Baltimore County rolls out its TMDL Implementation Plans
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 13:47

Trash reduction plan also introduced

 by Ben Boehl

    Baltimore County is seeking community input in finalizing its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans and its Trash and Litter Reduction Strategy by holding public meetings across the county. One of those meetings was held at the North Point Public Library on Nov. 14.
    Wesley H. Schmidt III, of the county’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, presented the county’s plan to approximately 25 to 30 guests, which included members of local cleanup groups such as the Back River Restoration Committee and Clean Bread and Cheese Creek.
    Schmidt noted that most of the funding from these projects will come from the controversial stormwater management fee known as the “Rain Tax.”
     “A lot of [this plan’s] funding is from the stormwater management fee,” Schmidt said. “It is going to get us good things and projects that need to be done.”
   

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County unveils plans for bicycle trail, solicits feedback
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 13:02
 by Bill Gates

    Baltimore County presented its plan for the Dundalk Bicycle Trail last week at the North Point Public Library, in order to make people aware of the plans and solicit public feedback.
    Only a dozen or more people showed up to peruse the plans on Nov. 11, but they provided plenty of feedback.
    The plans for the bike trails were described as “preliminary” by Kathy Schlabach, the Chief of Strategic Planning for the Baltimore County Department of Planning.
    “We take comments from citizens and revise the plans accordingly,” Schlabach said. “Then we ship it off to the engineering design people to fine-tune it. Then, construction.”
    Construction is expected to begin in either this spring or summer.
    In the preliminary plan, the bicycle trail will start on Dundalk Avenue just inside the Baltimore City line at Holabird Avenue.
    One leg of the trail will travel down Dundalk Avenue, through the traffic circle at Sollers Point Road and down to Watersedge Park.
    The other leg will travel down Holabird Avenue, take a left onto Sollers Point Road and follow Sollers Point Road until it meets the other leg of the trail at the traffic circle.
    There is also a branch of the trail which begins on Delvale Avenue in front of the Dundalk High/Sollers Point Technical campus and joins the trail when it merges with Sollers Point Road.
    The Dundalk Avenue segment will be marked by pavement striping, while the bulk of the Sollers Point Road segment will be marked by pavement markings.
    Bike lane striping is marking out a bike path on the side of the road: two white lines with a bicycle symbol inside.
    Pavement markings are just putting the bicycle symbol on the edge of the road to indicate the lane for bicycles.
    Signs will also be placed alongside the roads to announce the presence of the bicycle lanes.
    The project is being financed by two grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation for the Maryland Bikeways Program.
    “What I’m hearing is people are interested and like what’s going on,” Schlabach said. “Our original plan had the trail going along Holabird Avenue from Dundalk Avenue to Delvale.
    “But we found that part of the road was heavily traveled by trucks, so we took that part out.”
    The citizens who did show up to inspect the plans offered several suggestions.
    One significant change was suggested by Will Feuer of West Inverness, who was concerned about the bike lanes on Dundalk Avenue being between the traffic lanes and the parking areas.
    “I don’t like drivers having to pass through the bike path to park and to re-enter the road,” Feuer said.
    He suggested putting the bike lanes on the median strip in the center of the road.
    One of the county representatives said that could present an environmental issue, as the median strips are designed to control water runoff.
    Feuer also suggested the portion of the bike path on Delvale Avenue should put both bicycle traffic lanes on one side of the road, and restrict parking to the other side — again, so drivers would not have to cross through the bike path in order to park.
    Feuer suggested the far side of Delvale, across from the high school, should be the bike path.
    But the path would have to cross to the other side when it became Sollers Point Road, due to people parking on that side of the street when using the athletic fields along the road.
    People also suggested planting more trees and bushes along the bike trail, while reminding the county to replace storm drain grates that could trap bicycle tires.
    A representative of Bike Maryland wanted the trail to avoid the traffic circle altogether, but that would prevent the trail from reaching Watersedge Park.
    Possible future additions to the bike trail would see it use Dunmanway from Dundalk Avenue down to Merritt Point Park, and to travel down Penninsula Expressway at least as far as Chesterwood Park and Stansbury Park.
    The proposal for the bicycle trail can be found as PDF files on the Baltimore County government website at www.
baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/planning/masterplanning/bikeped/BikeImplement.html.

 
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