Changes sought for Dorsey Road widening plan Traffic signal, sidewalk urged GLEN BURNIE

April 07, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Glen Burnie residents are asking the State Highway Administration to redo the planned widening of a short strip of Dorsey Road near Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, fearing the current proposal would only make matters worse.

"It's dangerous now, and it would be more dangerous" when the Central Light Rail station near that intersection opens in July, said Muriel Carter, president of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association.

The community asked the state last week to add a sidewalk on the north side of Dorsey Road, between Central Avenue and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, and install a traffic signal at Central Avenue.

The state plans to widen Dorsey Road from Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard (Route 648) west to Central Avenue, about 600 feet. The Highway Administration will add a second left-turn lane from Dorsey Road onto Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard to move traffic toward Cromwell Station, the end of the southern light rail line. An additional 10 feet on the south side of Dorsey Road would be paved for a hiker-biker path that would connect to the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail Park's northern tip.

The rail station and Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School are on the northern side of Dorsey Road. Sawmill Creek Park and the Pascal Senior Center are on the opposite side. People walk on both sides of the road.

"We would certainly advocate a light" at Central Avenue and Dorsey Road, said Arthur Slade Principal Janice McIntosh. "It's already not safe there. With the widening certainly is going to come increased traffic."

Negotiating the busy intersection, with its right-on-red and slight incline, often is a challenge to pedestrians. Two students from Arthur Slade, which sits almost at the intersection, were struck by a car earlier this year as they crossed Dorsey Road (Route 176) at nearby Central Avenue.

Even taking the proper precautions does not always ensure safety, Ms. McIntosh said. A traffic light and sidewalk are sorely needed, she said.

"On the day the children were hit, the county crossing guard was out there doing her job," she said, adding that there are no sidewalks on her school's side of Dorsey Road.

The Highway Administration projects that by 2015, 2,350 vehicles will pass by that area during the morning rush hour. There will be about 100 fewer vehicles during the evening rush hour, according to the agency's statistics.

"If we can get people to cross Dorsey at Central Avenue, and there was a sidewalk there," Mrs. Carter said, the intersection would be safer.

Community representatives met last week with state highway officials and expect to meet with them again next week. Traffic engineers said they will re-examine their plans.

Transportation officials want to complete the $100,000 road-widening project by the time the light rail station opens for commuters in July. A small change in the plans, such as adding a sidewalk on the north side of Dorsey Road, is unlikely to delay the project.

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