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Hamilton Blvd. traffic hearing

February 01, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hamilton Blvd. traffic hearing

Several Hamilton Boulevard residents have told Hagerstown officials they prefer a four-way stop to losing parking spaces and lowering the speed limit.

About 20 people showed up at City Hall on Tuesday for a public hearing on how to reduce the use of Hamilton Boulevard as a thoroughfare through the North End.

"It's unsafe for anybody, especially the young children," said Lieba Cohen, of 1104 Hamilton Blvd.

Cohen said she wasn't sure if any of the proposed solutions would work, but preferred a four-way stop at West Irvin Street or Hillcrest Road rather than Magnolia Avenue.

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Three options were proposed before the hearing to slow drivers and make the intersections safer. They were:

* Increase enforcement of the 30 mph speed limit.

* Install a four-way stop sign at Magnolia Avenue.

* Lower the speed limit to 25 mph and increase sight distance from the intersections by eliminating several parking spaces.

Cohen said lowering the speed limit wouldn't help because people don't obey it now, with many driving around 40 mph.

Parking is at a premium, especially with residents of apartment buildings using many street spaces, she said.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II suggested Cohen start a letter-writing campaign for a four-way stop at Hillcrest.

Paula Stotler, of 1401 Hamilton Blvd., suggested a four-way stop at Country Club Road. She said many youths "fly down" Hamilton Boulevard from the bowling alley near Long Meadow Shopping Center.

Ed Peters, of 1323 Hamilton Blvd., also preferred the stop signs at Country Club Road because many people use the road to avoid traffic lights on Northern Avenue.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said he used Country Club Road because it's even harder to see traffic coming on Hamilton Boulevard from other intersections because of parked vehicles.

At the end of the hearing, City Engineer Bruce Johnston gave city officials and residents another option to consider. He suggested three well-marked speed humps on Hamilton Boulevard that would be about four inches high and 15 feet long.

Councilman William M. Breichner said the matter would be discussed further at a February work session so council could vote for a solution at the Feb. 24 regular session.

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