Major roadwork project planned in Roland Park

The city plans to create a signalized intersection with left turn lanes into the Gilman and Bryn Mawr schools from Northern Parkway, as part of a $3.5 million roadwork plan outlined at the Roland Park Civic League on Thursday.

The plan also calls for speed cameras, road resurfacing, curb extensions to slow traffic, and the planting of trees along a widened Roland Avenue median.

Motorists driving eastbound on Northern Parkway would be able to turn left into Bryn Mawr, and westbound motorists would be able to turn left into Gilman, avoiding having to make U-turns, according to the plan.

The plan also calls for the resurfacing of Roland Avenue and the creation of a new left turn lane into Gilman from southbound Roland, as well as the widening of the Roland Avenue median south of Northern Parkway and the planting of 16 Zelkova trees in the median.

Bryn Mawr and Gilman are paying a combined $700,000 toward the plan, said league president Phil Spevak.

The plan is the result of input from Gilman, Bryn Mawr, Roland Park Country and Roland Park Elementary/Middle schools, the league and the Baltimore Department of Transportation, league officials said.

Also planned are streetscape enhancements along Cold Spring Lane and Wyndhurst and Roland avenues, including curb bump-outs, and special crosswalk paving to slow traffic, especially at street corners where children cross on their way to school.

Improvements for biking and walkability are also planned, as is a speed camera westbound along Wyndhurst Avenue. The community has also asked for speed cameras at Linkwood Park and the entrance to the Roland Springs subdivision off West Cold Spring Lane.

Construction is expected to commence in the fall of 2012.

The plan, which is designed in accordance with the Greater Roland Park Master Plan that the city approved last year, would encourage people to drive more slowly, ride bikes and walk more, said Spevak. It would also make the community more aesthetically pleasing and relieve congestion at the schools in the morning and afternoon, he said.

He called it "a $3.5 million investment in north Baltimore transportation."

Also as part of the plan, a special "bus only" parking area would be created at the public school, and special crosswalks would be created at Deepdene and Oakdale Roads and at Wyndhurst and Colorado avenues, as well as Schenley Road and West Cold Spring Lane.

"All these places are where school kids cross," said Al Kopp, a league member who helped draw up the plan.

Many ideas in the plan, including left turns into the schools, "have been simmering on the back burner for a long time," said Chris McSherry, a league board member involved in transportation issues.

No work is being done on University Parkway, "because of the budget," Kopp said.

He said the roadwork project was originally envisioned as repaving, but the community pushed for other improvements because residents realized, "It's an opportunity we're going to lose if we don't put other things in that plan."

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