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State shouldn't take the rap on this crossing

I had the following exchange with a reader during our online chat Monday.

Silver Spring, Md.: Who is responsible for the roads over railroad crossings? There is a terrible bumpy one in Forest Glen near the National Park Seminary (Capitol View Ave., MD-391). I've been over much smoother crossings in small towns around the country, and can't believe this is the best that can be done in the U.S. Capital area. Would it be a state responsibility, or CSX?

Robert Thomson: "Any numbered road like that, MD 391, would be under the jurisdiction of the State Highway Administration."

True enough about the road numbering system used by the state, but David Buck, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration, wrote in to point out that the rail crossing in question is over Linden Lane, not a state route. And Capitol View Avenue is MD 192, not 391.

The rail crossing "is near the intersection of Capitol View/Forest Glen/Seminary Road," Buck said. "The railroad never crosses Capitol View Road (MD 192) , which is a state road.

Also, the designation of MD 391, formerly Seminary Road/Dale Road, was removed about 10-15 years ago when that portion of the roadway was transferred to Montgomery County.

"Any questions about the condition of the crossing would be forwarded to Montgomery County and/or CSX."

Here's a map of that area:

View Larger Map

By Robert Thomson  |  November 4, 2009; 8:08 AM ET
Categories:  Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Maryland State Highway Administration  
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My question, is who decided to install a temporary barrier on the center dividing line approaching the RR tracks on either side? Were cars really trying to pass each other to cross the tracks or something?

They appear harmless, but this is a heavily used bike route between Forest Glen and Sligo Creek and Rock Creek, Capital Crescent, and Beach Drive. Riders have to go up a long, steep hill from Jones Mill to Capitol View, and the railroad is at the top of it. Now, cars are unable to pass some very tired (read: slow) bikers, and/or bikers are forced off into the gravel on the side of the road for 200 yards for no apparent reason.

Posted by: vtavgjoe | November 4, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

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