Group aims to ease traffic at Westminster intersection W. Main at Uniontown is point of congestion

April 25, 1996|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A Westminster citizens group will focus upon two possible solutions to traffic congestion at a Y-shaped intersection at West Main Street and Uniontown Road, below Western Maryland College.

The group has eliminated several options: a new road through the college property; a one-way street; a dog-leg turn off Main Street -- and doing nothing, said Thomas B. Beyard, the city's director of planning and public works and a member of the task force.

That leaves under consideration by the West Main Street/Pennsylvania Avenue Task Force a traffic circle, and a modified version of the group's original proposal to make Uniontown Road the main thoroughfare. That realignment now would feature a gradual right turn for those continuing on Main Street.

Engineers will put the plans on paper for the group's next meeting May 14, Mr. Beyard said, and a decision could be made then.

Traffic studies showed three of four vehicles at the intersection choosing Uniontown Road rather than West Main Street.

Union Street, Old New Windsor Road and service drives into the college add to congestion.

The task force's original proposal drew opposition when presented at a February open house attended by about 70 people.

"There were some who were not real crazy about it, to say the least," Mr. Beyard said, and the proposal was modified as a result.

"You can actually design by committee," he said. "Some people don't think you can, but people feel they are part of the process."

The intersection is the fourth and last part of a state project to reconstruct both East and West Main streets and Pennsylvania Avenue that began in 1990.

Money for design, but not construction, has been approved, he said.

Westminster Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan said the city was able to cut its half-million dollar contribution for the project from this year's budget -- enabling it to hold the tax rate down -- because the state wasn't ready to proceed.

Pub Date: 4/25/96

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