School board opposes road extension commissioner says none is planned


Bel Air Commissioner Mark Decker says the town has no intention of seeking state help to extend East MacPhail Road, so he finds it curious that the Harford school board unanimously approved a resolution to oppose such a plan.

In a special session Monday night, the school board voted to fight any attempt to separate Bel Air High and Bel Air Middle schools from the Homestead/Wakefield elementary school complex by extending MacPhail Road westward from Route 924 to Route 24 at the south end of town.

The Homestead/Wakefield complex is two buildings administered as one school, and the extension would further separate the two buildings.

The school board said the road extension would create a safety hazard for students walking to and from the three schools and would greatly reduce parking and playground space.

The resolution followed comments made by Mr. Decker and Town Commissioner Susan McComas, who had met with the county's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly last month for a regularly scheduled annual meeting.

"The subject of traffic jams in town came up, and someone did mention that there had been previous thought given to help relieve heavy traffic on Route 1 by extending Route 22 from Bond to Boulton Street or by extending MacPhail Road," said Mr. Decker.

Both of the proposed extensions would run east-west, parallel to the section of U.S. 1 commonly referred to as Baltimore Pike.

Nothing else was said on that topic at the meeting with the delegates, said Mr. Decker.

"It's a very sensitive issue and the town commissioners certainly know they would need the support of everyone concerned -- citizens, school board, county government, county executive and the state -- to ever move forward on such a project," said Mr. Decker.

Talk of the MacPhail Road extension, however offhand it may have been, was taken seriously by parents.

"Members of the Homestead/Wakefield PTA approached us with very real concerns about it," said Donald R. Morrison, a school system spokesman.

"The resolution was formed to renew our opposition to any plan to put a road between those two schools."

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad