An update on Fort Meade traffic (and why it matters)

My good friend, Claire Louder, CEO of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, regularly updates members about the status of Fort Meade and how if affects local businesses. Interestingly, the update today was about traffic:

Starting Nov. 22, the Reece Road access control point will be closed to all traffic for approximately four weeks. The closure is part of the installation’s ongoing road improvement projects. During this period, the Mapes Road/Route 175 gate will be open and serve as the installation’s 24-hour, 7-day-a-week access control point. Additionally, the Llewellyn Avenue gate will be open Monday-Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for visitors, businesses and all non-DoD ID card holders.

Individuals looking for long-term passes will be directed to the VCC. While Llewellyn Gate is open, DoD-ID Card holders are encouraged to use the installation’s other ACPs that will be open: Mapes/175, Mapes/32 and Rockenbach Road. Llewellyn will be closed after 6 p.m. and weekends; all visitors will go through the Mapes/175 Gate.

For more information, go to

The question for a non-chamber member is this, “Why does it matter?”

This is good news for local merchants – opening of the Mapes and Llewellyn gates expedites access into the Odenton Town Center, encouraging personnel to come off post for lunch and errands. The Chamber has been advocating for better base access for years. Based on the Chamber’s relationship with those in the know on Fort Meade, the Chamber has been told to expect that once the Reece gate reopens in early 2015, at least one of these Town Center gates should remain open due to increased staffing at the gates. And that should mean more potential customers walking past business.

It also is important from the perspective of change. Everyone remembers there was an election last Tuesday and change struck big in Maryland. The effects of that change are not yet known. But a constant remains despite that change. Roads need to be built, repaired or repaved. Businesses need customers to travel to their stores and customers need roads to get to businesses to shop for what they need. It takes a Chamber to advocate for better roads for customers to get to its member businesses. You don’t usually get any paving from a networking group.

Now that you have this improved access, good luck and good hunting.



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