much.  Was it low traffic demand with an expectation of needing more lanes in the future or was it inadequate funding that kept the bypass from being fully 2+2 lanes?

Hampstead is not the only location where SHA has done this.  The new roundabout at US 15/MD 464 near Point of Rocks has short 4-lane segments on both US 15 approaches...

The business route here through Hampstead is well marked with green and white signs for Business MD 30.  "BUSINESS" is placed on its own white-on-green banner between the green-on-white direction banner and the green-on-white MD 30 shield. So reading down a "NORTH / BUSINESS / MD30" sign assembly, the colors invert for each sign.


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