Families sign petition against road widening Community group supports project

April 29, 1993|By Angela Winter Ney | Angela Winter Ney,Staff Writer

More than 100 Chartwell families have signed a petition opposing the widening of Kinder Road between Chartwell and Kilmarnock Drive, in spite of the community association's overwhelming support of the project.

While acknowledging the existing stretch of narrow road as safety hazard, the petition recommends closing the road or making it one-way. Representatives for the county Office of Planning and Zoning have said closing the road isn't an option.

Steve Dulin, a community member who helped gather signatures, said residents fear widening Kinder Road is part of more extensive county plans to provide easier access from Chartwell to Earleigh Heights Road and on to Ritchie Highway.

"People are worried . . . it will bring a constant flow of traffic into this residential area," Mr. Dulin said.

Michael Gately, another Chartwell resident opposing the widening, said 90 percent of households contacted opposed the widening.

Copies of the signed petition have been sent to Councilwoman Diane Evans and to the Chartwell Community Association's board of directors, which voted 11-1 in February to support the $200,000 county project.

Opponents of the widening said they hope the petition "will demonstrate the board's need to re-evaluate its position."

However, Catherine Beverly, the community association's board president, said the petition was posted at the Chartwell Golf and Country Club and signed by "people from all over, people who live in Arnold and Millersville, as well as Chartwell residents."

She said the number of petitioners is greatly reduced when one discounts those signatures.

The county club has opposed the proposed widening, charging it would destroy the privacy of the club's 13th hole T-box area.

Those who gathered the signatures insist they went house by house through Chartwell streets. They said some residents complained they were not given enough information about the project by the community association in advance of the board's vote.

Specifically, they said they did not know that the widening of Kinder Road could be seen as part of a plan that might bring more traffic into their community.

Retorts Ms. Beverly: "A few people were concerned the road would increase speed through here, and a few thought traffic would increase. But the road doesn't go anywhere."

Mr. Dulin, however, said he is extremely concerned that more drivers will cut through Chartwell once the road is wider, as a short-cut to Earleigh Heights and Ritchie Highway.

He said the increased traffic would be extremely hazardous for children living in Chartwell.

County planners, who have put the widening of the road on top of their priority list as a safety concern, insist they are designing the road expansion in a way that will limit drivers' speeds.

Mr. Dulin doesn't trust such assurances. "My position is, how dangerous do you want to make it? The county is saying it won't increase traffic through Chartwell and that's not true. Once the gauntlet falls, it's too late."

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