Thousands Sign Petition To Restore Weekend Road Closures Around Loch Raven Reservoir
BALTIMORE COUNTY - A petition urging the reinstatement of a weekend tradition along Loch Raven Reservoir has garnered thousands of supporters.
For over four decades, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) had shut down a specific segment of Loch Raven Dr., from Morgan Mill Rd. to Providence Rd., every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to Melissa Jewel, the individual behind the petition, this closure provided a haven for pedestrians, cyclists, and joggers.
"It is also a great way for children to be outdoors, riding their bikes, & playing safely without the fear of getting hit by a car. The area is a safe haven for the community," Jewel said.
Since the start of the pandemic, this tradition has stopped, prompting residents to seek a return to the tranquil weekends at the reservoir.
Jewel initiated the online appeal in August 2021, and as of Friday, it has amassed 3,703 signatures toward its goal of 5,000. The petition requests that the DPW bring back the weekend closure of the road, emphasizing the need for a safe space where the community can enjoy outdoor activities without the risk of vehicular accidents.
Supporters of the petition argue that co-existing with moving vehicles on the same road has become increasingly dangerous.
In a statement to WJZ, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works said that increased visitor numbers on the weekends led to unintended consequences such as soil compaction and erosion due to parking in unauthorized areas.
"Over the years, with the gates closed to traffic, the number of people who took advantage of this recreational opportunity increased, expanding the footprint on reservoir lands. As a result, reservoir visitors began parking in undesignated areas, compacting soils and causing some erosion. In addition, the road closures also became blockades for emergency vehicles, further impacting public safety. Due to these reasons, Loch Raven Drive will remain open to traffic and emergency vehicles on weekends."
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