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Virtual public meeting on Route 152 park-and-ride relocation scheduled for June 11

The Maryland Transportation Authority will host a virtual public meeting June 11 to solicit and present public comment on the relocation of the Route 152 park-and-ride lot as part of its extension of express toll lanes in Harford County.

The meeting will be held from 7 to 8 p.m., and an option to pose questions or make comments in advance of the forum will be posted on the department’s webpage by June 4. The agency will also reveal site options for the park-and-ride at the meeting.

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“Such online presentations are important tools to facilitate participation from community stakeholders during the COVID-19 emergency,” according to a news release announcing the meeting.

The MDTA had proposed an alternate location for the park-and-ride, but residents and the Harford County Council opposed it, with the latter unanimously approving a February resolution encouraging the organization to reevaluate the lot’s proposed relocation from the intersection of I-95 and Mountain Road to where Route 152 crosses Franklinville Road.

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Residents took issue with the proposed location, according to the resolution, because it would increase traffic on Franklinville and Old Joppa roads beyond their capacities. Those areas are already congested, the council’s resolution states, and adding a parking lot would make it worse.

The proposed location did not have a traffic light, nor was one planned for installation. Residents of the area contended that could make for a dangerous traffic pattern. The resolution also notes the environmental impacts the construction could have on the area.

The relocation of the park-and-ride is part of a $1.1 billion multi-year project to extend I-95′s express toll lanes into Harford County, according to the MDTA.

The agency says extension of those lanes will alleviate delays and improve travel between Baltimore and Harford counties. As part of the project, the MDTA said that several aging bridges — some over 50-years-old — would be replaced, and noise walls would be added for adjacent communities.

The comment period will remain open through June 25, according to the announcement.

As part of express toll lane expansion, the stretch of I-95 before exit 77A was divided with a concrete barrier, allowing MDTA to add an 8,200-foot auxiliary lane on northbound I-95 that will connect the Route 152 on-ramp with the Route 24 off-ramp, "providing better traffic operations and a safer transition for vehicles using these interchange ramps,” the agency said. Northbound I-95 will also be resurfaced in that construction area.

Afternoon traffic delays are typical in the area, especially on Friday afternoons in the summer. That traffic will be split through June, the organization reported.

MDTA did not respond to questions in time for the publication of this article.

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