Foes of a controversial road project and the Glen Burni Improvement Association agreed Tuesday to ask the county to devise a better solution to traffic problems on Thelma Avenue and Old Stage Road than the proposed $3.1 million thoroughfare.
"Everything went down as we hoped it would," said Denis Taylor, a Thelma Avenue resident who helped galvanize his community in the month since the GBIA took a stand favoring the road.
Working with a few others in the neighborhood in the past month, he got about 300 signatures on a petition opposing the road.
Additionally, about 40 opponents of the road joined the GBIA this month, largely to get the organization to change its earlier support for the road.
But this week, both sides were conciliatory.
"We got off on the wrong foot," GBIA President Muriel Carter said.
"If they build that road, I don't know that that would be the answer," she said.
At issue is a proposal to extend Old Stage Road from approximately Stewart Avenue to the intersection of Aquahart Road and Crain Highway. The county dusted off a 20-year-old plan for the road last winter, after a child was injured by a car as she tried to cross Thelma Avenue near Corkran Middle School.
In the new position, the GBIA does not address the road, but indicates it will work with affected residents and the county "to determine the best possible solution" and see it go forward with "the fewest possible negative impacts" on the residents.
"I would like to work as a whole community," said Linda Brandt, the mother of the child struck by the car last November.
Though concerned about traffic on what has become a well-traveled shortcut between the Aquahart Road/Crain Highway area and Baltimore-Washington International Airport, residents of the area think a new road would divide their community and make getting to the school less safe.
In September, the GBIA voted not just to support the county's decision to build the road, but to ask the county to build it sooner than planned and landscape it. Opponents of the road were outraged and fired off a letter to the GBIA venting their anger.