The Abingdon Community Council held its regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening at the Abingdon Public Library.
John Vananzo, transportation engineer for the Maryland Department of Transportation, presented an update on the I95, Route 24 and 924 interchange. He reported that the project is in the final stages and that a punch list of remaining concerns are in progress. Projects still remaining include landscaping to be done in the spring as weather allows, pavement removal of unused roadway and sign adjustment to better facilitate traffic flow. Citizens in attendance voiced many concerns with the new interchange. Many reported that the current signs directing traffic to specific lanes are inadequate and/or confusing. Vananzo reported that more signs will be added to better direct traffic into the appropriate traffic lanes and discourage motorists from making U-turns in intersections. Others attending voiced concerns over the low lying cement barriers on the Route 24 overpass and Vananzo agreed, saying that reflective devices are going to be installed.
Vananzo stated that the goal of the construction project was to improve traffic flow and intersection safety and that these were accomplished. He stated that the two mile queue of backed up traffic on I95 onto Route 24 at the end of the day is gone. The finished project is less elaborate than originally planned due to funding restrictions and considerations for future planned roadway improvements on I95. Vananzo reported that longer term plans for Route 24 include three lanes of traffic in both directions between Bel Air and the I95 interchange. At the current time, there is no date or funding for this project. The current roadwork project at Singer Road and Route 24 is a bio-retention and drainage project. Vananzo will return in June to update the Abingdon Community Council on the I95, Route 24 and 924 interchange.
Lt. H.J. Doughtery from the Harford County Sheriff’s Department reported that there were a total of 18 traffic accidents at Constant Friendship Boulevard and Tollgate Road between November 1, 2011 and January 22, 2011. The crime data base for Harford County is still under construction so the best way to find incident reports in any given area is to visit www.crimereports.com. Enter a specific address to receive incident reports in the area. Overall, crime incidents in the Abingdon area are comparable to or less than the same time period last year.
Councilman Joe Woods reported that Harford Sanitation has increased their rates 39 percent because of an increase in Harford County landfill tipping fees. He stated that the Harford County Council increased tipping fees last July but feels there is no correlation between the amount being charged by the sanitation company and the county tipping fee increase. Additionally, Woods stated the upcoming Harford County Council meetings will be returning to their chambers at 212 South Bond Street. The February 7, 2012, meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a public hearing on the Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan and the regularly scheduled meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Councilman Dion Guthrie updated the progress on the proposed “Livability Code.” Under this legislation, Harford County landlords would be required to register all rental properties with the county and pay an annual $20.00 fee to do so. This legislation will not impact or address homeowners or bank owned foreclosure properties. Guthrie reported that since the downturn in the economy and the nationwide mortgage crisis, the number of rental properties in Harford County has soared into the thousands. Citizens are encouraged to attend upcoming County Council meetings concerning this topic and others. The date and agenda topics are available at
The next meeting of the Abingdon Community Council is scheduled for Monday, February 27, 2012, 6:30 p.m. at the Abingdon Library. There will be a presentation on the proposed Center for Visual and Performing Arts. All meetings are open to the public and participation is encouraged.