30 April 2009

Church Awarded Expansion Over Residents Concerns

Today in the Columbia Flier, Jennifer Broadwater has a piece on the Columbia Presbyterian Church expansion that was approved by the Howard County Board of Appeals. One of the uses that was talked about extensively during the hearing was the rental of the space to homeschooling groups during the week. Expected attendance is more than 200 children a week.

Local resident Bruce Corriveau is quoted in the article as follows:

"They are not building the church they promised to the community," said Corriveau, the spokesman for the neighbors who also is an attorney. "Regardless of what you call it, it has the feel, function and features of a school."

Dick Talkin, representing the church, had this quote in the paper:

"Complaints about existing conditions and mere speculation about future use are simply not enough," Talkin said.

Oh really? Here is a picture of the traffic on Ten Mills Road (which is immediately adjacent to the church) taken the Friday before closing arguments of the case:

tmr 4-17 a

And yes, the intersection of Ten Mills Road and West Running Brook Road is failing:

tmr 4-17 b

It seems to me that transporting more than 200 students through this "existing condition" will be problematic (there is not an abundance of pedestrian access to the church, and they have indicated that no school buses will be used to transport students).

In closing, let me make one thing clear: Children are precious, and educating them is a worthy, noble, and necessary endeavor. However, which children are being given preference, those that sit in car seats to get to the church, or those that LIVE on Ten Mills Road and West Running Brook Road?


Anonymous said...

What time of day were these photos taken? I am no stranger to Ten Mills Road and I have never seen traffic that bad. I have had to sit at the light at 108 and Ten Mills for two cycles, but that is more a function of the light being sort of quick.

B. Santos said...

Photos were taken at approximately 5:00 PM.

Anonymous said...

"Mere speculation about future use" of Ten Mills and West Running Brook Roads might also include noting proposed ZRA 113's Generalized Traffic Study's section entitled "Traffic Diversion" (page 45):

...As the Town Center is urbanized, both in terms of density and the character of the streets, congestion and travel times will increase. Motorists currently traveling through Town Center will instead have more incentive to use alternate routes around the Town Center. This shift in travel pattern is reflected in traffic diversions incorporated in the total future traffic forecasts.

Fifty percent of the vehicles traveling between Little Patuxent Parkway west of Town Center and Governor Warfield Parkway were re-assigned to alternate routes, such as Harpers Farm Road.
[Notice the phrase "such as", meaning roads like Ten Mills, West Running Brook, Beaverbrook, Eliots Oak, and Columbia Roads may be also subjected to traffic diverted away from Town Center's density increase. That doesn't sound like fun for those neighborhoods, commuters from those areas, or commuters from places like River Hill and other neighborhoods along and further west on 108.]

Similarly, 50 percent of the vehicles traveling between Hickory Ridge Road and Broken Land Parkway were reassigned to alternate routes, such as Cedar Lane. [The "such as" indicates perhaps Martin Road and Shaker Drive are expected to incur additional diverted traffic, too.] Additionally 30 percent of the vehicles traveling between Broken Land Parkway and Little Patuxent Parkway west of Town Center were reassigned to Hickory Ridge Road". [Meaning residents of Hickory Ridge will get to enjoy similar increases of traffic through their neighborhoods, too.]

Anonymous said...

I think the snowballing attempts to push more traffic onto back streets are for the birds.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Columbia doesn't have a traffic problem.. the only time it is even an issue is prior to the winter holidays around the mall and that is more a function of poor traffic management and intersection layouts.

I'm really tired of people claiming the sky is falling and making up excuses to stop development…… too much traffic, no religious symbolism, save the white crested tick..... in the end… most people who are against development simply are against change and are NIMBA’s.

the best thing we can do for the environment is increased density in centralized locations. The more true wilderness we can save from large scale development, the better the entire planet will be.

Let’s face it… very few places (if any) in Howard County are really true, untouched wilderness. It is much better to have more development, density here (between two of the largest cities in the region) than 90 miles away in Frederick County, West Virginia, or Central Pennsylvania. By limiting development, we have limited the supply of local housing, inflated pricing and forced families to move into areas that would otherwise be untouched Wilderness…. (sprawl)…

At least be honest with your arguments….. if you want to stop development.. at least be honest with the reasons why. Not wanting change… don’t claim to be green because you drive a hybrid and recycle your wine bottles.

a little off topic and sorry for the rant. I’ve just been driving behind one to many “Choose Civility” stickers on a hybrid pulling into a Columbia McMansion.

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