passes resolution in support of bypass
(8/31) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners on Tuesday
unanimously approved a resolution to support a traffic bypass around town.
According to Commissioner Chris Staiger, who sponsored
the resolution, the bypass would provide an alternative from Md. Route 140 west
of Emmitsburg to U.S. Route 15.
‘‘The goal of the resolution is to maintain and improve
municipal health safety and welfare in Emmitsburg’s Village Zone District,
which encompasses most of the historic Town Center along Main Street and North
and South Seton Avenues," Staiger wrote in an e-mail to The Gazette.
The bypass is included in the Frederick County
Transportation Plan, which spells out road projects county officials would like
to undertake. County officials pass that plan along to the state when asking
Staiger said Commissioner Bill O’Neil supported him in
sponsoring the resolution.
The town’s comprehensive plan as well as the county’s
Thurmont Region Plan, which includes Emmitsburg, projects growth in the area,
so town officials expect increased traffic volumes through the already
overburdened town streets in the coming years.
‘‘The county has to make its plans, and this was a way
for us to show unanimous support for a bypass, particularly to alleviate truck
congestion," O’Neil said Wednesday.
The county met on Wednesday to discuss transportation
priorities, O’Neil said, which was why the town held a special meeting the
The text of the resolution states several reasons for
needing a bypass, including ‘‘limited, additional design improvements to the
[current] route can be made without adversely impacting the current zoning,
which is meant to preserve and promote the mixed use character of the Village
Staiger said the area is becoming more congested due to
truck and commuter traffic on Route 140.
‘‘Over the years, the town has worked with the State
Highway Administration to make improvements where possible, but the quality of
life along this corridor at the heart of the town will inevitably deteriorate
as more and more commuter demands are placed on a 19th century design," Staiger
wrote. ‘‘I don’t believe it’s acceptable to fundamentally alter the nature of
the area and further burden residents just to speed up the commute to Baltimore
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