Welcome to Bel Air [Editorial]

Welcome to Bel Air.

Those words, followed by Be Patient, should be at the forefront of the thoughts of those trying to traverse the county seat. It’s not news that as the East Coast, Maryland and Harford County have not only grown but also grown busier over the decades, that traffic in and around Bel Air has become ever more challenging.

We note the often-maddening state of roadway congestion locally because officials from Chick-fil-A, one of the more popular chain eateries, say another of its restaurants is coming to the heart of the Route 1 business district by February. It is to be on a parcel on the west side of Route 1 between Atwood Road and Route 24.

A lot of folks love Chick-fil-A, making it one of the most sought after brand name dining spots. Having one in your community is a good thing, even in Bel Air where there’s always too much traffic, which is never good.

The thing to keep in mind is Chick-fil-A has many locations, and oftentimes when looking at a parcel that is about to become one of the eateries it’s easy to say it won’t fit or people won’t be able to get in and out. But time and again the Chick-fil-A people know better than the untrained eye.

“We definitely recognize the potential issue with traffic,” Christian Honig, general manager of the Forest Hill Chick-fil-A, who will also be in charge of the Bel Air location, said. “We’re working to get people in and out as quickly as possible.”

Simply put, Chick-fil-A makes it work in countless other locations and they will make it work in busy Bel Air, too.

That’s not to say, however, that some folks aren’t wondering how it’s going work in an area where way too often traffic is virtually gridlocked. In that sense, Chick-fil-A will have a negligible impact on traffic because there’s already so much there that a little more might not be very noticeable.

“They’re usually well run and it’s one of those businesses that’s an asset,” Trish Heidenreich, Bel Air’s economic development director, said. “It’s significant because it means as a community, we’re doing well if we have a Chick-fil-A.”

Bel Air has long had the traffic problems as proof of the prosperity of the town and the area round it. Soon, it will have a Chick-fil-A as added proof.

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