County officials probably can expect a firestorm of criticism tonight when they unveil their plans for a controversial new road at the Glen Burnie Improvement Association meeting.
The road, Thelma Avenue relocated, has stirred vehement opposition from local residents who complain that it will destroy the quality of life.
Robert W. Tyson, an engineer with the county's Division of Public Works, is to describe plans for the road, which would connect Stewart Avenue south of Dorsey Road to Thelma Avenue near Quarterfield Road, and field questions.
Nearby residents argue that it would split their neighborhood in half and draw heavy traffic onto residential streets. Last month, they solicited the GBIA's help in fighting the road. The association now is on record opposing the county's plans.
James Schroll, chief of the county's Traffic Engineering Division, said the new $3.1 million road would improve traffic flow and make the neighborhood safer.
"The road's not going to attract cars. We know the cars are already there," he said.
The county already owns the 80-foot strip, running between side streets, which would be used for the right of way. The proposed road has been on county books for years but was postponed indefinitely because of community pressure five years ago. It became an issue again last fall after a group of residents organized a committee to look into improving safety on Thelma Avenue.
Linda Brandt, one of the organizers, said she got involved after her daughter, Christy, then 11, was hit by a car while returning from Corkran Middle School, also on Thelma Avenue. Ms. Brandt said she wants to see safety improvements but added that her group opposes the four-lane thoroughfare.
At a series of community meetings with county planners, the committee suggested a variety of options, including stop signs, speed bumps, closing part of Thelma Avenue or making it one-way.
But county planners rejected those suggestions. Mr. Schroll said the committee's recommendations weren't considered because they would have been ineffective, would have shifted the traffic onto other residential streets or would have presented liability problems.
Tonight's meeting will be held at 8 p.m. at the GBIA Building on Crain Highway.