Catonsville group to build walking path on No. 8 streetcar line $7,100 grant from county sought for 1/4 -mile stretch

August 07, 1996|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

Plans are under way in Catonsville to transform an old streetcar path into a walking path.

The Old Catonsville Neighborhood Association has applied for a $7,100 grant from the county to renovate a quarter-mile portion of the old No. 8 streetcar line between Edmondson Avenue and '' Frederick Road near Montrose Avenue.

"I feel very strongly that people will use it and use it often," said Maureen Sweeney Smith, who is organizing the effort in hopes of seeing the path transformed from an overgrown, trash-filled area.

She said it will give area residents a safer route to walk to Catonsville Junction, site of an old streetcar loop. The last time a trolley ran there was November 1963.

The path would begin at Edmondson and Dutton avenues behind the 7-Eleven store and end at Frederick Road beside the Wharfside Restaurant. The project would include the installation of a sidewalk in the 1600 block of Edmondson Ave., where pedestrians now must walk on the edge of the eastbound lane.

"It's a part of history special to Catonsville," Smith said. "Many of the residents remember when the trolley used to run through Catonsville Junction."

Smith has gathered the signatures and support of several area residents and business owners as well as donations for the path, which she said will cost about $15,700. That amount would cover the expense of cleaning, clearing and mulching the land, she said.

Smith said her idea to restore the path was inspired by an Eagle Scout project completed in 1991 that turned old Trolley Line No. 9 into a trail. That path, part of a streetcar line from Catonsville to Ellicott City, is well-used by residents.

Smith said the Mass Transit Administration has agreed to donate money for landscaping in exchange for the community association maintaining a bus shelter on Dutton Avenue through the agency's Adopt-A-Shelter/Station Program.

Organizers hope to have the path completed by May.

Pub Date: 8/07/96

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