Del. Kelly has Towson traffic plan


Seeking to alleviate traffic congestion in Towson, a state legislator has drawn up recommendations, including retaining some York Road parking, altering the direction of another road and banning some left turns.

But the recommendations, put together by Del. James M. Kelly, got a cool reception from some merchants who want broader parking restrictions in the center of town.

"At first blush, we are disappointed with the York Road parking [plan]," said John Holman, outgoing president of the Towson Business Association. He said the group would study the recommendations before making a detailed critique.

The future of parking along the 300, 400 and 500 blocks of York Road has been in question since April 15, when the State Highway Administration banned parking on the southbound side.

Mr. Kelly's plan, presented to the business association at its monthly meeting Wednesday, would allow parking along the northbound side of York Road during certain times but would establish a one-hour limit without parking meters.

Currently, unlimited parking is allowed between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. There are no meters.

Mr. Kelly, a Republican who represents District 9B, said he began looking into traffic patterns while investigating the merits of the parking ban. He was contacted in February by the business association, which backed parking restrictions on both sides of York Road, along with two other community groups.

Mr. Kelly agreed with the groups that southbound parking should be banned on York Road but said he wanted to get more community reaction to the situation on the northbound side. "It was a grass-roots approach," he said.

His proposal also calls for:

* Banning left turns by northbound York Road traffic at Towsontown Boulevard, and by southbound York Road traffic at Chesapeake Avenue.

* Changing the direction of Chesapeake Avenue east of York Road to one-way westbound.

* Moving a stop sign from Virginia Avenue to face Pennsylvania Avenue, to ease the flow of traffic on the east side of Towson.

* Adding signs to guide people to parking garages and the northbound Towson bypass.

"It is not an end-all," the freshman delegate said of his plan. "It is starting point."

Mr. Kelly also submitted the recommendations to the highway administration and County Councilman Douglas Riley, who represents Towson.

"We will look at the technical aspects and see if they do have merit," said Charles R. "Dick" Harrison, a highway administration district engineer.

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