Saturday, April 17, 2021

Improvements coming to the intersection of Fernwood Rd and Democracy Blvd

Later this year there will be major changes coming to the intersection of Fernwood Road and Democracy Boulevard in Bethesda, Maryland. This changes will be disruptive while they are occuring but will hopefully make the traffic exiting Fernwood onto Democracy flow more quickly.

The most noticable change will be here.  Instead of one left turn only lane there will be two left turn only lanes.  There will still be a single right turn only lane. This turn is a major slowdown during the evening rush hour and should allow many more cars to make the turn each light cycle.


 Even with the change, you still won't be able to go straight across Democracy Blvd to continue on Fernwood Rd.  This includes bikes, which currently have to do a time consuming crosswalk maneuver where they cross Fernwood, then cross Democracy, then cross Fernwood again. But this will also be made easier.


 Part of the improvements will be adding a crosswalk across Democracy Boulevard here.  This will make it easier for bikes and pedestrians to cross and it will make it faster for drivers turning left since the won't have to wait for people in the crosswalk as often.


 There will also be changes to the protected right turn slip lanes at the intersection. The concrete triangle will be made smaller and the radius of the turn will be reduced so it will be tighter at all four corners. I'm not exactly sure why this is being done, but I believe these high entry angle slip lanes are to reduce the risk of collision.

1 comment:

  1. A smaller turn radius greatly improves pedestrian safety. When the right turn lane is designed like a freeway ramp, there is a tendency for drivers to treat it like a freeway ramp and forget that they have to look both ways for pedestrians.