From Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady:
Keep Aberdeen Beautiful Saturday June 3
Mark your Calendars– Our last Keep Aberdeen Beautiful day was a huge success on April 1. Next Community Cleanup day is the first Saturday in June, on Saturday June 3. We will meet at Festival Park at 9am to clean up Aberdeen!
Confirm that you are attending at the Facebook Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/265356647264689/
Route 22 Construction Update
Executive Summary: The Maryland State Highway Administration is working closely with the City of Aberdeen to try to accelerate the completion of the construction projects on Route 22.
The City of Aberdeen is right in the middle of the huge Maryland State Highway Administration project to widen Route 22 from APG to I-95.
For three years, construction has been ongoing, and causing serious delays at Beards Hill and 22, Mount Royal and 22, Middleton and 22, and Paradise and 22.
We invited representatives from the Maryland Department of Transportation (who is responsible for all of MD-22) to come to the Aberdeen City Council and discuss ways to speed up the projects, to make the construction more manageable for our community and businesses, and to get an idea of an expected completion date. Pipe Test Equipment is being used for the underground sewer systems that need to be installed.
We learned through two City Council meetings that the project at 22 and Beards Hill is 6 months behind schedule, with an expected completion date of late 2017. The Paradise and 22 intersection is 2 months behind schedule with an expected completion date of late 2017.
The primary concern for local traffic is access to the Beards Hill and 22 intersection where cars were sitting for 4-5 light cycles at rush hour. Aberdeen businesses who attended made some good recommendations that SHA agreed to take on.
Some of them were:
Adjusting the traffic signal timing to make accessing our local shops and restaurants easier
Marking the limited lanes better
Adjusting the work times (we learned that the current work schedule was 8PM – 5am weekdays, explaining why it is rare to see people working on the roadside during the day)
And SHA made some changes based on these recommendations.. They adjusted the signal timing to max-out the time for Beards Hill traffic to cross. They marked the “right-only” lanes better at Beards Hill and 22. And the put up signs that say “All businesses open during construction.”
These changes have made the traffic situation better– but we wanted to know how SHA can do this job faster. Can they work longer hours? Can they deploy more money to get more people working to get it done?
Then on Friday, May 26, SHA met came back to City Hall, this time with their Management team for the Construction project. They brought a proposal to detour Beards Hill Road after 10PM until 5am in order to get the intersection, on the McDonalds-APGFCU side done sooner.
This change will take an entire month off of the project– and if the weather is not too wet, we expect completion before August at the Beards Hill/22 intersection. We expect updates from SHA on a more regular basis so we can keep a better idea of progress.
If SHA deployed more money to get more workers working longer hours, the side-effect would be even worse traffic conditions while even more lanes are closed. Because of the potential of choking off our local businesses, this idea was put aside for now.
While this project is a long, long, long-term project, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. More to follow.
Memorial Day Remarks at Aberdeen Veterans Park
I was privileged to be invited by American Legion Bernard L. Tobin Post 128 and Aberdeen VFW Post 10028 and Aux. to offer welcoming remarks at Aberdeen Veterans Park ceremony on the occasion of Memorial Day, May 29, 2017. The text of my remarks follows:
Welcome to the great City of Aberdeen, MD.
Aberdeen has a long history, permanently interlinked with the United States Armed Forces– with our nearby Army installation sharing our name, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and our interwoven communities of veterans and civilians-supporting-individuals.
Today, we remember.
James Garfield, former Major General of the Union forces during the Civil War, then Congressman, and future President of the United States spoke at Arlington Cemetery 149 years ago May 30, 1868, and I can’t say it better.
“I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here, beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue. Promises may not be kept, plighted faith may be broken, and vaunted virtue be only the cunning mask of vice. We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke: but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
Understanding the Charter Amendment Referendum
I made the video linked here to make it easier to understand the Charter Amendment Referendum process that is ongoing right now. If you haven’t yet, please sign and return the petition found at www.aberdeenpetition.com to me at 310 W Bel Air Ave Aberdeen, MD 21001.
Update: Petitions have been flooding in– we have a few hundred petitions in hand. Can you help get more people to sign them and return them to me ASAP? We need to get 1,990 signatures before June 17, 2017!