The town’s plans to narrow Thomas and George Streets and improve traffic and pedestrian safety around Plumtree Park – plans that have been in the works for nearly 10 years – are expected to come to fruition later this year.
Property owners along the two streets on the west side of Bel Air were notified of the plans via letters that were sent out Wednesday, April 19. People can provide feedback during a public information session scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, May 22 at the Bel Air Armory, 37 N. Main Street.
Town officials anticipate starting construction in early fall, with the work continuing through all of 2024, according to Planning Director Kevin Small. He stressed that “every effort is going to be made to keep the road open” during construction, and detours will be set up if either road needs to be closed.
Thomas Street will be narrowed from a width of 40 feet to 24 feet between Kelly Avenue and Bond Street, and George Street will be narrowed between Kelly Avenue and Plumtree Park.
“The fact that the road is narrower will instantly slow down traffic,” Small said.
The extra 16 feet of space on the south side of Thomas Street will be converted into a trail for pedestrians and cyclists, running between Plumtree Park and Kelly Fields at Boulton Street and Route 24.
The “chicane,” an artificial curve in Thomas Street at Western Alley meant to slow down traffic near Plumtree Park, will be removed, although the raised crosswalk on Thomas by the park will remain, according to Small.
Once complete, no parking will be allowed along Thomas Street. Any property owner whose driveway connects to Thomas will be able to keep that connection, however. The removal of on-street parking will make it much easier for motorists to pull on or off Thomas.
“It eliminates sight distance from being a factor for [impeded] visibility,” Small said.
The types of vehicles allowed on the streets will be restricted, too. No tractor-trailer trucks will be allowed.
Officials also plan to address stormwater management issues in the area around the park, as well as add street lights, landscaping and amenities such as benches, according to Small.
Anybody who has questions or concerns can contact the Planning Department at 410-638-4540 or email@example.com.
Contact Media and Public Relations Specialist David Anderson at 410-688-3020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.