Path, underpass OK'd to make walking to Lake Elkhorn safer Street crossing 'getting dangerous' EAST COLUMBIA

May 18, 1993|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff Writer

Owen Brown village board member Walter Davidson took pictures of children crossing busy and winding Cradlerock Way on their way to Lake Elkhorn to emphasize the need for a safer route.

"I didn't care how much was spent, but I wanted it done for safety reasons," said Mr. Davidson, who took the lead in presenting the village's case to the Columbia Council at budget hearings this year. "I kind of played on emotions."

The council agreed to include $176,000 in its fiscal 1994 capital budget to build a path connecting the Owen Brown Village Center to Lake Elkhorn, a popular Columbia destination, and an associated tot lot. The path will include a lighted tunnel under an existing Cradlerock Way bridge.

"Right now, Cradlerock is an accident looking for a place to happen," said board member Wanda Hurt.

She said that even though the road is designed for one lane of traffic in each direction, motorists routinely pass slower or turning vehicles.

"It's getting to be very dangerous," she said.

Parking is limited at the Lake Elkhorn dock, and "it's not a good thing to be running across Cradlerock," said Karen A. Kuecker, Owen Brown's council representative.

The path and underpass will be constructed during this fiscal year, which will end April 30, said Fred Pryor, Columbia Association vice president of open space management.

"A lot of design work and engineering has been done," he said.

The nonprofit association operates the unincorporated city's recreational facilities, open space areas and community programs, with the elected Columbia Council serving as its board of directors.

Mr. Davidson said he also pushed for the project because Owen Brown village's pathway network would be incomplete without it.

"The underpass is already there. It's just never been completed," he said. "It was on the back burner until two years ago. I just kept it alive, and [the Columbia Association] staff took it from there."

The path and underpass also will make it safer for elderly residents who live in the nearby Owen Brown Place senior housing complex to make the journey to the lake, said Owen Brown officials.

The project accounts for about 20 percent of the association's $841,000 overall budget for pathway construction in 1993-94.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.