Expansion of Catonsville Y expected to improve flow of South Rolling Road traffic

The plans for the expansion of the Catonsville Family Center Y and the development of a three-story senior living development also include measures to ease congestion at the 800 block of South Rolling Road, the site of the Y.

The plan for reducing traffic includes adding a left-turn lane into the facility for cars traveling north on South Rolling Road and an acceleration lane for cars exiting the Y to go south, according to a release from the Y.

"It provides a much easier flow of traffic," said John Hoey, the president and chief executive officer of the Y of Central Maryland. "There's not that stacking up at Wilkens. There's not that potential stacking at the Y as people come in and out on a one-lane road."

Under the proposed plan, the entrance to the Y will be moved south on Rolling Road, which will create a safer entrance and exit, Hoey said.

"There's better visibility. There's an incline at our current (location) and there's kind of a blind spot there," Hoey said. "We've eliminated that blind spot and straightened it out.

"In terms of its impact on Rolling Road, it's a real positive without making Rolling Road feel much different than it already feels."

Another plan proposed more than three months ago for a medical office on the Y's campus did not sit right with Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents District 1 which includes Catonsville and Arbutus.

He said part of his concern stemmed from the likelihood that increased traffic going to and leaving the medical office could stall the flow on South Rolling Road.

The volume of traffic turning onto the Y's campus under the current plan will be lower if parking spaces are any indication.

Even though the number of proposed residences by Brightview Senior Living will take up more square footage than the proposed medical office, the campus will have one-third the parking spaces, said Andrew Teeters, the senior development director of Brightview Senior Living.

Brightview Senior Living typically allots a parking space for each two beds available, Teeters said.

The proposed building will have housing for 90 independent senior and 50 assisted living residents.

It will also have 30 employees, Teeters said.

The facility will have only 90 parking spaces, however, compared to the 270 proposed for the medical office, Teeters noted.

"The whole idea is to share parking so that we can provide sufficient parking but not provide more than we need," Hoey said.

Quirk said the new proposal has alleviated his concerns about the traffic.

"The part of this plan that I'm really excited about is it's going to actually help significantly improve traffic along South Rolling Road," Quirk said. "Not only does this mitigate the traffic impact, it actually improves the traffic flow."

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