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Closed in 2014, a New Span will be Completed by Mid-Year

Baltimore County will rebuild a popular pedestrian bridge along a walking path that leads from Dogwood Road to Woodlawn High School and the Woodlawn branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. Construction is scheduled to begin on or about February 23. The original span, which crossed Dead Run, was closed in August, 2014 because of serious deterioration and then taken down in September of that year. A new structure is expected to be completed in June.

“This pedestrian bridge has been greatly missed by the community and we are pleased to respond by rebuilding an improved bridge and path that is safe and accessible to people in wheelchairs,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “By continuing to invest in our infrastructure and older communities, we ensure that people can continue to enjoy a good quality of life in Baltimore County.” 

The original footbridge, constructed in 1973, was a fifty-foot long, single-span, steel-frame bridge. The replacement structure is of similar length and will be fabricated primarily of aluminum, and, therefore more resistant to winter salting, which shortened the service life of the 1973 span.

“People in the neighborhoods near the school and library have used this bridge for decades, and I very much appreciate Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz’s efforts to secure funding for this important local project,” said County Council Chair Julian E. Jones, Jr.

Woodlawn High’s new pedestrian bridge, estimated to cost $400,000, has been designed to include a concrete deck and approach embankments which are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

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Kamenetz Announces $900,000 in Enhancements and a Pedestrian Safety Outreach Initiative

Baltimore County is giving Liberty Road a brighter, updated look and enhancing pedestrian safety with a beautification and pedestrian safety project. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced $900,000 in beautification and pedestrian safety improvements along Liberty Road, and a locally targeted “Walk Smart – Don’t Dart” pedestrian safety outreach campaign for the busy commercial and residential corridor.

Brick and Mortar Improvements along Liberty Road

Construction is underway to install 186 attractive Colonial-style lighting fixtures along Liberty Road that are much brighter for nighttime visibility, and brightly colored brick-patterned crosswalks to enhance five Liberty Road intersections. County contractors are installing brick-patterned thermoplastic crosswalks between Courtleigh Drive and Offutt Road and BGE crews have begun installing colonial-style streetlights for pedestrian lighting along a two-mile stretch from Rolling Road to McDonogh Road. The cost of the street lights is approximately $400,000 and for the crosswalks is about $500,000. This phase of the project should be complete by the end of the year. Much of the construction will take place at night during reduced traffic hours, and County engineers do not expect significant traffic congestion from the project.

“This attractive period lighting and upgraded pedestrian crossings will soften the look and feel of this vibrant community corridor to better reflect Randallstown’s strong neighborhoods and sense of community,” said Kamenetz. “We thank our Baltimore County Statehouse delegation, especially Speaker Pro Tem Delegate Adrienne Jones for helping us to secure the state funding for this important project.”

The improvements, paid for by the State, but managed by Baltimore County, developed from community interest and the County’s recommendation to the State Highway Administration last year for safety and aesthetic improvements. The request from County Executive Kevin Kamenetz led to a five-million dollar grant and to the upcoming project, which is the first phase of improvements. When the Rolling Road to Offutt Road portion of the beautification project is completed at year’s end, the County will assess the project for future enhancements, including the possibility of two additional phases that could extend the enhancements from McDonogh Road to Owings Mills Road, and then from Rolling Road to the Beltway.

“These are wise investments that are about keeping our streets safe for everyone,” said 4th District Councilman Julian Jones.

Communicating the Don’t Dart – Walk Smart Message

The Don’t Dart – Walk Smart outreach campaign is a Countywide education initiative to address the fact that Baltimore County first responders respond to an average of 400 pedestrian crashes annually, including 18 in the Liberty Road area last year alone. The campaign includes radio ads on 92Q, ads in the Northwest Voice newspaper, extensive social media outreach and street teams who will intercept pedestrians on Liberty Road with safety messaging, literature and giveaways. Sponsors include Baltimore County government, Northwest Hospital - a Lifebridge Health Center and the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Local 1311.

Pedestrian Safety Messaging:

The realities of pedestrian crashes runs counter to the common perception that motorists are almost always to blame. Most pedestrian victims are adults. On average, more than half of victims are over age 40. About 80 percent of pedestrian crashes involve pedestrian error. The most common issues include failure to walk in crosswalks or intersections and obey crosswalk signals; wearing dark clothing that is not visible to drivers, especially at night; distracted walking and failure to stop and look both ways.

Pedestrian crashes are prevalent Countywide, but particular problem areas in Baltimore County include Liberty Road in Randallstown, York Road in Towson and Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk. The County’s Police & Fire departments note a high frequency of pedestrian injury near bus stops.

Pedestrians should:

  • Obey laws requiring pedestrians to cross at crosswalks or intersections.
  • Avoid being distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices while crossing.
  • Make sure they are visible by wearing bright clothing and wearing reflective materials at night
  • Be aware of their surroundings.
  • Make sure all traffic has stopped before crossing the street and make eye contact with drivers.

“We are very pleased with these initiatives that will make the Liberty Road commercial district even more attractive for businesses and people patronizing the shops and services along Liberty Road,” said Kelly Carter, Executive Director of the Liberty Road Business Association.


The updated library features new, enclosed spaces and upgraded technology

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller are pleased to announce that the Randallstown Branch has reopened after an extensive renovation and technology upgrade. The library closed for renovation on January 29.

Amenities and features of the Randallstown Branch include a large reservable meeting room (capacity 221), newly enclosed children and teen spaces, four study rooms, free WiFi, 33 public desktop computers, one children’s computer, and a large collection of print and audio-visual library materials. New shelving, comfortable seating, signage and updated public restrooms complement the modernized space.

The branch also features a Center of Excellence, the COLAB, which is a technology/maker cooperative space that includes items such as 20+ laptop computers, an HTC Vive virtual reality system, Microsoft HoloLens holographic computer, PlayStation 4 console with VR Bundle and games, Sphero SPRK and Ollie robots, and snap circuits. On the horizon for the branch are a Kano build-it-yourself computer with coding kit and a 3D printer.

“We thank our customers for their patience as we renovated the Randallstown Branch to bring 21st century library services to the community,” said BCPL Director Paula Miller. “In addition to books and electronic resources, this update allows us to provide transformative experiences and user-friendly spaces that make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.”

A collaborative effort of BCPL and Baltimore County Government, this $1.1 million project was funded in part through a grant from the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services.

“This $1.1 million project has transformed the popular Randallstown Branch into a state-of-the-art community hub for people to access technology and benefit from a larger collection of library materials, great children and teen spaces, an attractive meeting room and so much more,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Branch programs resume on Saturday, July 1 from 2-3 p.m. with the Build a Better World Science Show with Science Guys of Baltimore. Starting on Monday, July 3, the Randallstown Branch will begin its weekday Lunch and Learn series, where children 18 and under will enjoy crafts or fun hands-on learning experiences along with free boxed lunches.

Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) has served the citizens of Baltimore County since 1948. With 19 branches throughout Baltimore County, BCPL empowers and engages individuals for a more inclusive and connected Baltimore County community, and provides opportunities to explore, learn, create and connect. In addition to loaning books, library card holders may borrow DVDs, music, e-books and gain access to our research databases. Branches provide computer and internet access, job search assistance and offer a multitude of daily learning programs for adults and children. For more information about branches and services, visit bcpl.info or follow BCPL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017