New Windsor Town Council has vetoed a proposed truck route that proponents said would have eased traffic woes in Carroll's smallest town.
With state bypass money a pipe dream, Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. and Steve Horn, county transportation planner, proposed a three-quarter-mile road connecting Route 31 to Route 75 at the north end of town.
"This was the most feasible solution, not necessarily the most politically popular," Mr. Gullo said.
He found out just how unpopular when the council voted it down unanimously Wednesday.
"The master plan revisions will move ahead this summer without a bypass," said Mr. Gullo yesterday. "It is the planning document by which we will live for the next 20 years."
The veto means the town will have to tolerate truck traffic on its streets for most of those years, he said.
With a population of about 900, New Windsor is at the end of a long list of other communities with more pressing transportation needs. It could be decades before the state funds a New Windsor bypass.
"All government needs to realize that it has to deal with problems itself," said Mr. Gullo. "More and more, local problems have to be dealt with locally."
Mr. Horn estimated the road would cost about $1 million, far less than the $8 million or more it would take to build a bypass. The town probably would have sold bonds to finance the smaller project.
The council cited cost and what it termed a "Band-Aid" solution in its decision. Council members said they were responding to residents opposed to the plan.
"The people who contacted me were all opposed," said Councilwoman Rebecca Harman. "Unfortunately, the ones who would have benefited did not come to the meetings or call."
Traffic to increase
With the expansion of the Lehigh Portland Cement Co. plant in neighboring Union Bridge and more residential development, including the possibility of 400 more homes on Route 75, traffic is bound to increase in New Windsor.
"Let the town put up with the trucks," said Charles D. Ecker, a lifelong resident of College Avenue, near the proposed truck route. "It is too late now to build a bypass. They should have done it years ago. Now, there's no way to run it."
After several on-site studies, the State Highway Administration has rated truck traffic high in the town.
"We know truck and other traffic will increase," said Ms. Harman. "I don't know how we will solve our problem. I think [the route] would have been beneficial, but I had to go by what the townspeople wanted."
Councilman Paul Garver called the truck route inadequate.
"It is like putting your finger in a leaking wall," he said. "If we are going to do something, let's do it all the way. I am concerned with truck traffic, but we would only be solving half our problem."
The town has restricted trucks to Main and High streets for years. The proposed road would have taken trucks off Main Street, which the town is trying to revitalize, but the large rigs would still have used High Street.
The road was "a feasible improvement that would have responded to an ongoing problem in New Windsor," Mr. Horn said.
Pub Date: 5/03/96