Enough development already? Anne Arundel Co. leaders ponder solutions to Route 3 traffic

Anne Arundel County leaders suggest halting development along a busy Maryland highway in an area that has seen a boom of businesses in the last 20 years and now deals with an estimated 70,000 cars a day.

Maryland Route 3 — which runs from the Bowie-Crofton line up to where the road ends at Interstate 97 in Odenton — has seen an increase in gas stations, restaurants and strip malls. It can be a grinding, 7-mile stretch of highway that residents describe as overwhelmed by all the cars and trucks on it.

The large number of projects still under construction near the highway’s median suggests the demand for that development is still strong.

But while its surroundings have been burgeoning, the highway itself hasn’t been addressed to nearly the same extent.

Last week, the state of Maryland announced it was going to study traffic along the corridor. Last year, it said it was going to study widening it.

Anne Arundel County leaders sound close to putting the highway off limits to any more development. County Executive Steuart Pittman on Tuesday suggested that maybe it’s time to stop building there altogether.

At a town hall meeting about transportation at Anne Arundel High School, Pittman contemplated a moratorium on development along the Route 3 corridor, a state-maintained highway.

Pittman, who has been an advocate for smarter growth and transit-oriented solutions, suggested limiting access points to and from the highway.

But, he said, there’s not one big solution to alleviate the backups that plague the road.

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