Baltimore County officials intend to begin repaving cracked and pot-holed roads in Towson's Greenbrier neighborhood as early next spring, leaving residents there who have long sought the repairs feeling hopeful yet skeptical that the county will keep its promise.
"We were thrilled to get an actual answer from the County Executive's office," Greenbrier Community Association president Kyra Vocci said Sept. 7. "I do have my reservations, though, because we've been told before that we're 'next on the list.' But it's my hope that they'll follow through this spring."
Vocci said she received confirmation last week from county officials that work on the community's roads would begin soon.
Lauren Watley, a spokesperson for the county's Department of Public Works, confirmed the scheduled paving in a Sept. 6 email to The Towson Times, which published a recent story about the community's long battle to gain the county's attention to the poor road conditions.
Brook Road, Overcrest Road, Holden Road, Greenbrier Road and Stevenson Lane in the neighborhood should be repaved in the spring, Watley said.
"While weather and contractor availability play a large part in scheduling, the county anticipates paving the roads mentioned sometime in the spring of 2018," Watley said in the email. She attributed the decision to schedule the work to a regular review by the Baltimore County Highways team, which repairs, maintains, reconstructs and improves more than 2,600 miles of county roads.
The work will not be completed during this year's paving season, Watley said, because Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews are working in the area.
Greenbrier residents have requested the street repairs for more than a decade, according to Vocci and her neighbors.
However, previous requests to Baltimore County officials remained unanswered, leading residents to turn to their representatives—County Councilman David Marks and Del. Steve Lafferty—this summer to press the county for action, Vocci said.
Marks, a Republican from Perry Hall, and Lafferty, a Democrat who represents District 42A, said they have asked the county numerous times to fix the roads.
Lafferty said he met with the neighborhood association's board in the spring for a tour of the roads, which he called "severe."
In an email to Greenbrier residents, Lafferty attributed the county's decision to schedule the repaving project to his request for the work to be done and a review by the Department of Public Works.
"I am pleased that [County Executive Kevin Kamenetz] listened to my concerns about [Greenbrier] and that he has agreed to this long overdue repaving," Lafferty said in the email to residents. "I am sorry that it took this long."
Marks said he has also heard that the county will resurface the neighborhood's roads in the spring, but that previous delays on the part of officials have made him skeptical of exactly when the job will be done.
Stevenson Lane, south of Greenbrier, and Bosley Avenue, west of the neighborhood, are also in bad shape, Marks said.
"There is no reason why these roads were not done this year, and no excuse for Stevenson Lane and Bosley Avenue not being addressed," Marks said in a Sept. 7 email. "I will believe it when I see it."
Resident Kathy Cwalina, of Overcrest Road, called the condition of Greenbrier's streets "deplorable" but said she is hopeful the repairs will occur on schedule.
"It looks like the spring of 2018 will mark the renaissance of Greenbrier, so I'm hopeful and looking forward to getting our beautiful neighborhood back again," Cwalina said.
Amy Redondo and Walt McGuire, of Greenbrier Road, said they worried their children might fall into a pot hole while playing in front of their house.
In August, McGuire filled a 6-inch deep, 3-foot wide hole in the street directly in front of his home with cement after his request to the county to do so went unfulfilled.
The prospect of new roads is "exciting," Redondo said.
"Now our children will be able to ride bikes, skateboard and simply enjoy a walk, safely, in our neighborhood," she said.