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Church lacks compelling case for road closure

The First Baptist Church of Glen St. Mary is making its case for closing George Taber Boulevard in the west town on the basis of: a.) through traffic is a hazard during church activities and b.) the church needs the road closed to expand parking lots to the west of the main building.

The church has a case. But it doesn’t have a compelling case — one that justifies by circumstances and precedent the closing of a through road by the county or Town of Glen St. Mary.

Here’s why.

• A traffic count in May recorded 10,500 vehicle trips along Taber during a seven-day period. The church claims 2000 of those, 20 percent, were vehicles coming or going to its services and events.

It’s an arbitrary number, it seems, for an estimate by the entity whose agenda is to close the road. For purposes of discussion, however, let’s say it’s close enough to be accurate.

That still leaves 8500 vehicle trips a week by people using Taber as a thoroughfare — to and from Interstate 10 and fed from neighborhoods north and west of Glen St. Mary. That’s a significant number.

Those trips will have to be routed elsewhere, most likely to CR 125 where the DOT recently narrowed the eastbound approach on US 90 from two lanes to one. Added congestion — most notably on school mornings — is a certainty.

The same is true of northbound traffic on CR 125 as it then would have to turn west on US 90, or even less desirable, use narrow roads on either side of the CSX tracks to arrive back at Taber. 

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