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New bus stop plan proposed

December 14, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

County Commuter buses would have two stops entering Hagerstown and five on their way out, according to a proposal presented to the City Council on Tuesday.

Bus stops would have enclosed shelters.

The proposal is aimed at addressing complaints about the County Commuter line, including the backup of buses, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said.

Also, people waiting unshielded in the rain for buses is "pretty uncivilized," he said.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner praised city officials for taking on a problem that has lingered for years.

One element of the plan is eliminating the stop at the southwest corner of Public Square. Two years ago, the owner of an office building there complained about people sitting on steps and planters as they wait for buses.

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The preliminary plan presented Tuesday calls for buses entering Hagerstown to stop at:

  • The city parking lot on West Antietam Street

  • West Franklin Street at Prospect Street


Buses leaving the city would stop at:

  • West Washington Street and Summit Avenue, in front of Discovery Station at Hagerstown

  • East Washington Street at the central parking lot

  • East Antietam Street at the main branch of Washington County Free Library

  • South Potomac Street at Baltimore Street

  • The parking lot at Jonathan and Church streets


The bus transfer point would remain on West Washington Street, near the Hagerstown Police Department.

Kevin Cerrone, the director of Washington County's County Commuter service, said the new configuration would take eight to 12 months to put in place.

Cerrone said the federal government would fund 80 percent of the cost of new shelters. The state would pay for 10 percent and the county would pay for 10 percent, he said.

Pointing to two of the styles of shelters shown to council members, Cerrone said one cost $3,000 and another cost $5,000 to $8,000.

Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer said she didn't like the idea of having a bus stop at West Washington Street and Summit Avenue. She noted numerous complaints about people who congregate there.

The corner is a congested spot that could get worse with a bus stop, Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean said.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh cautioned Tissue about the effect of putting enclosed bus shelters around the city, which could attract the homeless.

She blasted the current shelter at the transfer point as dirty and "despicable."

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