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Public input sought on Carroll, Howard section of Patapsco Regional Greenway

Andy Becker of Eldersburg, right, Kathy Dorman of Woodstock and other members of the South Carroll Senior Walkers hike the trails of the Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Carroll County Commissioner Eric Bouchat, R-District 4, encourage seniors to take advantage of Carroll's section of the Patapsco Regional Greenway once it is complete.
Andy Becker of Eldersburg, right, Kathy Dorman of Woodstock and other members of the South Carroll Senior Walkers hike the trails of the Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Carroll County Commissioner Eric Bouchat, R-District 4, encourage seniors to take advantage of Carroll's section of the Patapsco Regional Greenway once it is complete. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Public input is being accepted through this Friday, June 11 on a new section of the Patapsco Regional Greenway in Carroll County and Howard County which is planned to run through the Sykesville and McKeldin area.

A Carroll County commissioner and a planning official both recently expressed excitement about the project.

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In 2017, the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board approved a concept plan for the Patapsco Regional Greenway, to be used by bicyclists, hikers, runners, walkers, and in some locations, equestrians. To date, over 12 miles of the greenway have been completed. Now, the BRTB seeks community input on the Sykesville to McKeldin Segment, which will add another 8.5 miles to the greenway.

The Patapsco Regional Greenway maps the main alignment of a 40-mile, shared-use trail traveling through the Patapsco Valley from Sykesville in Carroll County to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The trail, when completed, would pass through or near the communities of Sykesville, Marriottsville, Woodstock, Daniels, Oella, Ellicott City, Catonsville, Elkridge, Halethorpe, Baltimore Highlands, and Cherry Hill, according to a news release.

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The Sykesville to McKeldin segment of the greenway consists of two sections, including the western portion near downtown Sykesville and the eastern portion near the McKeldin area of the Patapsco Valley State Park, both with two alternative alignments.

Alignment 1 of the western portion is a shared-use trail which travels from Main Street in downtown Sykesville, then north along Sandosky Road to Raincliffe/Buttercup Road intersection and then into Freedom Park.

Alignment 2 begins on Main Street in downtown Sykesville and travels south. The shared-use trail crosses the Patapsco River and turns onto West Friendship Road. The trail then turns onto River Road and travels south. The trail re-crosses the Patapsco River along an abandoned vehicular overpass and continues north along Md. 32 to rejoin the sidewalk on Raincliffe Road before the trail travels briefly south from the Raincliffe/Buttercup Road intersection into Freedom Park.

As far as the eastern portion, Alignment 1 meanders through Patapsco Valley State Park towards the Heart of Maryland Bowhunters Club property. From there, the shared-use trail veers south towards the South Branch of the Patuxent River. The trail then follows the South Branch to Marriottsville Road and crosses Marriottsville Road before ending in the McKeldin area of the Patapsco Valley State Park.

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Alignment 2 follows the same path as Alignment 1 until the shared-use trail passes beyond the Heart of Maryland Bowhunters Club property. The trail then travels north up and around the League of Maryland Horsemen property towards Piney Run. The trail veers south and parallels Piney Run until the trail reaches Marriottsville Road. After crossing Marriottsville Road, the trail follows Alignment 1 again, following South Branch before ending in the McKeldin Area of the Patapsco Valley State Park.

Commissioner Eric Bouchat, R-District 4, received a small tour of the highlights of the Carroll part of the greenway several weeks ago.

“I’m a big outdoors person,” he said. “When I heard about this section, I was so excited about it.”

The commissioner stated the trail will be “fantastic for us in Carroll County,” as it will allow residents to enjoy the beauty of the river valley, as well as bring in visitors who may spend money locally.

He added about 33% of county residents are over 60 years old and the trail will encourage those citizens to be active.

He mentioned that parks and recreation surveys point to residents wanting more hiking trails in the area.

“This is a project that we are very excited about and very proud of,” Lynda Eisenberg, director of the department of planning in Carroll County, said at a May 20 county commissioners meeting. “This was a coordinated project” with several counties and state departments to “develop a regional greenway.”

Clare Stewart, compensation planner with the department, said at the meeting “the vision is that a completed greenway system will improve opportunities for alternative transportation, recreation and economic development for all of the communities along the route.”

Anyone interested in sharing their thoughts on path alignments can email comments to M503@PublicInput.com, text M503 to 73224, call 855-925-2801, x 7772 or comment via Twitter at @BaltoMetroCo, @BmoreInvolved, #BRTBlistens.

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