By Marc Lightdale
Also, he'd like to see improvements to some of the deteriorating business facades.
"There are busted up sidewalks and (utility) poles in the middle of the sidewalks that are a hindrance to the movement of the people," Ritgert said.
The resident spoke out at a Nov. 29 meeting to solicit community comment on needed improvements to the two-mile stretch of Belair Road between the city line and the Beltway.
The State Highway Administration held the meeting at Overlea High School as it prepares to launch a task force to study necessary improvements. The SHA is already gathering the names of people interested in serving on the task force, which will have 15 members, some of whom have been appointed.
Concept development for the Belair Road project is expected to last eight or nine months, at a cost of $200,000, SHA officials said.
Eventually, $10 million or more could be budgeted for the spruce-up work.
About 50 residents of Linover, Overlea and Fullerton showed up at the meeting.
Carroll Pupa, a resident of Linover for 38 years and past president of the Linover Improvement Association, is among those already chosen for the task force.
Pupa said businesses in the area remain "viable," and he pointed, in particular, to the Beltway Shopping Plaza.
Among improvements he suggested was moving utility poles so as not to obstruct sidewalks, although he allowed that could be expensive.
State Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, who represents District 8, which includes Parkville, Perry Hall and Overlea, said Belair Road is congested with traffic that would be "tricky" to alleviate without causing the traffic to flow dangerously fast.
Klausmeier also said she wants to preserve the history in the area.
Pete Definbaugh, president of the Overlea Community Association and the Overlea Citizens on Patrol, also focused on Belair Road congestion.
He placed the blame on the county government, which, he said, has permitted too much development north of the Beltway. That, in turn, has generated traffic on side streets off Belair Road.
Definbaugh said the congestion could be remedied with speed humps and one-way side streets.
He was confident the fix-up funds would be available in 2006.
"Being an election year next year, the money usually flows," Definbaugh said.
E-mail Marc Lightdale at Marc Lightdale@patuxent.com