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Saturday, July 04 2015 @ 01:36 PM UTC
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College Park - Ongoing Plans to Complete Trolley Trail, but Barriers Stand in the Way

Bike PathsProgress on the incomplete sections of the Trolley Trail are slowly moving forward, but some major roadblocks could significantly delay the day that we see a complete trail extending from the Berwyn neighborhood to the Northwest Branch Trail near Route 1 in Hyattsville. Because the trail runs through portions of College Park, Riverdale Park, and Hyattsville, there are a number of entities fumbling through the funding, design, and construction process. Following is an update on each of the incomplete sections.
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<a href="http://rethinkcollegepark.net/blog/2010/4608/">http://rethinkcollegepark.net/blog/2010/4608/</a>;
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East Coast Greenway Committee Chairs in Maryland

Bike PathsMaryland – Greg Hinchliffe
Greenways advocate, chair for the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (MBAC) in Baltimore also serves on the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Greg, a long-time member of the Maryland Committee for the ECG, stepped up as committee chair in 2004. He’s also a member of our Trail Council and has been a resource for ECG long-distance travelers coming through Baltimore. In the rest of his spare time, Greg chairs the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee in Baltimore, helps coordinate local cycling events, serves on the Gwynn’s Falls Trail Council, and is a member of the Baltimore Bicycling Club, Washington Area Bicycling Association, and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
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District of Columbia – Bob Patten
Bob Patten is a Transportation Planner with Toole Design Group and also serves on the ECGA Trail Council. Bob has over 15 years of experience transportation planning, including national policy work with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and local trail planning both as a professional with DC government, and as a volunteer with the Washington Area Bicyclists Association and the Coalition for the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Over the course of his career, Patten founded the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse at RTC, organized a successful campaign to secure $2.5 million in ISTEA funding to complete 13 miles of the 24-mile Anacostia Tributary Trail System in Prince George's County, and became the first full-time trail planner hired by the District of Columbia. Bob is a frequent bike commuter and enjoys coaching his daughter’s soccer team.
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WMRT westward Expansion in EA process

Bike Pathsfrom TheWashCycle by washcycle
The National Park Service has begun the Planning, Environment and Public Comment period on the proposed extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail approximately 15 miles from its present western terminus at Pearre Station to a point near Paw Paw, WV.  This extension will be under the management of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.  Project information is available here.  The Public Comment period is from Nov 16 - Dec 23.  The project needs all the favorable comments it can get.
 
Note the Topic Questions Instructions here. Those submitting comments are encouraged to answer all, or part of, the six Topic Questions.  Since the Indigo Tunnel detour will use the towpath, it is important that the towpath have a surface that will accommodate road bikes.
There were two public meetings earlier this week which kicked off the comment period. NPS will make its decision next year. If you've never been on the WMRT it's really nice. And this next section will have several bridges - including six over the Potomac river, and two tunnels through the Paw Paw bends. It will also take the trail into West Virginia (and back).
WMRT extension
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Bicycle path on Route 50

Bike Paths...
County Councilman David MacLeod applauded the enhancement of a bicycle path on Route 50 at Route 346, which is slated to be completed by March 2011.

&quot;We recently had the Sea Gull Century, in which 8,000 bikers came to Salisbury, and the new bike path was extremely popular,&quot; he said.
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Word is Spreading about the Trail Summit!

Bike Paths

Please help us make this the best event possible by passing on the information to others who may be interested.  You can cut and paste text below or draft your own copy. This is a great opportunity to collaborate on our shared vision to create a Trail System in Maryland, “second to none.” We are almost half-full!

Again, thanks for registering.

We look forward to seeing you at the Summit.

The Md Trails Summit Team

MdTrailsSummit@dnr.state.md.us

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/land/Trails/index.asp 

Greetings Trail Enthusiast! 

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

The Maryland Trails Summit:

Sharing the Vision-Making the Connections

October 19, 2010

 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proud to announce that the Maryland Trail Summit will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at the Holiday Inn BWI Airport in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. The Summit will bring together trail users from all over the State to discuss the future of trails in Maryland, preview an interactive map and Website, work on regional projects, network with other trail users and planners, learn about trails in neighboring states and much more!

This opportunity is not to be missed. This 1-day event is the culmination of ideas and input from the four Regional Roundtables that DNR hosted this past summer. If you are a commuter, boater, bicyclist, roller-blader, hiker, walker, skier, jogger, pet lover, paddler, camper, birder, off-road vehicle rider, equestrian, or anyone else that has an interest in trails in Maryland this is the event for you!

Maryland’s very first trail summit is just around the bend, so complete your online registration and come prepared to learn and discuss the future of trails in Maryland. We hope to see you there!  http://www.dnr.state.md.us/land/Trails/FirstTrailsSummit.asp 

Limited Space – Register online today to assure your seat!

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Hiking, biking and tubing in your backyard

Bike PathsBy Jaclyn Jones - Examiner

My much anticipated graduation from high school and a deservedly exciting June, July and August made the adjustment to college seem ever so slightly tedious. In just the first week of the semester, it became difficult to apply myself to my studies. So over the extended Labor Day weekend I made an escape…I dusted off my old bicycle and rode it on one of Maryland’s outdoor gems—the Torrey C. Brown Trail, formerly known as the Northern Central Railroad Trail (NCRT).

If you don’t already know about this trail, it’s nearly 20 miles of flat, stone and dirt-covered pathway, highly navigable by bicycle or by foot. The trail is within an easy driving distance from Goucher, Johns Hopkins University, College of Notre Dame, Loyola University, Stevenson University, Towson State University, UMBC and many other local college campuses. It extends from Ashland, which is just off York Rd. in Cockeysville, Md. to the Md.–Pa. line. The trail is part of the rails to trails conversion and follows the path of the now defunct North Central Railway.

Besides biking or hiking, you can tube down the Gunpowder River which runs parallel to the trail. Monkton Bike, Inc. rents tubes and operates the Tube Shuttle between Monkton and Bluemount Rd.

If you work up an appetite, ‘Natural Brothers’ run a deli and café at about the 7-mile marker in Monkton. They offer largely vegan fare and some of the most delicious ice cream—organic, of course!—that I have ever tasted. (Try the Coconut Almond Chip!)

If the great outdoors doesn’t provide enough escapist enjoyment (or food), nearby at York and Shawan Roads is the Hunt Valley Towne Centre with California Pizza Kitchen, Chipotle, Noodles & Company, and Panera Bread.

As a recommendation…If you venture to the trail, pick it up at Monkton or slightly north of there as the more southern points can get crowded.

For more information on the Torrey C. Brown Trail, contact the Department of Natural Resources about Gunpowder State Park.

Before returning to my studies, let me mention that in the coming weeks, I’ll be catching up with several local bands that have performances coming up at the Recher Theater in Towson and I’ll be highlighting some rising stars of the local theater scene as well as other interesting collegians in the Baltimore area!

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Cycling Baltimore, Gwynns Falls Trail

Bike PathsBy Donald Crowson, Jacksonville Bicycle Travel Examiner A ride on the Gwynns Falls Trail is a must for bicycle travelers exploring Baltimore. This wonderful trail provides cyclists a great way to enjoy and learn about the Chesapeake Bay watershed, its history and the interesting parks and neighborhoods it travels through.

Refer to the separate article, Cycling Baltimore, cycle rental shops near downtown and Inner Harbor for maps, information and featured cycle rental shops near Inner Harbor and downtown.

The ride starts at the Visitor Center, at Inner Harbor (see Google Map for route) continues along Light St, through the Federal Hill district, under I395 on Hamburg St and past the Camden MARC railway station M&T Stadium and until crossing the railroad tracks on Ridgely St. On Bavard St. the ride passes the first of a series of creative Gwynns Falls Trail murals (see slide show below).

After a left on Washington and past Carroll Park, a former plantation, the ride embarks on its first off road section and portion of the trail along Gwynns Falls. Past Carroll Park Golf Course and a neat ‘Love’ mural, the ride crosses, via several trail bridges, the former site of the Carrollton Viaduct. Disembarking your cycle at Wilkens Ave, cross the street and the bridge and continue off road again through a small high hilled park where basketball courts and a public pool once stood (the pool was built in 1910 after Gwynns Falls became too polluted for swimming - see informative signboard, one of many along route). Off and back on the off-road trail at Frederick Ave, the ride travels along the Ellicott Driveway. It once carried water for the Ellicott flower-milling complex, thus lending to the districts name, Mill Hill. After another on-off road segment, the ride passes under the Baltimore Street Bridge and past several dramatic waterfalls before arriving at Leon Day Park, where a water fountain and restrooms are.

After traveling on Franklin Rd, the ride starts its Gwynns Falls / Leakin Park portion where the path becomes a dirt road where samples of wildlife and fauna can be experienced. This ride’s turn around point, a high hilltop and former retreat of some sort offers a quiet resting place before your return. There are many other paths to enjoy in the park and if you have the time, explore.

For a yummy meal after your ride check out Kiku Sushi on light street for some expertly prepared miso and sashimi.

As always, read the safety article [or better yet, look over our links for safety] and be prepared to lose yourself in the splendor of Gwynns Falls Trail.

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Encouraging community involvement and best practices with the Maryland Trails Summit

Bike Paths[B' Spokes: Everyone loves off-road trails right? Well let's look at the best and worst of off-road facilities:

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Maryland's over stress on off-road encourages the worst of off-road facilities (bottom half) over and above more appropriate on-road facilities. And even with the best of paths (top half) most MD paths do not allow for comfortable biking from home to the trail (Per NHTSA survey 89% of bike trips begin at a residence and only 7% at a recreational site), nor do paths generally allow comfortable biking from the trail to work or grocery stories, such an idea is not even in the works. We need a more workable solution then what's being offered and more verity in the offering of bike facilities at not only the state level but the local level as well.

Public participation is the key to remedying this and the following letter was put forth on one of the advocacy lists, I encourage everyone to write their own letter in support of greater public participation. ]



IC wrote this letter to MdTrailsSummit@dnr.state.md.us

Hi,

I was just informed of the Maryland Trails Summit. Since moving to Maryland last December, and as I'm a keen cyclist who enjoys riding on multi-use trails, I've been eager to get involved in related issues, so something like this, which relates directly to cycling, seems like it would be something I'd like to get involved with. Unfortunately the Maryland Trails Summit seems to have been specifically designed to exclude people like me (i.e. a keen cyclist who has a limited budget, a job and a family) from the event.

Even if concerned people can afford the $50 admission fee (which seems especially steep in these harsh economic times), the event is scheduled for a Tuesday during school and working hours. I wonder, could it have been scheduled for a LESS convenient time? Maybe holding it on Thanksgiving Day would have kept more people away, but that's debatable. How is Maryland's Department of Natural Resources hoping to get useful feedback on its programs from concerned citizens when virtually the only people able to attend are likely to be well-off seniors or wealthy business tycoons with time on their hands?

Then there's the venue. Does it really need to take place next to one of the busiest airports in the country? If anyone wanted to cycle to the event, they would have to negotiate the numerous freeways that surround the venue. I mean, this is a summit devoted to trails. Sure, many people besides cyclists are interested in Maryland Trails, but surely most of these people live in Maryland and don't need to fly into BWI! As a cyclist, I would find it a scary prospect indeed to negotiate such a labyrinth of freeways and highways to get to the event on my bike, even if I lived within twenty miles of it.

Then there's the environmental cost of this event. It seems to me that the Department of Natural Resources should be discouraging the use of fossil fuels and encouraging more sustainable modes of transportation, yet the Department of Natural Resources seems to be going out of its way to get people to fly or drive to the Maryland Trails Summit. Honestly, with this lack of concern for the environment, what hope do Maryland residents have that the Department of Natural Resources is truly focused on safeguarding the state's natural resources.

It seems to me that this event is structured to appeal more to the travel industry than to the people the Department of Natural Resources are supposed to serve - i.e. the residents of Maryland. I'm eager to get involved when issues related to our natural resources come up, but with a limited budget and a kid in school, there's no way I can do this.

Please, when planning events like this in the future, have some thought for the people Maryland's Department of Natural Resources is supposed to serve! As for this event, I sincerely doubt anything useful can come from it, as it effectively prevents constructive input from the people who are most likely to use Maryland's network of trails.
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MD Trails Summit

Bike Paths

 

Greetings Trail Enthusiast! 

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

The Maryland Trails Summit :

Sharing the Vision-Making the Connections

October 19, 2010

 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proud to announce that the Maryland Trail Summit will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at the Holiday Inn BWI Airport in Linthicum Heights , Maryland . The Summit will bring together trail users from all over the State to discuss the future of trails in Maryland, preview an interactive map and website, work on regional projects, network with other trail users and planners, learn about trails in neighboring states and much more!

 

This opportunity is not to be missed. This 1-day event is the culmination of ideas and input from the four Regional Roundtables that DNR hosted this past summer. If you are a commuter, boater, bicyclist, rollerblader, hiker, walker, skier, jogger, pet lover, paddler, camper, birder, off-road vehicle rider, equestrian, or anyone else that has an interest in trails in Maryland this is the event for you!

 

Maryland’s very first trail summit is just around the bend, so complete your online registration and come prepared to learn and discuss the future of trails in Maryland. We hope to see you there!  http://www.dnr.state.md.us/land/Trails/FirstTrailsSummit.asp

Limited Space – Register online today to assure your seat!

 

 

 

The Md Trails Summit Team

MdTrailsSummit@dnr.state.md.us

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/land/Trails/index.asp 

 

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Cycling: Help needed to spur bicycle service on trains

Bike PathsBy Larry Walsh - Pittsburgh Gazette

My first experience with roll-on/roll-off train service occurred in the late 1990s on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad which runs from Cumberland to Frostburg, a 16-mile trip.

I had pedaled a steel Bianchi mountain bike on alternate sides of the railroad tracks from Frostburg to Cumberland. It was a bumpy ride, thanks to all the ballast. What is now a smooth ride on a crushed limestone surface trail was years away.

When I arrived in Cumberland, I had breakfast at the All Aboard Café in the renovated red brick railway station, rode around Cumberland for a few hours and caught the 11:30 train back to Frostburg.

After buying my ticket, I rolled the bike over to the baggage car and lifted it up from the platform to John Jeppi, the conductor. I used bungee cords to secure it to the interior of the car. When we got to Frostburg, Jeppi rolled it over to the door and handed it down. No muss, no fuss.

The Allegheny Trail Alliance and the Trail Town Program have asked Amtrak officials to approve roll-on/roll-off service along the railroad's Capitol route from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. And they would like all members of the bicycling community to help make that request a reality.

Roll-on/roll-off service allows cyclists to transport their bikes on and off the train without turning the handlebars sideways, taking the pedals off and putting them in boxes.

The alliance also has asked Amtrak to include roll-on/roll-off service to trail towns it does not currently service.

To accomplish those goals, they are asking cyclists to write letters to Joseph H. Boardman, president and chief executive officer of Amtrak, National Railroad Passenger Corp., 60 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington, D.C., 20002. The railroad prefers hard copies rather than e-mails.

They also ask that copies of those letters be sent to Ray LaHood, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, D.C., 20590; and to the alliance at PO Box 501, Latrobe, Pa., 15650 or admin@atatrail.org.

Time is of the essence.

If enough cyclists write enough letters as soon as possible -- and now would be a good time to do so -- roll-on/roll-off service along the Capitol Limited could be in place by next spring.

It might be possible, for example, to ride the train from Pittsburgh to Connellsville, bike 90 miles to Cumberland, Md., along the Great Allegheny Passage and catch the train back to Pittsburgh. The Capitol Limited stops in those towns.

Rockwood, about halfway between Connellsville and Cumberland, has asked Amtrak to approve a stop in their bike-friendly southern Somerset County town. If approved, the stop would serve bicyclists in the spring, summer and fall and snow sports enthusiasts during the winter.

Hidden Valley and Seven Springs, which maintain miles of mountain-bike trails, are only 15 miles away. And each resort has expressed interest in providing roundtrip shuttle-bus service to Rockwood if it becomes an Amtrak stop.

Depending on snow conditions, cross-country skiers and snowshoers arriving by Amtrak could stay overnight in Rockwood and ski or shoe on the passage. If there is not enough snow, they could go to the resorts and/or nearby state parks such as Laurel Ridge and Kooser.

If you would like some suggestions about what to include in your letter, go to <a href="http://www.GAPtrail.org">http://www.GAPtrail.org</a>;.

For more information about the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, go to <a href="http://www.wmsr.com">http://www.wmsr.com</a>; or call 1-800-872-4650.

Although there was no bike fee on my first roll-on/roll-off trip, the railroad now charges $5. Advance reservations are encouraged. The railroad now transports up to 60 bikes a day.

You might want to include that information in your letters.


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