Traffic gridlock along Forest Drive impacts City, County and State roads and affects not only quality of life, but also public safety. Small accidents regularly shut down the road for hours, leaving residents stranded. Any increase in traffic is going to exacerbate what is already a dangerous situation.
The closest intersection to Crystal Spring at Forest Drive and Spa Road is already over capacity according to recent traffic studies. Annapolis City Code does not permit further development when intersections are over-capacity, unless the developers can improve the issue, but we have yet to see if those laws will be enforced. The developers, National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS), have acknowledged that some mitigation may be required, but projected conditions show that even if they were to make every improvement possible, the intersection would still be failing.
NLCS said in public meetings this spring that they were planning to make the main entrance for the senior community on Spa Road with a traffic light. They said there would also be an entrance onto Forest Drive from Crystal Spring Farm Road, but that there would not be a light and cars would not be able to turn left onto Forest Drive. However, NLCS’ most recent filing with the City does not include plans for the new intersection or any other traffic improvements. They simply say a traffic study may suggest changes in the future but make no commitments.
Moreover, Crystal Spring is only one of 24 new developments currently pending for the Annapolis Neck corridor. The map below documents the more than 1,100 new housing units and nearly 190,000 square feet of commercial and retail space planned for or already under construction in this sector.
The Forest Drive corridor is at a critical crossroads. Sound planning dictates that decisions on Crystal Spring and other major residential and commercial developments be halted until a more in-depth traffic study has been performed, and solutions are in place to address this threat to property values, quality of life and public safety.
The “[Forest Drive] corridor is on the edge of capacity, and we would hope that approval of new developments wouldn’t be given if it is likely that they will force Forest Drive into over-capacity operations.” — Note from Anne Arundel County Traffic Engineering Division to Annapolis Planning and Zoning, August 2011
“New Report Shows Major Intersections on Forest Drive Already Over Capacity Without New Development” – July 2016
“The $10 Million Question” – March 2016
“Forest Drive Will Fail” – January 2016
Traffic Issues Summary