Cleanup Saturday to focus on roadside trash

U.S. 1

100 volunteers expected for first step toward planned revitalization

April 16, 2002|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

At least 100 volunteers are expected to take the first concrete steps toward revitalizing U.S. 1 by collecting trash along the highway Saturday.

Bigger changes, such as beautification projects and more signs, are planned this year, but Howard County officials say the cleanup is an important first step toward improving the highway, which has been targeted for redevelopment.

Asked what might be done to make U.S. 1 look better, people who live and work along the highway pointed to the trash that lines the road as one of the most offensive things, county officials said.

Cleanup days were one of the recommendations in Phase 1 of the Route 1 Corridor Revitalization Study, which was based on suggestions from volunteers who focused on issues that could be resolved within four years.

"This is the kind of thing that insults [residents'] sense of pride," said Mina Hilsenrath, a county zoning official working on the redevelopment project.

Picking up trash, unlike planting trees or placing signs, is relatively inexpensive and easy.

Volunteers, who will be given plastic bags and gloves, will meet at one of three locations along the road at 8 a.m. Saturday. For three hours, they will collect small items of trash such as paper and cans from the sides of the road.

"This is something that can show tangible results ... that will show that, yes, in fact we're moving forward and making changes," said Allen Cornell, a revitalization committee member and senior vice president at the Michael Cos., which owns property along the corridor.

Many hope the cleanup, which will include only public land, will inspire owner of private businesses to follow suit.

"This is something we can show to business owners and say, `We've started cleaning. Why don't you?'" Cornell said.

Howard officials have begun prodding owners to make their businesses more attractive, and officials expect the cleanup to provide extra incentives.

The cleanup "is already happening, but this will help us share our best face," said County Councilman Guy J. Guzzone, a North Laurel-Savage Democrat who represents much of the area around U.S. 1.

Volunteers will meet at:

Troy Hill Business Park, U.S. 1 and Troy Hill Drive.

Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse, U.S. 1 and Route 175.

The parking lot of Carmax Toyota, U.S. 1 and Gorman Road.

Volunteers ages 14 and older should register at one of the three sites between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. to get trash bags, vests and instructions. The cleanup will last until about noon, when volunteers will be invited to Burlington Coat Factory for light refreshments.

The event will be held rain or shine. Information: 410-313-2350 or 410-313-4364.

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