Proposed county parks pathway put on hold after citizens object Trail would link areas near Randallstown

September 12, 1996|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

After a public outcry, Baltimore County officials have placed on hold a plan to link neighborhood parks off Old Court Road near Randallstown by a new pathway, and the area's councilman has withdrawn his support of the plan.

The proposed pathway would run from the area behind the Old Court Metro Station to Liberty Road and link Sudbrook, Silver Creek and Villa Nova parks. But in a public meeting this week, some residents from the six communities that surround the parks opposed the plan.

"It would bring additional traffic into the community and could be conducive to increasing crime," said Julian Klaff, president of the Silver Creek Community Association. "People who live in this area don't want it."

Klaff, whose organization represents 270 homes, said a similar project was suggested years ago and rejected by residents. Neighbors were unaware of the renewed interest in the plan until a story in a local paper alerted them to planned construction of the trail, Klaff said.

John Weber, director of the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks, said officials believed the estimated $241,000 project would provide easy access for park maintenance workers and make it easier for police to patrol the parks.

But the plan has been postponed until officials can meet and decide whether to proceed, Weber said.

"The plan was a result of a 1988 Greenway study that was done, and I was not here then, so I was not aware of the public sentiment against it," Weber said. "Usually attempting to make a park more accessible is considered a positive thing."

Weber said funding for the project would be provided by a federal grant and matching county funds.

But Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Randallstown Democrat, said he has withdrawn plans to introduce a Baltimore County Council proposal to accept the federal grant because of the public opposition.

"At this point my position is that I will not support the grant proposal unless I hear some strong support from the community," said Kamenetz, who organized the meeting.

"Based upon the fact that the community is so uncomfortable with it, I don't see any point in pursuing it."

Pub Date: 9/12/96

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