SOUTH CARROLL deserves a decision posthaste on where to locate a new post office. Otherwise, an already extended deadline to claim federal funds for the badly needed facility will pass and the project could wind up in the dead-letter bin.
Despite a lot of complaining by residents who don't want post office access on the road near their homes, and some futile saber-rattling by Carroll County officials about a showdown with the U.S. Postal Service, precious little has been done to resolve the conflict.
The latest plan, to consult State Highway Administration experts on traffic counts and possible traffic signals, should have been completed long ago. Now, it looks more like just another delaying tactic.
Meanwhile, all of South Carroll is crying for a new post office to replace the antiquated, overcrowded downtown facility in Sykesville. With 28,000 customers and an expanding commercial base, the necessity of a new, larger operation at a more convenient site is obvious.
The federal agency legally can put the post office where it wishes, but it wants to best serve the locality. Fact is, it tried to work with county officials for an acceptable site (at a reasonable price). The county had plenty of objections; one of its suggested locations would have required the postal service to fully develop the site before starting to build the office.
Now the choice is between two entranceways for a 3-acre site in the Eldersburg Business Center, beside Route 32. One faces local opposition because it has no traffic light to ease the flow on Progress Way. The other has a signal, at Bennett Road, but residents oppose an increase in traffic through their neighborhood.
The SHA is not likely to approve a new traffic light at Progress Way on busy Route 32, less than 300 yards from the signal at Bennett Road. That would be the best solution at this point. But if highway officials choose further study and delay, the choice should be the Bennett Road site, with plans to move the entrance further east in the future.
Certainly, residents of the Patriots Choice community will not be pleased. But their homes were built in full knowledge that a bustling business park was laid out there. They are taxpayers, but so are thousands of others in the region who need a new post office.
Pub Date: 12/04/96