Traffic plan for Mays Chapel school is seriously flawed

February 23, 2013

The traffic impact study for Mays Chapel Elementary School that was published on the Baltimore County Public Schools web site Feb. 20 is seriously flawed ("Balto. Co. eschews facts in Mays Chapel Elementary decision," Feb. 19).

Cullane Court, which is featured prominently in the study maps, has 11 residences. However, the study's maps failed to include Straffan Drive, a road bordering the school between Cullane Court and Roundwood Road. There are 110 residences on Straffan Drive, and the rear of most of them abut the current deeded open space park, where the county plans to build the school.

The intersection of Roundwood and Padonia roads was not surveyed, although the present BCPS plans call for buses to travel this route, and automobile commuters will most likely use this shortcut. Thus the traffic study erroneously assumes there will be no impact on this intersection, which is highly unlikely.

The proposed 715-student elementary school is modeled after Vincent Farms Elementary School. Vincent Farms has a staff of over 200, and 25 to 30 school buses will be needed to transport students to the school.

Many studies have shown that up to 75 percent of suburban students will be driven to school by their parents — about 465 to 530 students. Adding the 200 vehicles for the staff, the 25-30 school buses and up to 530 students in their parents' cars could see a total of 760 vehicles commuting daily to the school.

Yet the traffic study states there only will be 322 vehicular trips in the morning and 108 trips in the afternoon. Are they going to put dormitories on the property?

The traffic study also states that between 35 and 40 students will walk to school. There are considerably fewer than 35-40 elementary-school-aged children within the county's designated walking guidelines for elementary schools. The last census showed fewer than 10 elementary-school-aged children live in this area, and most of them go to private schools.

Baltimore County is misleading its residents about the proposed elementary school and its effect on the Mays Chapel North residents and other commuters from Baltimore County and surrounding areas who use Padonia Road to get to work or do other errands.

Nancy Burke, Lutherville

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