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Maryland Route 23 west - Hickory to Jarrettsville


Southwest of Hickory, on the north end of greater Bel Air in Harford County, Maryland Route 23 pulls away from U.S. Route 1 (Hickory Bypass), where it has its eastern terminus, and heads west with a gradual leftward curve and 40 MPH speed limit. For nearly seven miles, it will be known as East-West Highway. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


At right is a park-and-ride lot served by MTA commuter buses - namely, route 411, which goes to the area of Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital. Intersected at left is Hoagie Drive, named for the signature item of the Wawa located along it. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


At mile marker 0.1, the route passes the Tucker Memorial youth football and baseball fields at left, and there is duplicate MD 23 reassurance of sorts. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


There is a traffic signal forthcoming at U.S. Route 1 Business (Conowingo Road). Photo taken 02-19-2024.


This portion of Conowingo Road was part of mainline US 1 until 2000, when the Hickory Bypass opened along with the eastward extension of MD 23 along which these first photos were taken. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Following Conowingo Road, there is a second traffic signal at Water Tower Way. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


This "new" signal was actually put up nearly four years before these photos, in 2020. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Originally, MD 23 curved wide-right at this point, then turned left onto Granary Road which took it out to Conowingo Road. In its current state as Water Tower Way under county maintenance, it still leads out to southbound US 1, itself providing multiple access points to Interstate 95 to the south. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


This portion of MD 23 is dedicated to Gold Star mothers of the U.S. military. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The speed limit now increases to 55 miles per hour. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Proceeding a short distance through a swath of trees, the highway then approaches a roundabout. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The intersecting road at the roundabout is Commerce Road, which goes into the Forest Hill Industrial Airpark and out to East Jarrettsville Road. Meanwhile, at left sits a section of the Spenceola North subdivision. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


A separate "yield" warning sign for the roundabout sits at the highway's mile marker 1. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Westbound traffic enters the 2008-built roundabout here. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


 A MD 23 reassurance shield sits at roundabout exit. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The highway continues west, past more of Spenceola North at left, and with some buildings of the airpark a distance away to the right. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Then, the route passes over the Ma and Pa Trail, a foot and bike path approximating the course of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. It begins just to the north at the Friends Park off East Jarrettsville Road, and runs in two sections through Forest Hill, Bel Air and ending up at Fallston's Edgeley Grove Park. At left, the trail separates Spenceola North from another area development, Deer Spring. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


MD 23 is now approaching its junction with Maryland Route 24. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


MD 24 is known in this area as Rock Spring Road. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


At the forthcoming signal, MD 23 continues straight ahead to Jarrettsville, while MD 24 goes south (right) to Bel Air via Maryland Route 924, and north to the center of Forest Hill, where it meets Jarrettsville Road (the original Hickory-Jarrettsville alignment of MD 23). Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Shields pointing to each direction of MD 24 sit on either side of the intersection. MD 24 runs a total of 25 miles between a gate of the Edgewood Arsenal of the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Pennsylvania line at the borough of Fawn Grove. It passes west of Abingdon, west and north of Bel Air (at one point overlapping with US 1), cuts through Forest Hill, and is the main route through Rocks State Park and some of the farmland to the north. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The MD 24 crossing is immediately followed by MD 23 reassurance. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Jarrettsville and Norrisville are a respective 6 and 16 miles ahead. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Having gone sharply downhill, the highway is becoming enveloped by trees. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The route now prepares to meet Grafton Shop Road at a crossroads. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The Grafton Shop intersection is notoriously dangerous, with numerous crashes, some fatal, occurring here over the years. Accordingly, safety measures such as rumblestrips, center left-turn approaches, and separate right-turn lanes from Grafton Shop with yield signs have been progressively implemented over time. Grafton Shop Road itself runs from Red Pump Road west of Bel Air to West Jarrettsville Road due north of this intersection, passing west of the massive Forest Lakes development in the process. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The speed limit is still 55. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The highway goes downward again, this time more gradually. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


A break in the trees occurs as MD 23 goes slightly back upward. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Another crossroads is coming up at High Point Road. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Like Grafton Shop, this intersection has a less-than-impressive safety record. Spelled "Highpoint Road" on the street blade at right, it runs as a continuation of Pleasantville Road to the southwest, northward to West Jarrettsville Road. Pleasantville and High Point form part of a continuous chain of roads that also includes Long Green Pike in the Baldwin and Glen Arm areas of Baltimore County. The street blade and guardrail also appear to have sustained damage from an unknown source since Peter last came through here in August of 2023. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


After High Point Road comes more MD 23 reassurance. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The highway is now at the crest of yet another hill. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Becoming visible at the bottom of the hill is a bridge, the first of two, over Phillips Mill Road. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The Phillips Mill bridge, unusually high, is at mile marker 4.8. Phillips Mill serves as a connector between Putnam Road and West Jarrettsville. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


Another uphill climb follows the bridge. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


At the top of the hill, the highway levels out. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


There is now a bridge over Morse Road, which was replaced in 2007. This represents MD 23's transition from Forest Hill into Jarrettsville. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


The route begins winding leftward through more trees. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


East-West Highway is now approaching its west end. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


This comes at Maryland Route 165, along which MD 23 internally runs to the center of Jarrettsville, though it is not acknowledged in the field and is simply marked here as "TO MD 23". Photo taken 02-19-2024.


This portion of MD 165 is known as Baldwin Mill Road. Photo taken 02-19-2024.


East-West Highway ends here. MD 23 will "restart" in Jarrettsville proper as Norrisville Road at its split with MD 165. Photo taken 02-19-2024.

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