Community Concerns Regarding Milk Producers' Proposed Land Development in North Laurel
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Following the Pre-Submission meeting on April 12th, 2018 and learning about the proposed plans regarding the development of 121 acres of the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association’s property located at the intersection of Leishear and Gorman Roads, the surrounding communities have significant concerns regarding the proposal. We would appreciate the community be involved in the development of the land parcel to make sure that the concerns raised in the public hearing meeting be addressed especially regarding community connectivity, safety, and traffic impacts prior to the plans being formally submitted to Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning.
a. Community connectivity - One of Howard County’s primary planning initiatives; "WalkHoward"-Howard County Pedestrian Master Plan; concerns walkability and connecting communities. This development has the opportunity to comply with the overall County objectives and accommodate community concerns in a productive, collaborative manner. Specifically, the citizens living in adjacent neighborhoods would like to see plans for trails, sidewalks and other means of connecting the Milk Producers land to surrounding neighborhoods.
For example, we would like the development to consider a 10 foot wide multi-use trail along the front of the property from intersection of Maryland State Highway 216 and Leishear Road to the intersection of Leishear Road and Gorman Road, then turn east and follow the property line until the trail connects to the County and school trail system already established at the east side of the property near Gorman Crossing Elementary and Murray Hill Middle School. Connecting to these trails would further integrate the new development into the surrounding communities and also remove vehicular trips between adjacent neighborhoods. Further, these trails could then connect to trails within the new development, providing multi-use connections for the community for both pedestrians and cyclists.
In addition to the inter-property connections, we would like to see crosswalks with pedestrian refuge islands installed at Derby/Gorman, Graeloch/Leishear and Mary Lee Lane/Leishear intersections to allow for safer pedestrian crossings and connect the development to the neighboring communities and schools.
b. Safety - Because of the pedestrians using these roads to transverse neighborhoods and children walking to school, we suggest the installation of functional and attractive traffic calming measures along Graeloch, both west and east of Leishear Road to mitigate increased volumes and speeds of commuters bypassing congestion already present at Leishear and Gorman Roads during peak times. We also see a need to implement speed and traffic volume monitoring of Martown, Aladdin, and Helmart Roads to determine the need for additional traffic calming and safety features.
In addition to the pedestrian refuge islands on Leishear and Gorman Roads (both minor collectors), we would like further traffic calming measures implemented along Leishear and Gorman Roads, especially west and south of the development, to reduce speeds and volumes and encourage traffic to utilize Maryland State Highways 216 and 29.
c. Direct connection to Maryland State Highway 216 - To address the congestion on Leishear and scenic Gorman Road (both minor collectors), citizens would like the development to utilize the sketched road (Road A-which runs east from the intersection of Leishear and Graeloch Road within the new development) and connect it during the initial development to Maryland State Highway 216.
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