Community Input at Junction Vision Study Results in Giant Speed Bump at Intersection

Example of the proposed speed bump to be built at the Takoma Junction

Over the past week, members of the community participated in the Maryland State Highway Administration’s (SHA) “Vision Study,” for the Takoma Junction Intersection. SHA has its sights on a possible reconfiguration of the traffic pattern, and understood they needed to involve the community, containing hundreds of self-described experts on everything.

After several hours of playing Mad Libs, Chutes and Ladders, and even a heated game of Monopoly, the community created a bland, uninspiring “Vision Statement,” which allowed SHA to pretend they care about residents’ concerns. In that Vision Statement, it was clear that safety was the main concern among Takoma Park residents.

“Its just a dangerous place to cross the street,” stated Doris Wheeler, crossing guard at the Junction. “That’s the reason we have two crossing guards. The other helps me cross the street when I’m helping others cross the street.”

Local cyclist Dean Sadler also expressed concern for bicycle safety through the Junction. “It’s become such a confusing intersection,” stated Dean. “You know it’s dangerous when cyclists choose to obey the traffic signals here.”

SHA knew something needed to be done, and fast.

After deliberating from exercises having nothing to do with actual problem solving, SHA rolled out their solution to the group: the world’s largest speed bump right in the middle of the intersection.

“It became evident that Takoma Park really loves speed bumps as it holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most within a 2 mile radius,” stated Lynn Peters, one of several traffic engineers leading the study. “I think we nailed it.”

Peter’s went on to point out several advantages of a massive speed bump, including elimination of all cars, since they physically can’t make it over the hump. Pedestrians and cyclists will also be forced to find other streets to travel on, thus eliminating any and all accidents at the intersection.

Participants in the Vision Study had mixed feelings about the two day event.

“I guess in the end, they technically met our goal of creating a safe space where we can sit and watch the fireworks away from traffic,” stated Nancy Holton.

Others were not so impressed.

“I feel they didn’t even listen to us, and just did what they wanted to do,” remarked David Dresden. “I specifically asked them to provide gluten-free snacks and they ignored me completely.”

Historic Takoma was thrilled with the result. “We are 100% on board with the SHA solution,”  said Florence Whitman. “Finally, a solution that preserves the historic anger and feelings of frustration of residents for generations.”

Asked if they were concerned about the speed bump solution merely pushing the Junction traffic into surrounding neighborhoods, Peter’s replied, “It’s nothing another 3 hour session of Mad Libs can’t solve.”

The most welcoming support for the new speed bump surprisingly came from the super expensive, but also low-income supporting, food Co-Op. “We may not be physically able to get into our parking lot anymore,” explained Gayle Smith. “But at least this kills the new development and layby next door.”

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