Week In Review

March 19, 2006

Intersection eyed for Westminster

Exploring a new approach to an old problem, Carroll County officials want to ease congestion on Route 140 with an intersection design pioneered in Mexico that diverts left-turning motorists into a separate lane well before they reach a busy crossroads.

Carroll County and Westminster leaders sent a letter to state transportation officials endorsing their plan to implement the "continuous flow" intersection format at two crossroads on Route 140 in the county seat.

The design is in use in only two places in the country: Prince George's County and Long Island, N.Y., according to Michael Bruce, a transportation engineer with ABMB Engineers in Baton Rouge, La., where a third project is under way.

In the fall, the county commissioners scrapped a decades-old plan to build a bypass around Westminster, saying the county lacked the money for the project and could not build it without funding from the state.

Maryland section, Wednesday, March 15

Man dies during Hampstead party

A 20-year-old man died March 11 after losing consciousness during a party in Hampstead, according to state police.

Paramedics arrived at an apartment in the 1900 block of Hanover Pike at about 5 a.m. but were unable to revive Joel C. Nelson of the 3000 block of Falls Road in Hampstead. Nelson was taken to Carroll Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was under investigation by the chief medical examiner in Baltimore.

Maryland section, Tuesday, March 14

County's election could be at-large

If the General Assembly fails to settle the contentious issue of how to create five districts for Carroll County's Board of Commissioners, a judge could do it or voters could elect five people at large, according to an advisory by the attorney general's office.

The analysis, by Maryland Assistant Attorney General Katherine Rowe, says the county cannot revert to the current system of three commissioners elected at large. An at-large election for five commissioners seems more practical, although that would conflict with a 2004 referendum calling for five elected by district, Rowe said.

"Five commissioners are to be elected in the 2006 election," Rowe said. "Without a map, they would be elected at large and would serve four-year terms. Hopefully, by then, the county would have a map."

Maryland section, Thursday, March 16.

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