There has been a good bit of chatter around the letters and marking of the traffic circles that occurred recently. This is a huge issue initiated by Anne Arundel County DPW that will affect all homeowners in our association. First and foremost, this was not an action that was initiated by Asher’s Farm HOA. Had this been an area that needed to be addressed by the board of directors, the process would have been to ask first for input from the community. This would happen before initiating any contact with the DPW. With that being said, we have been able to learn a few things through different channels.
Jim Pierce had called DPW regarding traffic management and clarification on the regulations for the roads and learned that the Fire Marshal was reviewing cul-de-sacs and would be communicating facts via a letter well ahead of time. It is unfortunate that DPW did not follow through on that communication. Being a County issue, the HOA and Board was not in the loop regarding the letter or exact timeline of any plans. In retrospect, it would have been wise to share the information about DPW and Fire Marshal rather than wait on a promised letter.
We wanted to share information researched by several members of the community to help broaden everyone’s collective understanding of the cul-de-sac parking situation. We have learned that the county has adopted NFPA code for the Fire Marshall’s determination of vehicle access. The specific citation is NFPA 1:18.104.22.168. This means county rules have not been fully established for our roads regarding vehicles parked on cul-de-sacs and that the roads will have to be reviewed by the Fire Marshal. Now, when the Fire Marshal reviewed the cul-de-sacs, they determined there should be no parking zones based on the law/regulation provided above. This is because they have hollow centers and limits egress and ingress for emergency vehicles. This design decision likely ties to stormwater management, costs and other decisions that we are not privy to made by Jones and Crane. However, on Wednesday, October 7th, Jim Pierce received follow up information from the Fire Marshall’s office indicating the following:
"The Fire Marshall Office has retracted the original request to create the no parking zones on the cul de sacs. Based on the latest correspondence from the FM office, we will not proceed with the creation of the no parking zone. We will send out another email informing the affected residents that we will not create the zone. However, we are offering the opportunity to the community to create a parking management plan. The creation of the plan will be with the full participation of all the residents. If you are interested in developing the plan, please reach out to Erik Terry (Area Engineer); he will lead this effort for our office." Additional information known to the Board at this time is that correspondence with County Councilwoman Jessica Haire confirmed that the Fire Marshall’s Office and Traffic Division have discussed accessibility and our current configuration meets their requirements.
Understanding the NFPA code:
There are 3 critical measurements that become relevant:
Some research was done by Tom Giancola using measuring tape and running calculations confirmed the following:
While this is disappointing, the inadvertent discovery is that it appears that our cul-de-sacs might have adequate turning radius and width if cars were to park closely around the inner circle.
Photos and math overlay on scale google maps follow for reference.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
Thomas Jenkins, President
Asher's Farm HOA
Asher's Farm Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 US
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