Take a Walk in Perry Hall for a Change

Sidewalk improvements are a great start for improving mobility.

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.

LalainMaryland March 28, 2011 at 12:32 PM
Thank you for these improvements! Now I can safely walk my dogs along Honeygo and even visit the 7-11.
Sophia M March 28, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Bravo! Sidewalks keep up connected!!
Tracy Dietrich March 28, 2011 at 01:46 PM
So excited - I run down Ebenezer to Honeygo often and am always a little fearful running on that stretch without a sidewalk. My husband who is a life-long resident of Perry Hall will be pleasantly surprised! Way to go David Marks!
Jackie McTear March 28, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Installing a sidewalk at the end of Ebenezer where it meets Honeygo will be wonderful. It's so dangerous for the high school kids and pedestrians to have to walk in the road. It's about time. Hoping they will also install a sidewalk on the East side of Joppa Road where it meets Honeygo (next to the Chapel Hill church).
kernal korn March 28, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Michele Reid March 28, 2011 at 06:57 PM
This is great news! I'm a walker in the area and it has always been a curiosity to me that these random stretches of sidewalk were "missing". Kudos to our Councilman. This is the small type of project that truly enhances our way of life.
David Marks March 28, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Thank you all for your comments! The road crews started right after the ceremony, and with the good weather, the Ebenezer Road stretch should be done in the next few days.
thomas gary likens April 14, 2011 at 01:25 AM
dear mr. marks don't forget there are other roads to address like chapel rd. it is in dire need of sidewalks and drainage iwas told at phia meeting it was taken off the books for improvment i think it should be put back on the books!!!!! 64 year resident thomas gary likens
David Marks April 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Mr. Likens, thanks for your comments. The original plan to widen Chapel Road was removed from the county's capital program. I'm working to restore funding to resurface the road and improve drainage, particularly near Snyder Lane. I don't think Chapel Road needs to be an expressway; it has a rural character that I'd like to preserve as best as I can, but it does need the improvements you described.


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