GBIA vote riles foes of bypass Group reverses its earlier stand

September 10, 1992|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Reversing a stand it took earlier this summer, the Glen Burnie Improvement Association voted Tuesday not only to support a controversial $3.1 million bypass proposed for Old Stage Road, but also to ask the county to accelerate the project.

Opponents of the road, however, vowed to continue their fight by packing future civic association meetings and attempting to get the latest vote overturned.

"It can't end here," said Denis Taylor, who has lived on nearby Thelma Avenue for a dozen years. "I can be here next month with five more people to bring this up again for a vote."

He and Frank Furman, also of Thelma Avenue, said the civic group should have told their neighborhood that the sensitive issue was to come up for a vote Tuesday.

The vote was 27 to 22.

"It's not going to go away," Dawn Ways, whose Hollybrook Road home backs up to the proposed road, said yesterday. "We are talking about cutting a diagonal through a residential neighborhood."

GBIA President Muriel Carter said the group's board recommended the change in position after the county said a bypass was the sole solution to the Brookfield area's traffic XTC woes. She said she is sorry that some of the road's opponents feel that their civic group has betrayed them.

Opponents maintain that the county is trying to force an %J unwanted costly road through their neighborhood for the convenience of traffic that cuts between the Dorsey Road end of Baltimore-Washington International Airport to the northwest and Ritchie and Crain highways to the east.

The county, which has been proposing the road for about two decades, has said the bypass would remove the through traffic from winding local streets, where it has become a safety hazard.

The proposed road would cut approximately from the intersection of Stewart Avenue and Old Stage Road to Aquahart Road and Crain Highway.

Old Stage Road and Thelma Avenue, lined with houses, is the shortcut used by more than 46,000 cars a week, according to county traffic figures. Last November, a child was struck by a car as she tried to cross Thelma Avenue near Corkran Middle School, prompting renewed community efforts to take some of the traffic off the two neighborhood roads.

Pressed by residents of the Brookfield area, the GBIA earlier this summer took a stand against the bypass and urged the state and county to install stop signs along Old Stage Road, issue speeding tickets and make other changes.

But, Ms. Carter said, the association was turned down and told by the county that the new road, about .93-mile long, was the only answer. The civic group's board agreed Aug. 25 to recommend that the entire association support the project, urge the county to do it sooner than the scheduled 1996 and 1997 fiscal years, and install safety and environmental measures because the road would back up to houses.

The project could be moved into the county's 1994 capital improvement budget, with construction starting as early as next September, said Robert Loomis, assistant director of public works. New engineering plans probably would be needed, he said.

Plans drawn up in the 1970s call for two lanes of open road with the exception of the section between Thelma Avenue and Crain Highway, which would be a four-lane closed roadway, with barriers erected to keep people from crossing the street.

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