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LIVE BLOG: Review of Indian Rock Park Trail Extension

County Councilman David Marks gained community feedback on a proposed trail extension at Indian Rock Park in Perry Hall.

The following updates were recorded live during the June 5 meeting:

5:34 p.m.

County Councilman David Marks said he would address concerns among community members about teenagers congregating the area. Marks said the trail will try to be "out in the open." He said some kids may use it to go to school, but it will mainly be used by adults.

5:36 p.m.

Marks said the plans are being coordinated with Perry Hall High School's environmental science teacher and the school's green schools initiative, because the trail runs adjacent to the school.

An attendee asked who will maintain the trail.

Marks said it will likely be maintained by county parks and rec, not schools.

Several residents said they didn't want the trail closer to them, which Mark said he was aware of. He said he was coordinating with housing associations.

"It's really not Indian Rock Park, it's an Indian Rock Park segment," he said. Another portion of the park extends into the Overlea/White Marsh area.

5:41 p.m.

Someone asked how the $30,000 grant will be spent. Marks said that it has to be used on trails and cannot be used on a high school or another service. It will be spent on signage, construction materials, for the asphalt and concrete, but it will not pay for everything.

Next year, he said, more development may be done on the project.

He said remnants of the trail are the unfinished Perry Hall Boulevard extension. Marks plans to absorb that into Indian Rock Park.

A resident asked about closure at dusk, and said that would be a problem to enforce. He asked if there were plans for signage saying when it was closed. Marks said the trail will not be lit.

Marks said there are no pedestrian connections between Joppa Road and Silver Spring and the trail would fix that.

Rec and parks works with Boy Scouts in coordinating cleanups.

"This was the least expensive, and I think least controversial route. It should cause the least amount of problems for people in Perry Hall," he said.

"No one knows about this trail," Marks said, adding that it is currently underused as a park.

5:47 p.m.

A resident asked about drainage and the possible need for a bridge over the trail.

Another resident said he worries about how steep it may be. He asked if that would be an issue with soil erosion. Marks said no, but it's being reviewed in its design.

Marks said he hopes this does not have to go before the school board, but can move forward with county approval.

It will be 10 feet wide for hiking and biking.

A resident praised it for biking. "This kind of stuff is small, but it's important. And in Halloween, we can have a ghost walk," a man said.

Another resident said the trail looks "out of the way," from Silver Hall Road. He worries that it may not be an obvious connector, but other areas may not be options because of environmental concerns.

A county official said it was right of way, flood plan and wet land concerns that prevented it from being in a more central location. It also cannot pass through private property.

The county plans to add bike lanes and widen Perry Hall Boulevard, in White Marsh near the duck pond. More development on the Indian Rock trail may be done at that time.

Marks talked about the "bike beltway" planned for Towson, and ideas for similar things throughout the county. "It just takes time."

The current grant ($30K federal money, matched by $10K county money) may only extend the trail in the Ebenezer Road area. They may have to apply for a new grant next year and keep extending it with every year.

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Little known and hardly developed, a small Baltimore County park next to Perry Hall High School is slated for a major trail extension.

County Councilman David Marks recently announced that plans to increase walking amenities at  are moving forward. He has scheduled a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. on June 5 in the high school's library to discuss the proposed extension.

"From Ebenezer Road, the trail is planned to extend along the perimeter of the high school campus at Indian Rock Park, then connect with the existing loop that has been build inside the woods. The trail will then return to the high school campus and extend to the existing connection at Silver Hall Road," according to a statement from the councilman.

The extension's purpose is to increase the walkability of areas between Ebenezer Road and the Silver Spring Road, and it may take up to two years to complete. Marks' office gained a in December 2011 from the State Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program.

"One of my priorities as your County Councilman has been to improve the network of roads, sidewalks and trails that connects our neighborhoods," he stated.

Perry Hall Patch plans to live blog the Tuesday meeting.

Which trails and parks in the Perry Hall area do you use the most? Tell us in the comments.

Arlow June 06, 2012 at 12:12 AM
It's a great idea. And Emily is cute, too.
Christie Pulvino June 06, 2012 at 01:01 AM
I took a walk on this trail this evening with my daughter and her friend. Looking forward to an extension; it is very peaceful there!
David Marks June 06, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Thank you everyone for your interest and support, and thank you to Patch for reporting.
Emily Kimball June 06, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I finally got around to copy editing the live blog a bit, should be more readable now. Thanks, Arlow :)

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