With just over 100 days in office, Commissioner Vigliotti achieves a victory for the City of Taneytown
During the March 16th Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Joe Vigliotti asked his fellow board members to include the Taneytown Bypass in the county’s top transportation priorities for the first time in almost a decade. He also asked that his fellow commissioners join him in sending a letter to the state expressing their support and importance of the bypass to the region.
A bypass around the City of Taneytown was part of the original major street plan for the county in 1964 and identified as a critical need in the early 2000s. However, in 2007 it was determined that funding was not available and the project was removed from the county’s priority list in 2013. According to Lynda Eisenberg, director of planning, it was removed because the project no longer met the constraints required to be included in the MDOT SHA highway needs inventory.
Since then residents and business owners have voiced their concern over the nonstop heavy truck traffic. At the hearing on March 16th, Taneytown resident Stefani Stephenson said. “All day and all night they run unabated at the square and York and Frederick Street, and at night the noise from the heavy trucks passing every two to three minutes wakes my entire family from their sleep. It’s like trying to live and sleep in a construction site.”
Stephenson also expressed concern over the damage that the trucks could be inflicting on her historic home in downtown Taneytown. “The vibrations from the trucks shake the pictures on the walls,” she said. “It rattles the glass pane windows. There are growing piles of brick dust in our basement, and a layer of blackened industrial film over everything. I can only imagine the damage that is happening to other historic buildings.”
City officials, along with the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council have worked hard to make sure that the County and State are aware of how committed they are to resurrecting the project. Each year they attend the annual MDOT tour, take into consideration the impacts to the potential bypass when reviewing or discussing any development plans and invest in land allotments that will contribute to the project.
At the end of the day though it seems to have been Commissioner Vigliotti’s dedication to the bypass that brought this small victory to fruition. According to James Wieprecht, Taneytown City Manager, “Having been very engaged with the downtown community as a City resident and former City Council member, Commissioner Vigliotti is well aware of our efforts and desires for this project that would not only provide a quality of life boost for residents and business operators along the Rt 140 corridor but could help the City realize its revitalization goals for the downtown and grow our industrial job base. While previous Boards of Commissioners have been generally supportive, Commissioner Vigliotti provided a stronger push this time around and we’re very appreciative of his efforts!”