Study on traffic patterns discussed

July 10, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN - A long-awaited traffic pattern analysis for the town was presented at Monday night's town meeting, with a decision on how to curb cut-through traffic woes expected next month.

"We need to meet and decide this by Aug. 13," Councilman John Phillips III said.

Mayor Robert L. Kline and all council members said they are eager to hear from residents to see how they feel before a morning work session set for the day of the regular monthly town meeting at Town Hall.

A slide presentation by Baltimore consulting firm Sabra, Wang and Associates Inc. gave three possibilities for cutting down on motorists taking Poplar Street to avoid Alt. U.S. 40 (Baltimore Street).

Denise McCoy, a resident of 18 E. Poplar St. who started the drive for a traffic study, attended the meeting Monday night to hear the results.


After listening to pros and cons for peak-hour turn restrictions and partial one-way conversions, McCoy asked the town officials to consider giving one of the proposals "a shot."

She described her efforts to make Poplar Street safer for residents, children playing and people trying to cross the street during the peak hours of 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., when motorists are shortcutting through that street.

Traffic engineer Cipriana Thompson looked at the traffic patterns in Funkstown during the peak periods and noted increases.

The advantage to peak-hour turn restrictions, she said, were that it would lessen cut-through traffic at a very low cost.

She said the disadvantage would be that it would require continuous law enforcement during those times or people will ignore the restrictions.

The partial one-way conversion of Poplar and Chestnut streets would divert traffic onto Alt. U.S. 40 - an increase in traffic that Thompson said that road could handle with a minimum of problems.

That would improve pedestrian safety and enhance the quality of life on Poplar and Chestnut streets while eliminating the cut-through traffic.

George Small, a district engineer with the State Highway Administration, talked about growth around Funkstown that will affect traffic in the future.

Phillips said the town is concerned about what is needed today rather than what might be necessary in the future.

Small cautioned town officials to think about what they are willing to live with to correct the cut-through problem.

"When you put 'no turn' signs up, it's for everybody, including residents," Small said.

A 15-page report was given to all who attended Monday night's meeting.

"I commend the state for providing a consultant at no charge to us," Vice Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said. "They took the time and gave us a good study."

McCoy said she would be at the Aug. 13 meeting to see what decision is made.

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