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New mall sparks traffic concerns

Arundel Mills opening could draw 350,000 during first 3 days

`Could become a mess'

Rapid-response team has been created should problems arise

November 13, 2000|By Laura Cadiz and Marcia Myers | Laura Cadiz and Marcia Myers,SUN STAFF

All this preparation is little comfort to those who rely daily on the roads near the mall and fear that their lives are about to be seriously disrupted.

Jim Castellan lives in the Ridgewood community near the mall. Going to and from his house means traveling Ridge Road.

"I think getting home is going to be impossible, probably from the time it opens through the Christmas holidays, he said. "There are certainly no good alternative routes."

Kevin Fields, of Jessup, expects to change his weekend shopping routine to avoid the mall traffic. Instead of shopping in Glen Burnie, he says, he'll go to Laurel or Columbia. As he sees it, the prospects for local motorists will become grim starting this weekend.

"Basically, it means sitting in traffic for 20 minutes every day," he said.

Woody Hood, a signal-timing engineer for the state, has studied the situation and says it's best to reserve judgment.

"With anything new, there's a little bit of not knowing exactly what's going to happen the first weekend. We'll expect the worst and hope for the best."

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