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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


‘Urban Alert’ signage urges caution through 113 in Berlin

(Sept. 3, 2015) Highway safety improvements continue to move forward in Berlin, in large part because of the continuing efforts of the Pedestrian Safety Committee.
This week the town announced the latest upgrade, new “Urban Alert” signs on U.S. Route 113.
Since the committee was formed in late 2013, both immediate and long-term strategies have been implemented by the town, including a safety crosswalk at the intersection of Bay Street extended and Route 113, installed in May.
Mayor Gee Williams said the latest addition had been in the works for more than a year.
“Like everything else it had to be put in the budget, planned and their target date was this summer and that was met, and we’re just delighted,” he said. “I never thought of Berlin as an urban area, but if that’s what it takes to get people to slow down then I’ll call it whatever we have to.”
Berlin Pedestrian Safety Committee Chairperson Patricia Dufendach said the improvements were done in part because of the anticipated expansion of a dualized Route 113.
“As Gov. Hogan has already allocated the money to complete the expansion it means that there’s going to be more traffic coming through this area,” she said. “Increased traffic and the fact that Berlin is growing – every empty lot is getting a house on it – and we need to protect our people.
“Drivers who have never been here before, or who have been lulled into complacency as they’re driving through our beautiful county, will know that there are people who live here,” Dufendach continued. “Also, it’s a reminder to our vacationers.”
Williams said similar improvements on Route 376, Assateague Road, were likely, along with Route 346, Old Ocean City Boulevard, and the intersection of Route 818, South Main Street, and Route 113.
“Quite frankly, there’s more traffic in and around Berlin than there’s ever been,” Williams said. “That’s a good thing, but it does mean we have to make adjustments, including to our town and state highway system.
“The priority would be [Md. 376] first, and from what we learn making those upgrades working together with the state the second priority would be Maryland 346,” Williams added.
Dufendach said other improvements could come as public demand warrants.
“If people see a situation that they think needs attention, they really need to let their police officials and their elected officials know that it’s an unsafe area,” she said. “The number of pedestrians that die in Ocean City has been reduced because people spoke up about it. That’s what we want. It’s people first – the roads are not just for cars.”