Editorial: Round and round

Patti Brazier, who lives in Fallston, aptly described the traffic situation at the triangle formed by Routes 1, 147 and 152 as horrendous. Especially at commuting times it is an area worth avoiding, but not easily avoided. It is, after all, at the confluence of three major state roads that carry commuters directly or indirectly into Baltimore.

Another 69 homes are planned for a 28.5-acre parcel that's within the triangle, and concerns about traffic have prompted community opposition to the development proposal, known as Hamilton Reserve. The project had an airing at a community input meeting last week and will be next reviewed by the Harford County Development Advisory Committee on July 18.

Certainly 69 homes will add cars to the existing confusion, but it's hard to imagine how the addition will be noticeable in an area where a red light can hold back three dozen or more vehicles at a single cycle.

Such is the problem with the planning function in Harford County, and across Maryland. No single new development is likely to cause much of a change in the traffic flow, but a few dozen houses here, there and around the corner add up quickly and, suddenly, there's a traffic jam in what was a rural crossroads in living memory.

The next step, a few years from now, is likely to be a major road upgrade in the area, which will be followed by more development because suddenly a few minutes will be shaved from commuting times. More houses, more traffic, wider roads, more houses, more traffic: It's a predictable cycle.

Until something about it changes, find a radio station you like and do your best to tough it out.

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