Severn roads neglected by state, residents say

January 16, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Improvements to Severn-area roads and intersections have not kept pace with traffic, and the community seems to be overlooked as the state works on roads in other areas, some residents say.

Bounded by Interstate 97 and Fort Meade, Severn is laced with two-lane roads that carry motorists to and from residential subdivisions, Fort Meade and other locations in the Baltimore- Washington corridor.

State Highway Administration engineers and planners were to have met with residents and the Greater Severn Improvement Association last week. That discussion will probably be rescheduled for February, said Mike Shylanski, president of the association.

Of particular concern is the Quarterfield Road bridge over I-97, where four lanes become two, causing bottlenecks at peak times, Mr. Shylanski said.

Highway officials say widening the bridge would be too expensive, Mr. Shylanski said.

Gerald Schreiber, who lives in Woodside Square, said the state found construction money for the lightly traveled Stewart Avenue bridge over I-97 and the elaborate system of ramps and hTC overpasses at I-97 and U.S. 50 in Annapolis.

"Why have they singled out our particular intersection for one that is going to be ignored?" Mr. Schreiber asked.

And he is skeptical about an Annapolis real estate development group's proposed solution. Officials with Osprey Property Group, who plan to build a business park on 70 acres north of Quarterfield Road, say a round-about that would include ramps for I-97 as well as an entrance to their property would alleviate traffic congestion without widening the bridge.

But a roundabout would not ease congestion caused by a narrow bridge and several small streets and businesses that feed traffic onto Quarterfield Road, said Mr. Schreiber, a retired Westinghouse engineer.

"I just don't think they are going to solve these problems" with a roundabout, he said. "Ultimately, the bridge needs to be totally revamped or replaced."

Mr. Shylanski wants to press state officials for additional turn lanes at Donaldson Avenue (Route 174) and Telegraph Road (Route 170). He also wants Telegraph Road widened to four lanes as it approaches Donaldson Avenue from the new Route 100. The improvements would lessen rush-hour congestion, he said.

Mr. Shylanski said the state should buy land for another lane on the southbound side of Ridge Road near Annapolis Road on Severn's western edge, where impatient motorists often drive on the shoulder. Another lane would improve safety, he said.

While highway officials have denied his requests for road improvements, citing lack of money, Mr. Shylanski said he is interested in talking with them and other Severn residents about the traffic problems.

9- "We are open-minded about this," he said.

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