Traffic light planned on Route 140 intersection Residents had fought suggestion of 'jug handle' to ease congestion

November 16, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

A traffic light, not a "jug-handle" intersection, will alleviate congestion at the intersection of Route 140 with Royer and Meadow Branch roads in Westminster, state highway officials said yesterday.

Traffic will increase enough in 1994 to warrant the light, State Highway Administration District Engineer Douglas R. Rose said. The light will be installed by the end of next year, he said.

Many residents had fought the jug-handle idea, which they said would make the intersection more dangerous.

About 35 people attended a meeting yesterday at the County Office Building with the county commissioners and state transportation officials.

The commissioners and county representatives in the General Assembly had lobbied for a traffic light.

Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy sent letters to Gov. William Donald Schaefer in September asking him to ask transportation officials to reconsider their jug-handle proposal.

Mr. Lippy said yesterday he thought the governor stepped in as a result.

"They say everything's politics, and I believe it," he said. "Not that there's anything wrong with it."

Mr. Rose said studies showed traffic would be heavy enough next year to warrant a light, so officials decided to begin planning for it now.

The light will cost $70,000. It will take at least nine months to get the money for it, he said.

Officials had suggested a jug handle because they like to install as few lights as possible on Route 140; it is supposed to be a limited-access road, Mr. Rose said.

The jug handle would have cost about $400,000, officials said.

"From an engineer's point of view it was a good idea," Mr. Rose said.

But residents saw it as a possible nightmare.

The proposal was to make a jug handle out of Old Taneytown Road to connect Royer Road to Route 140 1,200 feet west of the current intersection.

Motorists would use the jug handle to turn left onto Route 140, to get to Meadow Branch Road or to get from Meadow Branch Road to eastbound Route 140.

Meadow Branch Road is directly across Route 140 from Royer Road.

Several residents thanked state officials yesterday for their decision. One was Virginia A. Stoner, chairwoman-elect of the board at Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren, which is right at the intersection.

Residents met for a public meeting on the issue at the church in September.

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