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Marks pulls bill as Baltimore County considers new rules for running events

Spurred by a running race organizer's spray-painting of streets in West Towson, Baltimore County officials say will consider new administrative rules for races and parades.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who wanted to force such requirements under a new law, withdrew his bill Monday just before the council was set to vote on it. He said instead, he'll work with Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's office to set new rules administratively.

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Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, had pursued additional rules for races and parades after hearing complaints from residents that organizers of the RetroRun 5K in September spray-painted arrows on neighborhood streets in West Towson. RetroRun organizer Brad Jaeger told The Baltimore Sun he had used spray-paint for years without problems.

He said that after hearing of the complaints in West Towson, he painted black over the arrows.

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Marks' bill would have required organizers of races and parades to notify communities before their events and to use only non-permanent course markings.

Councilman Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, said he worried the notification requirements might be a burden for the organizers of parades, especially small youth sports and community parades. Quirk's district in southwest Baltimore County is home to a number of races and parades, including Catonsville's popular parade on Independence Day.

"I wanted to make sure we worked through the details," Quirk said.

Marks said he thinks the details of the new rules can be worked out before spring and the warm-weather season of parades and races.

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"There's not going to be many foot races over the next three to four months," he said.

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