Planners seek community advice about proposals for pathways $500,000 will be spent on anti-pollution projects

November 29, 1995|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

Bicyclists, are you tired of being forced off the road? Pedestrians, would you like your favorite dirt path paved?

If so, Howard County land planners want to hear from you.

As planner Brian Muldoon told the county's Public Transportation Board last night, he wants bikers and walkers to help decide how to spend $500,000 for pathways, sidewalks and intersection crossings.

Mr. Muldoon has proposed several projects, not all of which can be paid for.

"It sounds funny to put it this way," Mr. Muldoon said in an interview after the meeting. "But these projects are not set in concrete -- or asphalt."

He and other planners will pick the projects that are most popular and least expensive.

Of the $500,000 to be spent, $100,000 is county money and $400,000 comes from a state grant under the Transportation Emission Reduction Pilot (TERP) Program, which is aimed at reducing air pollution from vehicles. That is a particular problem in the Baltimore metropolitan area, where the federal Environmental Protection Agency has ordered an aggressive program to reduce air emissions.

Even a short drive to the store contributes to pollution, because starting the car emits so many fumes, Mr. Muldoon said.

While it is true that Howard County, particularly Columbia, is blessed with many miles of pedestrian and bicycle paths, gaps among those paths prevent users from reaching, for example, park-and-ride lots.

Mr. Muldoon said the pilot program is designed to determine how to best remove commuters and errand-runners from their cars and put them on sidewalks and pathways.

He also wants to encourage recreational use of pathways.

These projects have been proposed by the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning and the Howard County Department of Public Works:

* Cedar Lane. Sidewalk on east side from Freetown Road to Owen Brown Road. Also, sidewalk on west side near Owen Brown Road.

* Owen Brown Road/Cedar Lane. Eastbound sidewalk or extended shoulder between Freetown and Martin roads.

* Hickory Ridge Road. Sidewalk from Charter Drive to the Hickory Ridge Building.

* Broken Land Parkway. Sidewalk on east side from Hickory Ridge Road to Little Patuxent Parkway.

Also, at Hickory Ridge Road, pedestrian/bicycle signal crossing.

* Frederick Road. Shoulder improvements and a pedestrian/bicycle bridge from Rogers Avenue to U.S. 29.

Also, shoulder improvements and pedestrian/bicycle bridges from U.S. 29 to Gray Rock Drive.

* Gateway Industrial Park. Howard County Government building there. Pedestrian crossing at Gateway Drive and entrance to building.

Also, add bicycle racks.

* Lake Elkhorn. Pathways and pedestrian crossings from the Columbia pathway system to the park-and-ride at Broken Land Parkway and Route 32.

* High Ridge Park. Sidewalk along All Saints Road from High Ridge Road to Route 216.

* Ellicott City. Bicycle racks in business district.

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