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Walking and Biking Trails Discussed in Eldersburg and Sykesville

The meeting takes place tonight at 7 p.m. at the South Carroll Senior Center.

Following  at the  where more than 75 people showed up to discuss biking and walking trails in the area, Commisioner Howard has scheduled a follow up meeting at the center for Jan. 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"At that time, we will develop a list of desires and concerns related to a trail. We will also form a citizen working group to work with the county and state agencies throughout the process," read a press release from the county.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) currently offers grant funding through the Maryland Bikeways Program that can be used to fund feasibility studies for the area.

The application forms for this grant will be available in March of 2012 and if approved, funding would be available in July 2012. If the county's application is approved, there would be a 20 percent match by the county and the state would cover the remaining 80 percent of the study’s cost.

The county has set forth the following plan to move forward with the idea of a bike path for the area:

  • Complete feasibility study to provide realistic options regarding possible trail routes, give consideration to environmental and ADA related issues, identify possible funding sources and likelihood of funding.
  • Hold community meetings to look at possible trail routes, share the results of the feasibility study, collect public input and secure consensus on a selected design/route and public support to move project forward.
  • Once an approved plan is designated, secure written approvals for accessing any land that is not county owned and address trail maintenance responsibilities on property that is not County owned.
  • Submit for trail development funding through various programs and promote a fundraising campaign to help provide additional support for the project through the Park Legacy Fund.
  • Once funding is available, the work would be bid out through the competitive bid process and once awarded, construction would begin.

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