2 Route 140 intersections targeted by citizens group Residents say dangerous areas should be included in county's master plan

September 29, 1997|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

To improve safety and alleviate congestion at two intersections on Route 140 in Finksburg, a citizens group has endorsed traffic relief measures to be included in the county's new master plan.

The proposals focus on Route 140 intersections at Dede Road and Route 91. Residents have identified them as particularly dangerous.

Donald Hoffman, vice president of the newly formed Finksburg Planning Area Council, presented the proposals to residents last week at a meeting attended by about 80 people.

"The master plan is being rewritten, and this is our chance to re-examine and propose a wish list," said Hoffman, chairman of the council's traffic and public safety committee.

Since last month, the group has been meeting with county traffic planners to develop recommendations for the Finksburg area.

The most important component of proposed improvements to the Route 140 and Dede Road intersection is construction of a service road that would turn right off westbound Route 140, continue around the rear of businesses near the intersection and come out on Route 91. Hoffman said the project was originally included in the county's 1981 master plan.

Proposal's second part

The second part of the proposal calls for a westbound extension of Dede Road to intersect with Route 91 near Cedarhurst Road.

Hoffman said a planned shopping center at Dede Road and Route 140 increases the need for road upgrades.

"This is a prime consideration if the proposed shopping center comes to fruition," he said.

The proposal for improving the Route 140 and Route 91 intersection calls for the construction of an "urban diamond interchange."

This project would require the construction of bridges to carry traffic over eastbound and westbound Route 140. Ramps would provide access to Route 91, similar to the arrangement at Route 140 and Route 27.

The improvements would eliminate the need for a light at Routes 140 and 91.

Hoffman said cost estimates were not available for the projects.

Lobbying effort

County Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown, who attended Thursday's meeting, cautioned residents that the timing and scope of improvements on Route 140 are at the discretion of the State Highway Administration.

"You can put it on a list of talking points, but you probably won't see it anytime soon," Brown said. "The lobbying effort for the Westminster bypass is 20 years old."

In other business, the Finksburg Planning Area Council agreed to obtain more information about the Baltimore Reservoir Watershed Management Agreement to draft a position paper on the issue.

Noting a need to increase Carroll's industrial tax base, county officials are seeking a change in the agreement that would permit the rezoning of county land from conservation to industrial use within the watershed area. Officials in Baltimore and Baltimore County oppose any changes to the agreement, which governs land use in the 160-square-mile Liberty Watershed.

"Our big concern is [that Carroll] County will look bad by backing out of the agreement," said David O'Callaghan, president of the Finksburg Planning Area Council.

Brown told the group that the county has no intention of pursuing "rampant industrial development."

"We don't want to sign an agreement that takes major growth areas out of play, as far as economic development goes," Brown said.

Pub Date: 9/29/97

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