DPW To Start Work on Central Towson Bike 'Beltway'

The county was recently awarded a state grant to fund the project.

Cyclists will have an easier time traversing Towson as a moves closer to fruition.

The 5th District Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee—created by Councilman in June 2011—plans to meet with the Baltimore County Department of Public Works in September to determine how best to implement the "beltway," or rather, a pathway strictly for cyclists.

Extensions to the path have also been proposed but there is no funding available for these as of yet.

"We'd have to look into finding different sources of funding," said Allysha Lorber, a committee volunteer.

Lorber presented an update to the project Thursday night at the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations meeting. She said the committee is currently in the process of seeking community input regarding a proposal for the route, which is attached to this article.

"It's about encouraging biking and making it safer to do so," she said. "It'll reduce traffic congestion [and] it's better for personal health."

Creating the bike paths would cut into the existing street lanes, Lorber said. But the lane widths would still be in accordance with county regulations.

She added that biking is already permitted on county roads but the committee hopes this project would bring greater visibility to that fact.

The project was a $100,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation to cover signage and repainting costs for the path. County capital funds will provide $20,000 for the effort.

Additional funds from the Department of Public Works would go toward resurfacing the roads along the route.

Lorber said it's still unknown when the "beltway" will be fully realized.

Stay with Patch as we continue to cover this story. 

Melissa Diacumakos August 17, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I can not believe that we are spending tax money on a bicycle beltway when our bridges are FALLING APART!! The bridge at Old Harford Road and 695 is in need of replacement and it isn't even scheduled. I just don't understand the county priorities.
David Marks August 17, 2012 at 08:11 PM
This is grant money that MUST be spent on trails or bicycle improvements. It will cost tens of millions of dollars to fix the bridge at Old Harford Road and the Baltimore County.
4Deuce6 August 18, 2012 at 01:12 AM
David, just borrow the tens of millions of dollars from the county pension system. Payback is optional.
Christoph Amberger August 18, 2012 at 01:49 PM
A total waste of money. (No money "MUST" be spend, one can politely say no to a grantor, making the funds available to less frivolous projects.) On the other hand, if the bike trail draws the busting, wobbling, spandex-clad rear ends of middle-aged wannabe frame humpers off county roads and into more predictable (i.e., avoidable) routes, maybe there IS a social value in the project after all.
MC August 20, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Mr. Marks, you act like grant funds aren't taxpayer dollars. If you think that bike paths that cut into existing street lanes will reduce traffic congestion then I have a bridge to sell you. Like Melissa said, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars no matter how you slice it. Just as big of waste as when you put through legislation that you know has NO chance of passing.
David Marks August 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM
"MC": I've passed more than 25 bills, resolutions, or amendments to bills that I think have an important impact on Baltimore County. I put my name out there - something an anonymous critic like you won't do.
MC August 20, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Excuse me, but "YOU" haven't passed anything on your own, I believe there are 6 other Council members that vote on legislation. What "YOU" have done is submit several pieces of legislation that "YOU" knew had no chance of passing, therefore directly wasting taxpayer money.
MC August 20, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Hey Bart, to compare the "new" ballpark to a silly bike path is to compare a Boeing 737 to a paper airplane. You belong in Mr. Marks district.
Joe Adams December 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
The bike path is a great idea and a good use of funds. Using a half a ton of steel to do an errand is unsustainable. Bicycles as transportation is a triple-win (environment, resources, health). Electric bikes are another option already popular in Europe, Asia, etc. We have an obesity epidemic where one third of U.S. adults is obese, unprecedented in human history. Global warming is already here and will ruin your whole day. We need to get our heads out of the sand, and start using our heads. Keep up the good work!
David Marks December 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM
You love negative comments and won't give your name - but I'll refer the readers of Patch to the bills I have sponsored or cosponsored in two years. The last time I checked, "MC," a successful bill requires a sponsor. http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/countycouncil/districts/district5/district%205acommpandinit.html
Dale Johnson December 04, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Mr. Marks...Thanks for taking the lead on the Bike Route. I live in West Towson and love the work that has been done in recent years to make Towson more pedestrian friendly. I walk into Towson 3-4 times a week to restaurants, the library, bank, mall, concerts, and of course the farmers markets. I also bike a lot, but Towson is certainly more of a challenge. My biggest issue is just getting in and out of Towson. Baltimore City has done a tremendous amount of work in the last few years with bike lanes and that has created an explosion in the number of cyclists commuting and running errands. The Bike Beltway would join a lot of schools and shopping districts and make running errands by bike a real possibility. I run errands by bike now, but it is certainly a challenge. As Joe Adams said above, there are so many positives to be gained by encouraging cycling.


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