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One-way decision is unanimous

August 14, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN - Denise McCoy missed a Baltimore Ravens pre-season game Monday night so she could hear the Funkstown town council's decision on the traffic problems plaguing her and other residents living on two town side streets.

When she heard that the plan will be to make Chestnut and Poplar streets one-way just from High Street to Edgewood Drive, she wasn't sure that would be enough to curb the speeding.

She also has her doubts the plan will decrease the sheer number of vehicles cutting through those previously quiet neighborhoods to avoid the Alt. U.S. 40 stoplights at certain times of day.

"Anything will be better than nothing," McCoy said. "The rest of my neighbors have given up, but I have still been coming after two years."

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Looking at all of the proposals considered at last month's meeting with State Highway Administration officials, Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said he favored the one-block suggestion starting at High Street.

The proposal passed unanimously.

The plan is to make those one-block sections of Poplar and Chestnut streets inaccessible to traffic approaching Funkstown on Edgewood Drive. That would force motorists to proceed to the traffic light at Alt. U.S. 40, Crampton explained.

"This will lessen the burden to the town and won't throw too much traffic onto other streets," Crampton said.

Councilwoman Sharon Chirgott suggested a close eye must be kept on Antietam Street to see how much traffic increases once the one-way signs go up.

Those signs will have to be ordered and installed before the one-way traffic begins. And Washington County Public Schools must also be notified so bus routes can be modified, according to Councilman Richard Nigh.

"If this doesn't work, we'll go back to the way it was," Crampton said. "But if it is good, we'll do the other side."

By that, Crampton means extending the one-way status of Poplar and Chestnut - an alternative suggestion by the State Highway Administration in July.

High Street homeowner Brian Lovins said his house is for sale and some prospective buyers have been scared off by the traffic going by.

"The deputies have been writing tickets and that's good," Lovins said.

Cline suggested the town revisit the situation in 90 days after the signs are erected.

Mayor Robert L. Kline said he hopes motorists will find alternative routes.

"We're going to give it a try," Cline said.

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