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Lake Roland hazard: muddy trails. Baltimore County must act | READER COMMENTARY

After heavy rain, Lake Roland's Red Trail becomes a mud pit.
After heavy rain, Lake Roland's Red Trail becomes a mud pit. (Peter Broido/Peter Broido/Handout)

I moved to Baltimore six years ago and discovered Lake Roland. As a jogger, I found the old railroad ties a bit of a hindrance and the trails in need of repair. An article was published in The Sun about how Jones Falls was undergoing a refurbishment to better allow fish to live in it. I wrote a letter to the editor, which was published, about how fish were being treated better than people. Subsequently I received a phone call from the head of the Lake Roland Nature Council, who explained the history of the park.

The park is actually owned by Baltimore City. It was purchased at a time the city thought it might need another reservoir, which never proved to be the case. At one time train tracks ran through the park, and they have morphed into the Red Trail, the main path through the Park. After the tracks were pulled, the park became a dumping ground for bodies, cars, tires etc. Concerned citizens banded together, petitioned Baltimore County to lease the park and pledged to maintain it. The Nature Council was born.

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In my years here, I have watched the Red Trail deteriorate at a time when its usage has increased. On the weekends, the park is packed. Drive by yourself, and see cars parked from the entrance along Falls Road all the way to the intersection of Falls and Old Court roads. We seem to be experiencing more very heavy rains, and the Red Trail cannot handle that. It has turned in places to a morass of mud.

I have complained to Baltimore County Councilman Izzy Patoka and to Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. at a County breakfast several months ago and have also reached out to the Nature Council. In addition to the mud, there is a deep dangerous hole which needs attention.

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The condition of this path, in my opinion, requires more than a group of volunteers patching it up. I believe it requires an engineer to study the drainage, recommend a solution and then the county to follow through, take ownership of the problem, make the necessary repairs and continue to maintain the park and its trails.

Peter W Broido, Baltimore County

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