Highway administration to review planning studies for Liberty Road changes Public session will focus on aesthetic improvements

September 29, 1998|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

With maps, designs and pictures, the State Highway Administration will show Eldersburg residents how the agency plans to improve Liberty Road in South Carroll.

State and county officials will meet with residents today at Liberty High School to review planning studies of the congested corridor and discuss strategies for the future of the road, which is Route 26, a state highway.

"We are asking the state to show us examples of what has been done in other places," said Steve Horn, county bureau chief of planning. "They have offered to work with us to come up with strategies, anything to come up with improvements."

The primary focus for today's session is on aesthetics, particularly landscaping a highway that is vital to businesses and the communities along it, Horn said.

"Our focus is on the long-term function of the road and its appearance," Horn said. "We have to get the community and SHA together to start thinking about the future of Route 26."

State planners have developed a 27-foot-long concept plan that provides an aerial view of the Eldersburg area. The design

covers a seven-mile area. It shows Route 32 from Interstate 70 in Howard County north to Route 26 and Liberty Road from Baltimore County west to Route 97.

"We want to look at all issues in the Routes 32 and 26 corridor, particularly land use, traffic patterns and beautification," said Mary Dietz, state regional planner. "We want to keep the corridor viable, productive and livable. This is a first step."

Carroll County is in the midst of revising its master plan for South Carroll. Much of the proposal deals with Liberty Road and efforts to reduce traffic congestion.

Among the improvements under consideration are connector roads and widening the intersection of Routes 32 and 26. Action on the plan is being deferred until December, when the newly elected county commissioners are installed.

The business community has recently begun a landscaping program and has planted several trees along Route 26.

"We need to know more what the vision of the county is," said Dietz. "We want to know there is community interest before we come up with a design."

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. today in the auditorium of the school, 5855 Bartholow Road. Information: 410-386-2145.

Pub Date: 9/29/98

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