Neighbors hope officials can get drivers to slow

Eldersburg street to get lines, more police radar after residents complain

November 10, 1999|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll County officials will request stepped-up police radar and will paint a yellow center line and white parking lanes as early as today to slow motorists on MacBeth Way in Eldersburg.

The county commissioners agreed yesterday to stripe the 50-foot-wide street to deter speeding on the 3.25-mile road after hearing numerous complaints last week about speeding.

"Once we do the striping, I think residents will see the results and maybe this will help," Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier said yesterday.

Striping entails about $400 worth of paint and a half-day of work for county crews.

The commissioner also will ask state police to increase radar patrols and ticket motorists exceeding the posted 25-mph limit.

"We are also going to get radar down there and discuss bus safety with the school board. I think they will see a difference," Frazier said.

At the request of residents, Frazier contacted several real estate appraisers and was assured that striping would have no impact on property values.

Residents said the measures should help.

"I think the striping will slow motorists down," said Tim Moeslein, who noticed the preliminary markings yesterday and tried to drive within them. "Once these lines are created, you will be aware of where your car should be. I am not saying we don't need speed bumps, but striping is something we can do now."

Many residents have called for speed bumps, a proposal the commissioners rejected yesterday.

J. Michael Evans, county public works director, said speed bumps are usually asphalt mounds that rise about 4 inches above the road, that they cost about $3,000 each and that he could not recommend them.

"They are impediments and they defeat the purpose of the road," Evans said yesterday.

Residents of about 200 homes that line the street have complained repeatedly about speeding and traffic volume. The commissioners heard about 90 minutes of complaints when they met with about 100 residents at a public forum last week at Liberty High School.

"When we connect the two dead ends, there are concerns that we will be creating a significantly larger traffic load," Evans said. "There were mixed feelings from the audience whether the connection is a good or bad idea. Many said it was an anticipated improvement and we should do it."

The county plans to expand the artery to serve as an alternate to Route 26, officials said.

"We will continue to pursue the connection as a capital project," Frazier said.

The county has planned for years to connect the segments of MacBeth Way, from Brangles Road to Route 32, south of Route 26.

A connected MacBeth Way has been part of the county's master plan since 1977 as a way to divert traffic bound for Interstate 70 and Howard County from Route 26, a congested state highway at the heart of Eldersburg.

The county has designed the final segment: a 900-foot-long bridge across a deep ravine. The project is budgeted at $370,000 with an additional $100,000 for land acquisition. Construction could begin in the spring.

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