Congested road near Route 140 to get help

Augusta Ave. needs more, some say

March 14, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Instead of closing Augusta Avenue at Route 140, Carroll officials have opted for striping and signs to curtail traffic using the residential street as a shortcut to Westminster's main thoroughfare.

Residents had petitioned the county to close the road at Route 140 because cars and large trucks speed along the side street as a shortcut from Route 97 south to Route 140 west. Residents backed away from the proposal at a public hearing last month.

"Halfway through the meeting, we found out they don't want the road closed after all," said Doug Myers, county director of public works. "We had the same residents who had signed two petitions: one to close the road and one to keep it open."

The commissioners asked Myers for a solution.

On his recommendation, the commissioners authorized striping yesterday. Crews will paint a line down the center of the 21-foot-wide avenue and one in front of the stop sign at Route 140. The hope is the striping will make the stop sign more noticeable to speeding motorists who fail to stop.

A sign banning truck traffic will be posted.

The commissioners rejected construction of two speed humps, estimated to cost $7,000, to slow traffic.

"I would rather let a road deteriorate than build speed humps," said Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier. "We will make the striping as clear as we can and the stop sign as visible as we can."

Edmund Klebe of nearby Dunrovin Avenue said striping and signs will have no effect on motorists.

"This morning, three cars went through the stop sign, one without slowing down," Klebe told the commissioners yesterday. "Another signs says `no trucks,' but we have them all the time, too.

"Everybody cuts through here and speeds through the neighborhood. The police are missing a great source of revenue," Klebe said.

In other developments, Gene Curfman, county comptroller, prepared the commissioners for a bond sale next week that will reimburse the county's general fund for the construction of seven corporate hangars.

A public hearing on the $2.2 million bond issue is set for 9 a.m. March 22. The county has sold $1.1 million to help repay the $3.3 million project at the county airport north of Westminster.

The bonds will be paid into the county's general fund, which has been used to finance construction of the hangars.

The loan repayment would cost about $240,000 annually for the next 20 years.

Curfman said the county should break even on the project for the first 20 years while repaying the loan and then show a profit.

The county also anticipates revenues from increased fuel sales at the airport.

"In 20 years, that airport will be a lot bigger," Curfman said. "Regional airports will be getting all the smaller planes because the metro airports won't bother with them."

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