The Frederick County Council will discuss the widening of Maryland 194 through Walkersville at its meeting on March 17, 2015. The Community Development Division will present the county’s Annual Transportation Priorities for review by the County Council.
The widening of MD 194 was listed as a top priority on the list. Many in Walkersville have questioned the wisdom of widening the road through their town. While the road is often congested, the road was once a bypass, but now intersects the town.
Traffic collisions, speed, and congestion plague the road. Many residents must drive to nearby shopping areas to avoid crossing the highway that separates major shopping areas from residential areas.
The Walkersville Planning Commission, Burgess and Town Commissioners, and the Economic Development Commission have all discussed this since its presentation. The plan creates a stir at each meeting.
George Rudy, a former resident and candidate for Burgess of Walkersville, pleaded with the County Council to allow public comment during the item rather than at the beginning of the meeting. Rudy urged Walkersville residents to testify and stated, “This is an excellent opportunity for us to get the existing Route 194 ‘public health and safety’ concerns-issues on-the-table before the decision makers.”
EDC member, Ben Douds wrote, “Walkersville needs to be revivified, not have even more of its life sucked out and sent to places like Clemson Corner. If the state really wants to improve 194, instead of widening it, drop a traffic roundabout at Crum Road and another at the Deerfield entrance. First, that would immediately make both those intersections safer. It would also create two unofficial “gateways” into Walkersville and allow for development along this section that would unite the town instead of dividing it with a major roadway.”
During Planning Commission meeting, Planning Commissioner John Zimmerman agreed that the traffic needs to be slowed, but welcomed a four lane divided road to help direct traffic. Other members of the Planning Commission hoped that the move would force Calvary Assembly of God to fulfill its obligation to close its entrance on MD 194, and to finally move traffic from Fountain Rock to Stauffer Road.
The public is welcome to attend the County Council Meeting and speak for a maximum of three-minutes each. The Meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. in the First Floor Hearing Room of Winchester Hall.