School group seeks fence on Clark Road Sidewalks could offer additional buffer from traffic near Meade High

November 07, 1995|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A Meade Senior High School community group wants a fence along the south side of Clark Road to protect the children who might live in new base housing there from traffic on the two-lane road.

The group also wants post and school officials to build sidewalks along the road in front of the school and to develop measures to ease potential congestion caused by hundreds of new residents in the area.

The 147 townhouses under construction "are awfully close to a main drag," said Judith Markelz, president of Meade's PTSA and a member of the school's Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC). She wants a fence or some barrier to ensure "that those kids do not exit their front doors and they are on the street."

No permanent fence is planned for the area, but if the Fort Meade Department of Public Works determined that one is needed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is managing the construction, could erect one, according to a spokeswoman for the corps.

"The Corps of Engineers is certainly in tune to safety, and I am sure that they would march forward with any orders they are given", said Linda Greene, a public affairs specialist for the corps' Baltimore district.

The homes are at various stages of completion, and the last ones may not be completed until May, but Meade High's CAC wants a permanent fence put up as soon as possible.

A temporary, chain-link fence now runs along the construction area across Clark Road from the school.

Some of the townhouses are arranged in rows perpendicular to Clark Road, with homes on the ends just yards from the street. And two entrances to the housing complex are almost directly across from the main entrance to the high school.

"With the addition of 147 new homes along and just behind Clark Road, we have got a lot more congestion we have got to expect almost immediately," said Vaughn Brown, CAC chairman.

He said the committee plans to send a letter to Fort Meade and county school officials asking them to consider putting up a fence and building sidewalks, and to study traffic management along Clark Road and at the school's rear entrance on Annapolis Road.

Committee members are particularly worried about the lack of sidewalks along Clark Road and on part of MacArthur Boulevard because many students walk very near and sometimes in the roadway to and from their homes on the base.

"Before this construction, there were lots of grassy areas on that side of the road" where students and other pedestrians could walk, said Mr. Brown. "Those grassy areas and the shoulder are gone."

Fort Meade spokesman Don McClow said officials there could not comment until they see the group's proposals.

Military police probably will step up patrols on Clark Road once the first residents move in, particularly before and after school, said Lt. Col. Thomas Beanland, the base provost marshal.

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