UPDATED (Mar. 13, 1:27 p.m.) — A meeting concerning changes to the ramp leading from 695 to Harford Road will be held tonight at the Towson library.
The meeting, to be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m., was organized by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council as part of their normal process and is specifically to inform the public of an amendment to the Transportation Improvement Plan to allocate funds for the project.
Design work on the ramp has not begun, according to Damilola Kehinde, a regional planner with the State Highway Administration.
Responding to concerns voiced by the community, a SHA offcial sent an email to members of the State delegation who represent the Parkville-Carney area.
The email said:
"I apologize for the timing and location of the meeting. Again, this is not the typical public involvement meeting done by SHA, but one to publicly notify stakeholders that funds are being added to the project for design. Once the TIP amendment is approved, we can start the SHA process and reach out to the communities at that point to weigh in. We will make sure to engage you when it comes time for SHA to schedule public involvement in the Parkville/Carney area once design has been initiated on the project.
No public facility closer to the affected area was available during our requested time frame."
Change could be coming to the interchange between the Beltway and Harford Road, according to officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration.
A recent email sent to community leaders by SHA regional planner Damilola Kehinde details the plan to improve the off-ramp from I-695 to northbound and southbound Harford Road.
According to the email, the plan will:
- Change the design of the existing Inner Loop off-ramp to southbound Harford Road, to give access to both northbound and southbound lanes
- Widen the proposed ramp from one lane to three, including two left-turn lanes and an exclusive right-turn lane at the intersection with Harford Road
- Install a traffic signal on the proposed ramp at the intersection with Harford Road, and leave 350 feet on the ramp for cars to wait for the light to change without impeding traffic on I-695.
- Eliminate the existing off-ramp from the inner loop of the Beltway to northbound Harford Road to improve safety
A public input meeting will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 13 at the Towson Library.
Carney Improvement Association president Meg O'Hare expressed concerns.
"My first question is: 'Why is the meeting being held in Towson if the changes are being made in Parkville/Carney?' My second comment is: 'Why are we getting such late notice?'" O'Hare said in an email.
Comments can be submitted in person during the public comment opportunity at the Baltimore Region Transportation Board meeting. That meeting is set for 9 a.m. March 27.
Through March 23, mail input to: The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board Offices at McHenry Row, 1500 Whetstone Way, Ste. 300, Baltimore, MD 21230.