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County Executive Ball Signs Agreement for Guilford and Oakland Mills Intersection Improvements

September 18, 2020

Media Contact: 
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412 

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, County Executive Calvin Ball signed a property acquisition agreement allowing improvements on the Guilford Road and Oakland Mills Road intersection to move forward. Video of the event can be found here, and pictures can be found here

“In Howard County, one of my goals is to ensure all our residents have safe, accessible, and reliable infrastructure,” said Ball. “We know that reliable public transportation and safety for our pedestrians, cyclists and drivers continues to be a concern for many of our residents. These improvements will not only make this intersection safer but will eventually allow for improved pedestrian access to Guilford Elementary once Phase II of the project is completed.”

At this intersection of Guilford and Oakland Mills Road, the Department of Public Works will be:

  • Installing a new traffic signal to replace the current four way-stop; 
  • Building 3,000 feet of new sidewalk, curb, and gutter;
  • Installing a bus pad in the northwest corner; and  
  • Including a storm drain, stormwater management, and pavement resurfacing.  

“Members of the Guilford community know that this intersection improvement has been a long time coming. Once completed, these improvements will protect lives, expand access for pedestrians, prioritize equity in transportation, and connect our community,” said Councilwoman Christiana Rigby. “I am grateful for County Executive Ball’s leadership in recognizing that our streets and our infrastructure are meant for everyone, and I am deeply appreciative of the work and advocacy of the Guilford community to make this project a reality.”

“We appreciate the community’s patience as we worked with local property owners to acquire the land necessary for a new and safer intersection,” said Tom Meunier, Howard County’s newly appointed Director of Public Works. “We have learned a lot about the time and effort it takes to finalize these agreements and will be looking to streamline our processes moving forward. We can’t do it alone and property owner cooperation for these important projects is appreciated.”

The Agreement being announced today is just one small example of an overall county-wide Complete Streets approach that began more than a year ago and was jump started with the County Council’s passage of legislation in October 2019 to implement the Ball Administration’s proposed Complete Streets Policy. The Complete Street’s Implementation Team, comprised of public and private members, has developed improved procedures to prioritize the projects create walkable and more active communities and a Community Engagement Plan to ensure that local citizen input and needs for localized trips are considered on equal footing with the traditional concerns about congestion and safety. 

“The time and effort that the county staff and resident volunteers have spent over the past nine months to help advance our Complete Streets Program has been truly amazing but our work is far from over,” said Bruce Gartner, Administrator of the Howard County Office of Transportation. “We are on target with our deadlines despite the impact of the pandemic and look forward to our continued partnership with stakeholders like the Horizon Foundation to improve our bike and pedestrian network in Howard County.”

“We want to see a more walkable, bikeable, wheelchair accessible friendly Howard County, and this is an exciting thing to happen. Two years ago, we held a walk audit with members of our community which really showed how much work was needed to make this more walkable and bikeable. Thank you to Dr. Ball, and Councilwoman Mercer-Rigby for listening to our concerns and producing the product,” said Glen Schneider, Horizon Foundation and Streets for All Howard County.