A couple years ago, Chris DeFeo, David Marks & I spearheaded the “Walkable Perry Hall Report” which identified sidewalk gaps throughout the community. The report not only recognized gaps in the pedestrian transportation system, but also prioritizes improvements based on cost, impact of improvements and benefits to the community. The textbook case was a 700 foot gap on Ebenezer Road between Tremper Farm and Northgate Hall. This missing sidewalk forced pedestrians into the roadway with vehicles travelling 35-45 mph and separated communities from the local elementary school and regional park.
It seemed like a long, uphill fight to get this sidewalk constructed. Even during community meetings, a now retired DPW official indicated that Perry Hall needs to get in line for all the sidewalk improvements needed. He also indicated that making pedestrian improvements to adjacent Honeygo Blvd were not likely to happen since “the county designed this road to get as many cars through as fast as possible.” So much for “Safe Routes to School”
Today, that sidewalk gap was filled! Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz was joined by (now) Councilman David Marks, State Senator Kathy Klausmeier and DPW Director Ed Adams to break ground on a new sidewalk that would bridge the gap between neighborhoods and community ammentities. As David Marks and I have planned the Walk To School Day event at Joppa View Elementary School for the past three years, this improvement will help more kids walk to school. This simple sidewalk improves safety, encourages active transportation and takes a few more cars off the road.
This simple sidewalk showcases advocacy at its finest. Not only did this simple project finally get built, but those involved got elected and the project that identified this gap was included as an appendix to the Perry Hall Community Plan. Today was a great day for walking proponents!
Special thanks to those involved today including County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Councilman David Marks, State Senator Kathy Klausmeier, Perry Hall Improvement Association Dennis Robinson, and Joppa View Elementary School PTA President Patty Smith.