Harford County wants to build a roundabout at entrance to Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center; councilman questions whether plan is related to possible Walmart construction


View Bel Air South Parkway roundabout location in a larger map

It looks like Harford County is planning to ease the traffic congestion getting in and out of Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center with another roundabout. The Aegis reports that the roundabout for Bel Air South Parkway was discussed at Monday’s Harford County Council meeting. The county’s proposed 2012 capital budget includes $750,000 for the roundabout at the intersection of Bel Air South Parkway and Blue Spruce Drive. The shopping center would share in the cost of the project, according to The Aegis. Jeffrey Stratmeyer, chief engineer for the county’s division of highways, told The Aegis that a traffic light at this intersection isn’t an option because it’s too close to other traffic lights in the area and it would interfere with the light timing. Stratmeyer he said the Festival shopping center did a traffic study 10 months ago that showed a roundabout was a feasible traffic solution.

At Monday’s meeting, The Aegis reported that Councilman Jim McMahan expressed concerns that the plan for the roundabout was “ill-conceived” and had something to do with Walmart’s interest in building a store near the intersection of Route 924 and Plumtree Road. According to The Aegis story, Stratmeyer said the plan for the roundabout had been in the works for several years and was not related to Walmart.

“If the Walmart moved forward, they would have to do a traffic impact analysis, as any other development… I just found out the possibility of a Walmart there maybe a couple of weeks ago, so I haven’t even considered it,” Stratmeyer said.

Click here to read The Aegis’ story.