County and state officials will join Randallstown residents tomorrow to celebrate completion of the first phase of a $1.1 million Liberty Road streetscape project -- one of several efforts to improve the appearance of older Baltimore County communities.
Ella White Campbell, executive director of the Liberty Road Community Council, said improvements to the facade of Liberty Court Shopping Center and the streets around it give a boost to the neighborhood.
"Liberty Road sets the tone for the community," Campbell said. "When that is aesthetically pleasing, it gives the signal that the rest of the community is that way."
County officials long have struggled with ways to revitalize the Liberty Road corridor. Last year, officials outlined a 56-page Liberty Road Action Plan that called for an unspecified number of rental units to be eliminated along the corridor.
This year, the county razed Savoy East, a low-income, 66-unit development on Liberty Road, about a mile north of Interstate 695. Workers also have replaced sidewalks and signs and added landscaping at Liberty Court Shopping Center.
County Councilman Kevin B. Kamenetz, a Democrat who represents Randallstown, said officials are excited about completion of phase one of the project.
"The streetscape phase is another step forward in our Liberty Road action plan," Kamenetz said. He said residents will see new streetscapes, revitalized shopping centers, and an overall improved appearance of the corridor.
With Liberty Road, the county has focused attention on other older business districts, including Towson, Pikesville, Catonsville and Essex, which have had renovation work in recent years.
Officials said the next phase of Liberty Road's improvement is scheduled for spring, with a $1.8 million project planned for the area from Rolling Road east, almost to Washington Avenue.
Campbell said it is vital to keep the well-traveled corridor of Liberty Road in good repair and booming with businesses.
"It is important to keep Liberty Road healthy," she said. "It is, in essence, the heartbeat of the community."
Pub Date: 10/20/99