Town Tries To Unclog Route 32

November 13, 1991|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Staff writer

SYKESVILLE — Town officials are seeking a way to prevent Route 32 from becoming one big traffic jam in the next five years.

Delivery people for Dixon's Flowers normally don't try to make a left turn on to Route 32 when leaving the store for Eldersburg.

"There's a steady stream of traffic on (Route) 32," said Barbara Taylor, who owns the store near Flohrville. "We get breaks in the traffic, but usually we turn right and go down Freedom Avenue and around."

Lois Gettier, a clerk in Little George's on Sandosky Road, has the same problem.

"If you go up to the Springfield Avenue intersection, you can't get out unless you turn right," Gettier said. "I know, because my boyfriend and I have tried."

For people who live in the Sykesville area but work in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Route 32 is the road out of town to their jobs in the morning and back home at night.

The road also bogs down traffic in Sykesville, as residents cut through town to get to Route 32.

With increasing development, town officials worry about what could happen five years from now, when hundreds of new homes bring in more families and more traffic.

"We can't wait till we get in the midst of the problem to do something," Councilman Jonathan Herman said at Monday night's Town Council meeting.

"Between the new recreation area on Route 32 at Raincliffe Road, new Freedom-area development, plus maybe 600 more homes in town, we're going to have thousands of cars trying to get out on Route 32," he said.

Herman also is on the Planning and Zoning Commission, which has been looking at traffic problems since spring, when county planners presented a study projecting 1995 traffic at three Route 32 intersections.

The intersections were rated from A to F, with A being a free flow of traffic and F representing jammed conditions. The intersections -- at Springfield Avenue, Sandosky Road and MainStreet -- were rated C, or stable flow, or below at peak morning andafternoon rush hours.

The realignment of Obrecht Road in 1993 directly on to Route 32 is not expected to alleviate congestion in town because the Hawk Ridge Farm and Shannon Run developments will have been partially completed, adding to traffic.

Council President Kenneth W. Clark has suggested establishing one-way streets in town to encourage motorists to take other routes to Interstate 70 besides Route 32.

The Planning Commission has discussed building a cloverleaf atthe new Obrecht Road-Route 32 intersection, as opposed to a traffic light, to make access easier.

Town officials say a comprehensive traffic study is needed.

"We're also concerned about all the state and county activities that are planned, like the park on Route 32 andstate police training academy," Town Manager James L. Schumacher said.

"We're not advocating more traffic lights. We want to keep the traffic lights down," he said.

"Route 32 from the town to I-70 hasbeen designated as a state highway beautification project, and we want to keep it that way, with as little distraction and intersections as possible."

Officials also are looking at improving traffic safety.

"We want to look ahead, rather than wait for an area to be developed, so we can figure the safest and most beneficial way for people to get in and out of town," Police Chief Wallace P. Mitchell said.

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