Plan foes influence review of streets Westminster to study intersection problems

April 15, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A Westminster citizens group this week will take another look at the West Main Street-Uniontown Road-Old New Windsor Road intersection after public opposition to a proposed realignment.

"I think everyone agrees it's not a good intersection," said Thomas B. Beyard, city planning director. The difficulty is how to solve the problem, he said.

The West Main Street-Uniontown Road task force will meet at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the State Highway Administration building, 150 Wyndtryst Drive. The eight-member task force will make recommendations to the City Council, which has the final decision.

The intersection study is part of a multiyear state project to reconstruct East and West Main streets and Pennsylvania Avenue. After work is completed, responsibility for the streets is turned over to city government.

A public hearing in February brought out opponents to a task force proposal to make Uniontown Road the "main street" for through traffic between Union Street and Route 31. Drivers wishing to continue on West Main Street would turn at the intersection. Old New Windsor Road would become one way from West Main Street to West Green Street under the recommendation.

State highway engineers and the task force based the proposed design on traffic studies that showed Uniontown Road being used as the through street. During evening rush hour, Mr. Beyard reported, three of four vehicles used Uniontown Road rather than West Main Street.

Residents spoke at the public hearing against making Old New Windsor Road one way. Several speakers opposed making Uniontown Road the main street because they didn't want additional traffic on Uniontown Road.

Options on the task force's list include: The realignment presented at the public hearing.

Making West Main Street the through street, with a dogleg to Uniontown Road. Mr. Beyard said this option could make it difficult for fire engines and ambulances to make the turn.

Widening a street between West Main Street and Uniontown Road through Western Maryland College property west of the intersection. The road would channel traffic through the college grounds and would require drivers to turn near a crosswalk between buildings on the south side of West Main Street and the main campus.

Putting a traffic circle, called a roundabout, in the intersection. A roundabout is an intersection with one-way traffic around a central island. The State Highway Administration is building one in Taneytown at Route 140, Antrim Street and Taneytown Road.

Making westbound West Main Street one way between Union Street and the entrance to Western Maryland College. Westbound traffic could bear left to Uniontown Road or continue straight on West Main Street, but eastbound traffic on West Main Street would have to stop and turn left to continue eastbound. The option is an attempt to modify the realignment presented at the public hearing to address some of the concerns residents raised, Mr. Beyard said.

Pub Date: 4/15/96

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