Herald-Mail Forums

October 09, 2006

Last week's question

The Greater Hagerstown Committee held a forum recently to encourage improvements to Washington County's road system. What is the most needed highway project in Washington County today?

· This is an impossible question to answer unless you have recently traveled all the highways in Washington County. Maybe that is why this is the first and possibly the only comment on this topic.

· The exit from Interstate 81 to Maugansville Avenue is extremely dangerous, especially at around 5 p.m. weekdays. You can turn right, but it is risky to turn left or go forward. Drivers are going too fast and you have to wait for a gap to proceed. It needs a traffic light.


· By far, Eastern Boulevard. This road was to be the problem-solver for the downtown traffic woes, especially at evening rush hour. The County Commissioners and the City Council have ignored this road. This road should have been four lanes to start with. Now we have to dodge the pot holes and the shoulders are falling apart. With the development that is expected, where will all the traffic go?

· Another route to connect the North End of Hagerstown and Interstate 81. Maugans Avenue can't handle all the traffic, so why not cut a road from Pennsylvania Avenue to Maugansville Road and get an on ramp to I-81 south?

· Speed. Could they just do whatever they do FASTER? They closed our road last week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and managed to complete just three patches ... and we're not talking large patches, either.

· The widening of Interstate 81 to three lanes and corrections to the "too short" entrance ramps is the biggest need. Next comes the widening of Eastern Boulevard. For the county system, if White Hall Road hasn't been resurfaced this season (haven't been over it since spring), drivers will need to jack up their chassis to clear the ruts in this road.

· What's needed on Washington County roads is for people to slow down. Everyone drives as if they are going to a fire. And second is for the Police -local and state -to do there jobs and catch these speeders and write more tickets.

· The most needed project, in my opinion, is a regional project that no one is talking about. Interstate 70 needs to be three lanes in each direction from Baltimore to Interstate 68. The traffic is already there, and often the volume is simply too much much for two lanes to handle.

· The Greater Hagerstown Committee Transportation Subcommittee presented the following projects and concepts as priorities at the Sept. 27 transportation forum: -improvements to and widening of I-81 and I-70; -improvements to the intersection of U.S. 40 and Edgewood Drive; - improvements to and widening of Eastern Boulevard including its extension to Marsh Pike; - the creation of Southern Boulevard from U.S. 40 to Oak Ridge Drive and a feasibility study for a Northeastern Expressway between I-70 southeast of Hagerstown and I-81 near the Pennsylvania state line.

· Many roads are in need of significant work. All county residents support roads through their taxes yet all parts of the county do not benefit from the upkeep of roads. Harpers Ferry Road draws tourists and visitors to our community who spend their money. Let's spread some of the resources around the county.

· Why don't we start with the projects that have needed to be done the LONGEST? You know, the ones that people constantly write in or call in about and are continually ignored because they aren't Interstate 70 or 81 or in the North End. Interstates 70 and 81 function just fine the way they are now.

Besides, do we really, really want to sit in traffic for the months on end it takes the roads department to tear up the interstates to add those extra lanes? Didn't think so!

· Undoubtedly the respondents to this question will state that the most needed project is in their own "backyard."

It is true that there are many problems throughout the county. I believe the county needs to look toward the future in planning the road system. At the top of the list should be the "Northern Bypass."

The county should plan now to connect Eastern Boulevard east of the YMCA with Showalter Road.

Why are we spending millions to widen Maugans Avenue and route all the commuter traffic (the majority of which comes from Pennsylvania) right through a residential area and past an elementary school?

· Make it handicap-accessible to get from the roadway along U.S. 40 at the bottom of Funkstown hill, to allow people to go to the doctors' office at Kenley Avenue.

· Edgewood Drive to Robinwood - especially if the hospital is put in there.

This week's question

Some members of the Hagerstown City Council have objected to a proposal to give additional time off to employees who increase their contributions to the United Way. Do you agree and if so, what would be an acceptable reward for employees who increase their donations? To post an answer, go to and then click on "opinion." Responses will be posted on the Web site and on this page on Monday, Oct. 16.

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