While residents in west Catonville and on South Rolling Road agree that traffic is an issue through their community, they are disagreeing what to do about it.
The latest idea, which was shared at a meeting at the Knights of Columbus building on Frederick Road on Wednesday, is to create parkway from from South Rolling Road to Gun Road through Patapsco Valley State Park.
Residents have been meeting with the State Highway Administration to discuss how to address traffic and safety issues along South Rolling Road.
Dick Johnson, an Oak Forest resident, had been researching an option that would alleviate commuter traffic on Rolling Road that is heading to Howard County or points north of Catonsville.
According to his research, a proposal was made by SHA in the 1970s that called for parkway through the state park that would be environmentally safe but could alleviate traffic. The proposal was raised again in 1995 but tabled.
Kellie Boulware, spokesperson for the State Highway Administration, said that there are no plans to build the proposed parkway to bypass Rolling Road.
"Our discussions have been looking at improvements along Rolling Road," she said.
Residents at the meeting on Wednesday night were also skeptical of the plan, as many were concerned about the environmental impact to Patapsco State Park.
Paul McKean, a Gun Road resident, was there with roughly 20 Gun Road residents who were mostly in opposition to the proposal.
“The traffic on South Rolling Road is tremendous, but this is not the solution and never will be,” he said.
Many residents were in agreement that traffic was an issue, and other ideas were discussed including: closing South Rolling Road to traffic completely, adding a third lane, adding sidewalks or also making traffic in both directions flow one way during certain times of the day.
Larry Wilt, a resident on North Beechwood Avenue, said that his community would benefit from less traffic on South Rolling Road, but was also not in support of the parkway. If it were to be built, it would simply encourage more development in Howard County, he said.
“We’ll be back here having another meeting like this one,” he said.
SHA will continue to meet with residents to help develop improvements to the traffic and safety issues on the road, with the next meeting scheduled for March.