Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Councilman David Marks will join with Perry Hall community members to . Sidewalks will be added along Honeygo Boulevard and Ebenezer Road, adding vital links that will help improve the community's connectivity.
If you look around Perry Hall, you'll notice the phenomenon of the incredible missing sidewalks: Places where these paths stop abruptly or don’t exist at all. These gaps represent serious impediments to Perry Hall's walkability. In response, two years ago the prepared an extensive study to identify the gaps in our sidewalk network and to set priorities as to which of these problem areas should be addressed first. The new sidewalk construction that began this week is a direct outgrowth of grassroots community activism.
Some may question why, in this era of lean fiscal times, Baltimore County government would embark on these construction projects. To be honest, I can think of no better use of limited taxpayer dollars than to make infrastructure improvements. It is vital that our network of bridges, roads and yes, sidewalks be maintained and expanded to meet current and future needs.
There are a host of benefits to improving bicycle and pedestrian access in communities like Perry Hall. Most importantly, by making it easier for folks to walk or bike to their destinations, we can have a direct impact on how many cars will be clogging up our road network. For instance, the sidewalks proposed for Honeygo Boulevard and Ebenezer Road will make it easier for people to walk to both and also to . Also, these sidewalks will offer folks a nice opportunity to ride their bikes to nearby White Marsh Mall or to The Avenue. Reducing traffic is not always just a matter of building more roads.
Improved walkability also encourages residents to get more exercise. If a safe network of sidewalks exists to connect people to various destinations, they are far more likely to consider using these paths for strictly recreational or fitness-related pursuits as well. Recent statistics from the demonstrate the necessity for promoting increased physical exercise. Currently, 50 percent of Marylanders don’t meet the recommended weekly minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity. You don’t have to join an expensive health club to get some exercise. A well-maintained and comprehensive sidewalk network gives everyone access to a way to get outside and get active.
In 2006, the Baltimore County Council adopted the Eastern Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan. An electronic copy of this plan can be accessed here. This plan outlines a series of improvements planned for bike and trail networks in communities like Perry Hall, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Dundalk and others in between.
A total of 95 pedestrian network improvements and 230 bicycle improvements were identified. Additional sidewalks along Honeygo Boulevard represent the first part of what is listed as Project Number 12 on the pedestrian improvements list described above. Other projects on this list highlight needed improvements to sidewalks along other local streets, including Belair Road, Campbell Boulevard, Chapel Road, Cross Road, Joppa Road and Klausmier Road. Bicycle projects include the development of a trail that would run parallel to Perry Hall Boulevard, from Silver Spring Road down to Rossville Boulevard.
With the weather starting to warm up, now is the perfect time to get out and make use of the sidewalks we already have. Before you know it, these new sidewalk additions will be ready for your walking shoes, roller-blades or bikes. Take advantage of these positive improvements in Perry Hall.