by Lisa Tome
You can have your say about the future of Route 40.
On both March 16 and again on March 24, all interested are invited to Cecil College to weigh in on the Cecil County Route 40 Transportation Vision Plan.
According to officials from Wilmapco, the Cecil County corridor faces many safety challenges. These difficulties include limited sidewalks, difficult pedestrian crossing, new development, and increased congestion.
The Route 40 Transportation Vision Plan seeks to develop and implement alternatives that address the transportation needs of the corridor.
North East Planner Betsy Vennell said this plan is an important join effort. "Instead of different towns having their own plan and looking at this separately, this is become a consolidated effort. This is a well thought out and unified plan for the corridor," said Vennell.
Perryville Town Administrator Denise Breder said that Director of Planning for the town, Mary Ann Skilling, has shared with Breder what she has learned about the plan. "Through my discussions with her (Skilling), I can say that as far as within the corporate boundaries of the town, I understand the plans are conceptually consistent with Perryville's zoning code Highway Corridor Overlay District," said Breder. "Thus far, Perryville has not taken a stance on Route 40 outside of the corporate limits, so I can't weigh in on that. As far as public participation, I strongly encourage people to get involved, find out what is going on in their county that will affect them and share their opinions on those plans."
The plan, which was released in October 2014, defines Route 40 as "Cecil County's Main Street". A great deal of development is expected along this corridor including 90 active plan submittals, 8,500 dwellings, and about 1.6 million square feet of commercial development, all in town limits.
Wilmapco's regional transportation plan includes commuter rail in the county. The MARC train extension to Elkton is anticipated by 2020. The SEPTA extension to Elkton by 2030.
The March 16 and March 24 discussions will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the Cecil College Technology Center, One Seahawk Drive, North East. Those who attend will get to have their say about current issues and how they would like the area to look and function in the future. For more information about the Cecil County Route 40 Transportation Plan online go to www.wilmapco.org/cecil40.