Students at John Carroll were recognized by Bel Air town commissioners for their responses to the Municipal Month Essay Contest. Pictured are, from left, first-place winner Chris Collins, second place winner Megan Greig and third-place winner Austin Schap with Commission Chairman Edward Hopkins. (Photo courtesy of Michael Krantz / November 5, 2013)

Three John Carroll School seniors were recognized Monday evening by the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners for writing the top responses to the town's annual Municipal Month Essay Contest.

Essayists were asked to critique the draft of the Bel Air Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and how it will impact mass transit users, walkers, cyclists, transportation around their school and their own personal journeys around town.

During the process of completing the town's plan, a conflict arose between the needs of the transportation agencies and the movement of walkers and cyclists in Bel Air. The town commissioners set up the contest for feedback from students to aid in addressing the conflict.

Students were given about a month to complete their essays and turn them into AP government teacher Brian Powell to enter into the contest.


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Chris Collins won first place in the essay contest and was awarded a $100 gift card to Harford Mall. Megan Greig won second place, taking home a $75 gift card and Austin Schap was awarded a $50 gift card for third place.

In his essay, Collins wrote that while he lives only a few blocks from John Carroll, "If I biked there I would be putting my life at risk." He proposed that the town's new plan could work if it was given proper funding and support from its residents.

The students had photos taken with the commissioners after reading their essays to their families and friends.

"They were all well written essays," Commission Chair Edward Hopkins said.