New road weighed for White Marsh Yellow Brick plans might be resurrected

August 22, 1996

Baltimore County officials are looking to the Yellow Brick Road as a possible answer to traffic woes in the White Marsh area.

Yellow Brick Road serves an industrial park near Golden Ring Mall, but some say it could go farther -- and help reduce truck traffic near residential communities.

The suggestion has prompted officials to look into resurrecting plans to extend the road, running parallel to and between busy Philadelphia Road and Pulaski Highway (U.S. 40).

The extension -- which, if built, would link up with the planned extension of Campbell Boulevard -- was in large part deleted four years ago from the county's master plan.

But some White Marsh residents, and at least one business owner whose property would be affected, are urging officials to pencil it in again.

"There's really too much traffic that's coming onto one particular thoroughfare," said Marie Simoes, president of Nottingham Improvement Association. "We'd just like to see the traffic from the businesses have their own road."

Residents of Nottingham Village, a decades-old subdivision of about 80 homes on half-acre and acre lots near White Marsh Mall, have for years complained of heavy traffic on Philadelphia Road. Businesses on the road's east side are on property zoned for industrial use.

County planning director Arnold F. "Pat" Keller III said the area is ripe for further development -- a point that Simoes says underscores the need to plan for increased truck traffic.

Yellow Brick Road runs from Rossville Boulevard into an industrial park, where it comes to a dead end. The county's 1990 master plan included an extension, but the stretch northeast of Middle River Road was deleted as part of the 1992 Philadelphia Road Corridor Study after property owners complained that a road would slice their parcels in half.

Any extension would likely be built by as-yet unknown developers.

Renewed interest in including the full extension in the master plan led to a community meeting with Keller in June and to plans for a follow-up meeting.

J. Craig Forrest, transportation coordinator for Baltimore County, said this week, "It deserves to be in there, and I will be pushing like crazy to get it in there."

Dennis Bayer, president of Hofmann Bus Co., a business on the east side of Philadelphia Road, said he and other businesses there remain opposed to the road. He said the planned extension of Campbell Boulevard from Philadelphia Road to U.S. 40 -- a project included in the county's capital budget -- will reduce traffic on Philadelphia Road.

But at least one businessman in the area supports restoring the road to the master plan. Richard Gracey, vice president of A & J Electric, said his company has been trying to sell a portion of its property for five years but has been thwarted because the back of the parcel lacks road access.

"I'd love to see it go back on the plan," he said of the road extension. "It should have never been taken off in the first place."

Pub Date: 8/22/96

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