Edmondson Avenue to city line could become more bicycle friendly by fall

If all goes according to plan, bicyclists will soon be able to follow a route of trails and designated lanes all the way from Catonsville's border with Howard County to the Inner Harbor.

A proposal by the Baltimore County Department of Planning would create a bike path from the Trolley Line 9 Trail at the westernmost part of Edmondson Avenue to the Gwynns Falls Trail in Baltimore City.

The connection would make it possible for riders to have a continuous route of bicycle lanes from Ellicott City to the Inner Harbor.

About 20 people met at Christian Temple Wednesday evening for a community input meeting to discuss the plan that would make the easternmost part of Edmondson Avenue in Catonsville more bicycle friendly.

Kathy Schlabach, a representative from the Baltimore County Department of Planning, said the project could be completed by the fall.

Under the proposal, relining of Edmondson Avenue would start at its intersection with Dutton Avenue and continue east for approximately four miles to the Baltimore City line.

Edmondson Avenue west of Dutton Avenue already has bicycle lanes.

On the southern side of Edmondson Avenue, the stretch of road from Dutton Avenue to Ingleside Avenue would have a combined bicycle and parking lane.

On the northern side, a combined bicycle and parking lane would extend from Dutton Avenue to the Interstate 695 ramp.

The width of the bicycle and parking lane would measure 7.5 feet, and the existing vehicular lanes and center lane would be 11 feet wide.

Edmondson Avenue, starting near its intersection with Harlem Lane, to the city line would have a 7.5-foot parking lane, a 5.5-foot bicycle lane and 11-foot driving lanes.

That section of Edmondson Avenue does not have a center lane.

Several people at the meeting suggested removing the existing center lane from portions of Edmondson Avenue and adding separate bicycle and parking lanes, something Schlabach said was a possibility.

The plan also calls for 23 signs to be installed along Edmondson Avenue, including ones to alert drivers to bicyclists and bicyclists to the mileage to sites along the trail.

Schlabach said the work is possible thanks to a grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation and could be completed by the fall.

She said the grant, which does not have a fixed dollar amount, would pay for the signage and the addition of bicycle lanes, but not parking lines.

Expenses not covered by the grant would be paid for by Baltimore County, Schlabach said.

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