Project for 'main' street proposed Main St.-Uniontown Road plan to be studied at forum

February 12, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A plan to make West Main Street and Uniontown Road the "main" street at a three-way intersection near Western Maryland College will be introduced to Westminster area residents tomorrow.

The plan includes making Union Street one way north from West Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and making Old New Windsor Road one way from the West Main-Uniontown Road intersection to West Green Street.

Residents can hear an explanation, look at a design and make comments at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Westminster Fire Company social hall, 66 E. Main St.

The three-way stop at the Uniontown Road intersection is "a very awkward situation," said Westminster planner Katrina L. Tucker.

A task force of local residents, city planning staff members and State Highway Administration engineers drafted the proposed changes as part of SHA's plan to reconstruct West Main Street and turn it over to city ownership.

Names of the streets won't be changed, Ms. Tucker said.

Westminster's government plans to improve Uniontown Road between West Main Street and Route 31 in conjunction with the SHA project to reconstruct West Main Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Route 31.

Neither project has a starting date.

"As it is now, we don't have the money funded any more than the state does," said Thomas B. Beyard, city planning and public works director.

He said a joint bid will get the projects completed at lower cost.

Construction financing for the SHA project may be available in 1997-1998, Mr. Beyard said.

He said the task force proposed West Main Street and Uniontown Road as the main through street because traffic studies showed most drivers travel that route. West Main Street beyond the intersection has become primarily a service road for Western Maryland College, he said.

City officials expect to hear from West Green Street residents about the possibility that making Old New Windsor Road one way will increase traffic on their street.

Mr. Beyard said traffic studies indicate that it may decrease.

He reported that a one-day count showed 121 vehicles traveled west on West Green Street and turned right onto Old New Windsor Road, while 51 vehicles traveling on Old New Windsor Road turned onto West Green Street.

Changing to one-way traffic on Union Street would be "just to eliminate another traffic movement on West Main Street," Mr. Beyard said.

He said few accidents, but many near misses, have occurred at the intersection.

Karen Clift, president of Neighbors United, said the Pennsylvania Avenue, Union Street and West Main Street citizens group has not met for several months.

She said Union Street residents who attended a meeting in the spring favored one-way traffic because cars parked on one side and the narrowness of the street make it hard for cars going in opposite directions to pass.

The task force is expected to evaluate the public's comments before making recommendations to the City Council on the West Main Street plan.

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