Abingdon resident supports new Walmart plan [Letter]

December 12, 2013


I am a resident of Abingdon since 1998, and I support the construction of the new Bel Air South Wal-Mart store. This seems to be the ideal place to build it, in the mist of the Bel Air South retail/business area. Since the area between the intersection of Patterson Mill Road/Barrington Place and 924 and the intersection of Wheel Road and 924 is essentially businesses of some type, be it banks, car wash gas station, health care facilities, fast food, restaurants, malls with various retail, medical and food establishments and various others, why would you not want to build it there?

Since the redesign, the intersection at 924, 24 and I-95; has become a nightmare, however, I believe that the redesign was supposed to be an improvement. I take my life in my hands every time that I go through that intersection no matter where I'm headed, especially if I'm attempting to go toward Constant Friendship Boulevard or Edgewood due to the reconfiguration of the lanes come down 24. Many travelers don't know which lane they are to be in and try to run you over, by just moving over in front of you. Coming from Edgewood on 924 and making a left toward Constant Friendship Boulevard the signage is terrible. Constant Friendship Boulevard has only one way in and one way out, which makes it very difficult to cross the road to patronize an establishment on the other side, such as to go from Target to Chic-fil-A or vice versa. This is a heavily traveled road and moving the Wal-Mart would greatly improve the traffic congestion in that area. With having only one way in and out you can get stuck on Constant Friendship Boulevard for hours, if there is a major accident or disaster on the Boulevard or at one of the traffic lights leading to it.

Building a new Bel Air South Wal-Mart will boost the Bel Air and Harford County economy, not only after it is opened for business, but also as it is being built. How many people will be employed in the construction of the new building and in the reconstruction of the roads? When the construction is complete, the current employees will have a better facility to work in as well as many new employees will need to be hired for the larger 24 hour store. Many of our teenagers, Veterans, and seniors will be employed at this new store. Much needed jobs and revenue will be added to the economy of Bel Air and Harford County. Where was the opposition from the residents and the county council when this property was rezoned in 2006, in order to accommodate a large retail business? If the residents and county council did not want a large retail store at this location, why was it rezoned to handle one in the first place? Now that a large corporation wishes to build at the site some of the same county council members that voted to change the zoning are in opposition to it being used as zoned. I believe that the management of the proposed Bel Air South Wal-Mart is cooperating with the county and doing their best to meet all the requirements in order to be able to build at this location. Why is the county not cooperating with Wal-Mart?

I am confused by the approval of the major MedStar project just across the highway from the proposed Bel Air South Wal-Mart. I heard that this is needed and Bel Air South Wal-Mart isn't, but I'm not sure why this would be needed when there are several medical facilities such as Express Care at the Festival; Upper Chesapeake Hospital and Patient First facility in the area as well as Festival Veterinary Clinic for your pets. Not sure why the county council would think that this will not add traffic to 924 or 24. As well as the new I98 unit apartment complex that has received approval. When you get right down to it, anything that you put along 924 and 24 will add to traffic.

I am really confused as to where all of the predicted traffic will be coming from; most people that live in Fallston will continue to shop at the Fallston Wal-Mart as well as the Bel Air people who currently go to the Fallston Wal-Mart. Aberdeen and Havre de Grace residents as well as some from Edgewood will continue to shop at the Aberdeen Wal-Mart. So that leaves a minor part of south Bel Air, Abingdon and some Edgewood residents to patronize the new Bel Air South Wal-Mart. Many of these people will already be on 924 and will patronize the Bel Air South Wal-Mart while out.

The new Bel Air South Wal-Mart will be open 24 hours and would have groceries as well as a larger general merchandise area. Most retail stores close by 10 p.m. and with a 24 hour Wal-Mart in the area, I would not need to travel to Aberdeen or Fallston to shop after 10 p.m. for needed items late at night.

Plumtree Road is an ideal location for this new Wal-Mart as it will be in the midst of a major business center. The area between the intersection of 924 and Patterson Mill/Barrington Place and 924 and/or Wheel Road is almost all businesses, very little residential in this area. So what better place to build the Bel Air South Wal-Mart?

Darlene Sakers


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