Town Council still favors Boxwood Drive extension

Residents worried for children's safety

March 13, 2002|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

Despite numerous objections from residents and a wavering financial commitment from the Carroll County commissioners, Hampstead Town Council members said last night that they still support the proposed extension of Boxwood Drive.

"This road was always designed to take traffic off of residential roads and feed it to bigger roads," said Councilman Wayne H. Thomas.

Under the plan, the town eventually would extend the road in two directions, connecting it to Lower Beckleysville Road on the north side and to Trenton Mill Road on the south. Only the 300-foot extension to Lower Beckleysville has been approved and funded, and council members seemed skeptical that the connection to Trenton Mill will be built in the near future.

The Boxwood extension, an approved and funded project, hadn't caused many ripples in Hampstead before a Town Council meeting Feb. 12, when about 30 residents showed up with stories of how their children would be in danger traversing the extended road. Most said they hadn't heard about the extension until seeing the proposed comprehensive plan, a blueprint for Hampstead land use that is updated periodically.

The commissioners in recent weeks have hedged on their commitment to the project. Commissioner Donald I. Dell questioned whether the project was worth funding given budget constraints.

Hampstead council members expressed frustration that the commissioners seemed to be backing away from an approved project.

The council approved the extension hoping that Boxwood would be an easy way for residents of the Robert's Field development to reach a planned post office on Lower Beckleysville. But with construction of the post office on hold, the extension would do little more than create an attractive bypass for commuters who want to skirt crowded Route 30, residents said.

"If you guys represent a majority of the community and the majority of the community doesn't want this extended, why are you pushing this through?" asked Jim Carnaggio, who lives on Boxwood.

Council members replied that they are trying to do what is best for long-term traffic flow.

The council will have to wait for a response from the commissioners on whether the project will be funded.

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