Due to the high number of collisions, state highway officials are reducing the speed limit on part of Germantown Road.
The 50 mile-per-hour speed limit will be reduced to 40 between Father Hurley Boulevard and Aircraft Drive, and 45 between Aircraft Drive and Frederick Road (MD 355), according to Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman Charlie Gischlar.
The state-owned roadway sweeps past Germantown Town Center, where increased development has boosted foot and automobile traffic. The 50 mile-per-hour speed limit no longer reflected the surroundings, said Cpt. Thomas Didone, Montgomery County Police Department’s traffic division director.
“That stretch of Germantown has grown up,” Didone said. He is the former commander of Germantown-based 5th District station.
There were four fatal collisions on Germantown Road between 2009 and 2011 — two occurred last year, according to data Montgomery County Police provided for the portion of Germantown Road between Interstate 270 and Wisteria Drive.
Talks of reducing the limit began in 2008 but were amplified last year, Didone said, when a Northwest High School graduate was killed following an early morning crash at the intersection of Germantown and Middlebrook Roads.
Ivar Ramiro Candia, 18, died from injuries he sustained after his vehicle collided with a trash hauler at around 1 a.m. May, 6, 2011. According to police, the truck had the flashing yellow light at the intersection and the Audi that Candia was driving had the flashing red light, but the Audi passed through the intersection, police said.
Candia, a 2010 graduate of Northwest, was transported to Shady Grove Hospital, where he later died. The dump truck driver was not injured, according to police.
Since the collision, the traffic signal at Middlebrook and Germantown no longer switches to flashing yellow-signal during late night/early morning hours, according to Cedric Ward, an assistant district traffic engineer for Maryland State Police.
Ward said the speed limit signs would be changed in 60 days.
Patch noticed that some of the speed signs had already been changed on a late afternoon drive Friday.