Frederick exploring roundabout for city street

Jun. 7—The city of Frederick is considering adding a roundabout to the intersection of Motter and Fairview avenues and West 13th Street — a move that residents have pushed for after a number of traffic crashes.

The intersection saw five crashes in 2022, according to data provided by the city.

"This a dangerous intersection," said Shraddha Praharaj, a traffic engineer with the city. "With the angles that either 13th or Fairview have with Motter, those angles obstruct the sight distance and there are 100-year-old trees that also obstruct sight distance."

Most crashes at the intersection happen because drivers entering from minor streets fail to yield to other drivers who have the right of way, according to a city press release.

The proposed roundabout would control the direction of traffic and ensure that vehicles travel at 15 to 20 miles per hour, the release said.

Frederick residents have pushed for more safety provisions in the intersection for 10 years, said Praharaj, who added that many traffic improvements in the city are complaint-driven.

After previous calls for improvements, the city created a shoulder along Motter Avenue in 2019 to increase visibility for drivers entering the intersection from minor streets. But the shoulder did not cut down on crashes, the city's release said.

The roundabout proposal comes after the city collected traffic data in January and conducted an analysis that revealed a roundabout would be a better option for the intersection than a traffic signal or all-way stop signs.

The proposal also aims to make the intersection, which is near North Frederick Elementary School, safer for children who cross Motter Avenue, Praharaj said.

Plans for the roundabout are playing out amid additional concerns from residents about traffic safety at other nearby intersections, including that of Motter Avenue and West 9th Street.

Praharaj said the potential roundabout will not have much of an impact on that intersection, but the city's traffic engineers are evaluating other safety complaints and pinpointing next steps.

For about a month, the city will seek public comment on the roundabout proposal, Praharaj said. After taking residents' feedback into account, the city will send out a request for proposal for its design and construction in the fall.

Funding for the roundabout's construction is expected to come from the city's fiscal year 2024 budget.

Traffic engineers worked with various entities, including Frederick County Public Schools and local emergency departments, to ensure that plans for the proposed roundabout will work for school buses, county public transit vehicles and more, according to Praharaj.

"We have received ... pretty close to 100% positive comments about it," she said.

Residents can provide comments on the proposal by emailing Praharaj at or traffic engineer Cherian Eapen at