Reacting to one fatal and two other pedestrian accidents in the pastyear, representatives from seven community associations, the PTA andthe county have formed a panel to try and slow traffic down around George Fox Middle School.
"The thought was we would try to establish a committee made up of members of each of the communities to find out," said James Schroll, county chief of traffic engineering. "First,are there problems? Second, what's their magnitude? And third, what are possible solutions?"
The roads under study will be Outing and Catherine avenues,
East Shore Road and Mansion House Crossing in the stretch between Duvall Highway and Mountain Road. Residents report that traffic in the area has increased substantially with the coming of new developments and the Catherine Avenue/Route 100 interchange.
Last Memorial Day weekend, a 6-year-old boy was killed when he rode his bicycle out into the street at the corner of Catherine Avenue and 218th Streets.
Two George Fox Middle School students have also been struck in the past year on their way to school in the area, prompting the school to providetemporary bus service to all students south of Duvall until a solution to traffic problems is found.
None of the streets in that area has sidewalks.
Parents in the Green Haven Improvement Association recently recommended installing 64 stop signs in the zone -- a move that they admit is extreme.
"We were just looking for attention. Ask for the ridiculous and expect the rational," said Wendy Cooper, wholives along Catherine Avenue -- one block away from where the child was killed during a visit to his grandfather's house.
"There are many children in this area and we want to make it safe for them," Cooper said.
The County Council, responding to pleas from the Anne Arundel County Parent-Teacher Association, already has appropriated $90,000 to study and design a sidewalk along Outing Avenue. Bids are out on construction, but the project isn't assured of being approved yet.
Schroll, the traffic engineer, said he wanted to get surrounding communities involved in studying traffic as well as the sidewalks, tomake sure they agree on the solutions.
"If we put 14 four-way stop-signs along Catherine Avenue, it is going to cause a furor among those who use the road," Schroll said. "One person's local traffic is another person's thruway. We've been burned before, and we weren't going to get involved in any kinds of solutions without contacting the greater community."
Countywide PTA President Carolyn Roeding, who has been working on the issue for five years, said the associations that have agreed to send a representative to the meeting so far are Green Haven, Havenwood, Chesterfield, Country Place, Stony Brook, High Point and the Greater Pasadena Council.
The first meeting of the group is scheduled for Feb. 6.