Owens backs road plan Mountain Road lane will be reversible to alleviate traffic

'Worth giving a chance'

December 20, 1998|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF

County Executive Janet S. Owens has pledged to carry through on county promises to alleviate congestion on Mountain Road by supporting reversible lanes on the packed Pasadena roadway.

Work is scheduled to begin this spring on transforming the left-turn lane into a drive-through lane that will accommodate heavy westbound traffic in the morning and heavy eastbound traffic in the evening.

The county and the state are sharing the $500,000 cost.

Residents who tried for 20 years to get something done about the road have been worried that plans agreed to in September would unravel when former County Executive John G. Gary left office. But Owens said Friday at a luncheon for foster care parents in Glen Burnie that that won't happen.

"Traffic has been such a problem for so long," she said. "People have looked at it, studied it, and [reversible lanes] is at least worth giving a real chance."

Owens said she plans to wait and see how the lane changes work in easing congestion before committing to other fixes -- widening the road or building a bypass to parallel Mountain Road for several miles.

"I want to watch and see whether this will improve the flow of traf-

fic, which could take a few years," she said.

Residents have been divided over which solution would be better. The state delegation had supported expanding the road while Gary and former Councilman Thomas W. Redmond Sr. favored the bypass. Residents have said that nothing has been done because everyone is working in different directions.

"There has been such frustration," said state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno. "But with Janet Owens and [new County Councilwoman A.] Shirley Murphy, people are going to see some positive results and some real cooperation.

"This is just the beginning," he said.

Pub Date: 12/20/98

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