Council to weigh proposed paths

15-year plan seeks to improve pedestrian safety, add bicycle lanes

Anne Arundel

February 19, 2003|By Ryan Davis | Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County would create 215 miles of bicycle lanes and make pedestrian safety upgrades at 160 intersections over 15 years under a plan to be considered by the County Council next month.

The county's first pedestrian and bicycle master plan was scheduled to be introduced at last night's County Council meeting, but it was postponed because of the snowstorm.

There will not be money available for at least another year to begin the projects outlined in the plan, county planning officials cautioned.

"I just don't want to see one more plan that we pass and then have no means to implement it," County Council Chairwoman Cathleen M. Vitale said.

But county planners said they recently started on work that won't require money. They are reviewing road construction standards to ensure that future stretches will include sidewalks and shoulders that can be used by bicyclists and pedestrians.

The plan, which cost $98,000, was launched at a public hearing in November 2000.

It lauds the county's current system of trails, including the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail and the BWI trail, but states that they are hard to access because of inadequate sidewalks and bike paths leading to them.

According to the report, four pedestrians are injured or killed by cars each week in Anne Arundel County.

The plan seeks to create the hook that links the hiker/biker trails, other pathways and residential areas.

"We could build parking garages at the entrances to our trails," said Jennifer Toole, the president of Laurel-based Toole Design Group, which was hired to produce the plan, "but I don't think that's what we're after."

At a County Council workshop last week, a consultant presented a slide show of pedestrian and biker trouble spots throughout the county: intersections as wide as 120 feet with no medians on which walkers can stop, sidewalks that end in the middle of a block and walking paths that look more like "goat paths."

It identified 19 areas as the highest priorities for bicycle accommodations, from Brooklyn Park to Crofton.

"We want to start with projects that don't cost a fortune to implement," Toole said.

To accommodate more bicycles, the report suggests widening outside road lanes from 12 feet to 14 feet, paving road shoulders, creating bike lanes that are at least 4 feet wide and constructing multiple-use trails. It has not been determined what specific improvements would be needed at each site, Toole said.

The report also identifies 12 sites for pedestrian improvements, from Glen Burnie to Edgewater. Improvements could range from sidewalks to intersection improvements to traffic-calming measures, including speed bumps, narrowed traffic lanes and traffic circles. Specifics have not been determined.

The plan identifies several potential sources of grant money, and Toole said implementation of the plan would likely help the county receive additional state funding.

Walkers and cyclists

Anne Arundel County's first proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan identifies several areas for urgent fixes.

FOR CYCLISTS

Annapolis and surrounding area

Northern Loop, from Defense Highway along Housley Road to Generals Highway, then along Bestgate Road and Ridgely Avenue to Taylor Avenue.

Riva Road, from Aris T. Allen Boulevard to West Street

King George Street, from Taylor Avenue to College Avenue

Forest Drive/Chinquapin Round Road/Bay Ridge Road/Arundel on the Bay Road from Solomons Island Road and West Street to Arundel on the Bay Road

Parole

Riva Road, from West Street to Annapolis High School

From Solomons Island Road along West Street and Generals Highway to Bestgate Road; and from West Street along Defense Highway to Housley Road

Pasadena/Cape St. Claire/Lake Shore/Riviera Beach

College Parkway, from St. Margarets Road to Sandy Point State Park

Mountain Road, from Hogneck Road to Old Annapolis Boulevard

Hogneck Road, from Fort Smallwood Road to Mountain Road

Edwin Raynor Boulevard, from Fort Smallwood Road to Magothy Bridge Road

Fort Smallwood Road, from Marley Neck Road to Fort Smallwood Park

Shadyside

Shadyside Road, from Shadyside Park to Deep Cove Road

Crofton

Crain Highway, from Millersville Road to Defense Highway

Davidsonville Road, from Crain Highway to Defense Highway

Riedel Road, from Davidsonville Road to Crain Highway

Laurel/Maryland City

Laurel/Fort Meade Road, from the Prince George's County line to Route 32 and Rockenbach Road

BWI Airport

Ridge Road to Route 100

Brooklyn Park

Belle Grove Road, from Ritchie Highway to the B&A Trail

Ritchie Highway, from Belle Grove Road to Furnace Branch Road FOR PEDESTRIANS

Woodland Beach/Edgewater

Solomons Island Road, between Central Avenue and Mayo Road

Arnold/Severna Park

College Parkway and Ritchie Highway to the B&A Trail

Intersection of McKinsey Road and Ritchie Highway

Gambrills

Crain Highway between Davidsonville Road and Defense Highway

Odenton

Annapolis Road to MARC and proposed town center

Riviera Beach

Intersection of Fort Smallwood Road and Bar Harbor Road

Glen Burnie

Intersection of Dorsey Road and Baltimore and Annapolis Boulevard

Linthicum

Intersection of Hammonds Ferry Road and Nursery Road

BWI area

Intersection of Dorsey Road and Aviation Boulevard

Laurel

Intersections of Laurel/Fort Meade, Corridor Marketplace and Russett Green East roads

Parole

West Street, between Solomon Islands Road and Riva Road

Several intersections and stretches along Generals Highway, Defense Highway, West Street and Bestgate Road

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