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P&Z Commission studies bypass alignments

(8/16) With a 50 percent increase in traffic expected to come through downtown Emmitsburg from Pennsylvania, the Emmitsburg Planning and Zoning Commission is looking for a way to divert traffic around town.

Sarah Franklin with Jakubiak and Associates told the commission, “It hinders downtown revitalization to have these large trucks going through town.”

Jakubiak and Associates has been drafting the update to the town’s master plan under the direction of the planning commission.

The town already deals with an average of 8,000 vehicles a day going through downtown, but with proposed development in Pennsylvania, that number could jump to 12,000 vehicles a day. In addition, the draft comprehensive plan update would allow for 915 new homes in town and the traffic they would bring.

“Another thing these drivers do is tend to use alleyways to bypass, which causes safety concerns,” Franklin said.

Jakubiak’s suggestion is to build a north-south bypass around the town that diverts traffic from Route 140 west of town and brings it out on South Seton Avenue near the intersection with Route 15. It would consist of phased in improvements to the roads.

The first stage would be a new road that moves south from near the intersection of Route 140 and Timbermill Run, turns east across Emmitsburg Community Park near Toms Creeks and intersects South Seton Avenue across from National Emergency Training Center.

The second phase would be improvements to Annandale Road to the point where a new road breaks off to the southeast and connects with the previously built new road.

The third phase would be a new road that moves south from the intersection of Route 140 and Tract Road and then turns east to connect to the previously built new road.

Additional improvements would be made from the Tract Road / Route 140 intersection north to the MD/PA line and south from the bypass intersection with South Seton Avenue along South Seton to the intersection with Route 15.

When Commission Chairman Larry Little suggested that trucks would still drive through town to get to points east, Franklin said that the bypass would divert trucks if an interchange was built at South Seton and Route 15.

The present comprehensive plan calls for an east-west bypass north of town, but Franklin said Jakubiak and Associates wasn’t supporting this alignment because a lot of the land in that area was deed restricted for agriculture preservation.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government