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Towson Area Trails Receive Grants for Improvements

The grants were awarded by the Maryland State Highway Administration, which provided more than $1 million for similar projects statewide.

Two Towson area trail improvement projects received funding from the Maryland State Highway Administration through the agency's Recreational Trails Program.

The West Towson trail, a quarter-mile path primarly used by walkers located between Allegheny and Chesapeake avenues behind the Towson Family Center Y, will receive $30,000 to repair damage caused by erosion and other small improvements, Councilman David Marks said.

Marks and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz applied for the grant in May. The District 5 councilman said the funds would likely be used to distribute additional wood chips on the trail and create signage.

Marks said he pursued the grants after residents complained about the state of the trail, although other residents have expressed concern about the increased foot traffic the improvements would bring. He said his office would reach out to the West Towson Neighborhood Association to resolve the issues.

"In this time of very limited resources, it's important to take advantage of these small pots of money," he said.

The trail was added to the Eastern Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan in June.

Additionally, which straddles Towson and Parkville, will receive a combined $30,000 to repair its Blue and White trails, according to a state highway administration news release.

The Blue Trail is 1.2 miles one way and the White trail is 0.2 miles one way, according to the Cromwell Valley website. The two trails are connected.

The state agency awarded more than $1 million in funding for 41 trail projects across the state, the release states. Each project received grants valued between $5,000 to $64,000.

JD1 November 21, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Wy are we spending $1,000,000 on work that could be done by scouts, inmates, school groups or community volunteers? I wonder who the contractors are who will be doing the work and how they were selected. Meanwhile, tolls are going up so the MSHA can fund BS projects like this.
David Marks November 21, 2012 at 05:09 AM
The West Towson trail project will be done in-house, not by "contractors." And by law, money from tolls is administered by the Maryland Transportation Authority and must be spent on the tolled road, such as Interstate-95. You are entitled to your anonymous opinion, but please, get the facts correct.
JDStuts November 21, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Soil erosion is hardly a BS issue. It affects water quality and ultimately the Bay. Damage to the Bay results in loss commerce for waterman which affects packers, shippers, stores and restaurants. This impacts tax revenues which leads to underfunded schools and poor roads. Or, you know, you could make a small investment to nip it in the bud.
JD1 November 21, 2012 at 07:29 PM
So where is the money coming from? If volunteers can haul trash out of streams and back river, why can't they spread some mulch (a far easier job). Trails are routinely maintained in local parks by volunteers - why is this different? If done in house, why is it so costly? No question that erosion is an issue - I remember when the Walgreens at belair rd and silver spring was being constructed and the silt fences failed after every rain - this contributed a far greater sediment load than the trail in question. Mr Marks the facts are thin in this case - please fill in the blanks. The public deserves details on how THEIR money is being spent.
JDStuts November 21, 2012 at 07:59 PM
The money comes from the SHA budget which has a line item for this program. Look at it this way. "State Highways Administration" is a misnomer. Their goal is to be the backbone of a unified traffic network. "Traffic" isn't limited to automobiles since the end result is the relocation of people in a timely and coherent manner. Alternative methods of transportation include rails, waterways and *gasp* walkways which is what a trail does. The full details are on the MD SHA website: http://www.marylandroads.com/Index.aspx?PageId=98 The money is from taxes. That's what government does. It collects taxes to pay for material that is used to make it possible for taxpayers to get from point A to point B which improves their quality of life while helping to protect the limited resources in the state that provide jobs for others.

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