On Trail, A Place To Watch The Jets Go By

May 24, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Bikers and walkers tired of trees and foliage along the B & A Trail may soon be able to take in a far different scenery: planes landing and taking off at BWI Airport.

And those who love to gawk at the jets roaring overhead may be able to stop and make a day of it if officials succeed in building a viewer station on the airport property.

The Maryland Aviation Administration wants to discourage people from camping out in a dirt field off Dorsey Road, a favorite spot under a cleared flight path to watch incoming and departing jets.

Thatarea, where dozens of people and cars congregate nearly every day, was never intended to be a viewing area, and state officials tried everything short of putting up a fence to prevent the gatherings.

Posted "no trespassing" signs failed to do the job, and when the MAA director, Ted Mathison, saw a car parked in the approach area -- which could distract incoming pilots and disrupt the electronic instrument landing system -- he had railroad ties laid down to at least organize the spectators.

Then came reports of crime. "We are finding a drugproblem," Mathison said Wednesday. "There is open solicitation of sex and drugs."

Mathison said he hopes that providing an official viewing area along one of the runways will be enough to move the peopleout of the Dorsey Road site.

The officials said they have no ideawhere or how a viewing area would be built, and they assigned a committee of three neighborhood residents to study the issue. "We are light on dollars," Mathison said. "But we think we can do something within-house money."

Lewin Maddox, the Glen Burnie representative to the Neighbors Committee, a group of area residents that advise the airport of community concerns, said he likes the idea of having a viewing area.

"It is an excellent idea," he said. "It will make a pointto the people that this is their airport and not their adversary."

The proposed bike path would meet the B & A trail at Dorsey Road and Route 2, continue west along Dorsey Road and circle the airport. Itwould lead into the viewing area.

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