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Monday, April 15, 2013

Middle Patuxent Branch Connector Trail hearing this evening

    I have blogged before about a proposed Patuxent Branch Connector Trail that has been proposed to connect downtown Columbia with the Middle Patuxent Branch Trail.  The photo above was taken along the Middle Patuxent Branch Trail.
     Right now the trail is along some of the most beautiful wooded areas in the County.  The yellow Mayflowers pictured above have been blooming along the path for the past few week.
   The paved part of the trail goes down to the Kings Contrivance area and the trestle bridge.  The dirt trail from this point goes along the river to Vollmerhausen Rd.
      If this connect section from downtown is built to connect with this path the trail will connect with the path system on the west side of Columbia.  Because a gas line was built a couple of years ago along this route the area has been cleared for this path as can be seen in the photo below.
    I can envision 10 mile bike rides on this trail to downtown Columbia and then going on trails all the way to the Athletic Club and only crossing one road intersection.  If you would like to see this built you should be aware that tonight the County Council starts hearings on next year's Capital Budget of which this trail is a part.  You can even email your support to the Council. The info below is from the Columbia Association:

"The Council will be hearing testimony on the proposed county capital budget on this Monday evening, April 15. The great news is that funding for the  #1 new pathway priority in the recently completed Active Transportation Action Agenda  (Connecting Columbia) is included in the proposed budget. It is also in the draft of the county's Bike Master Plan. The project is the ~3 mile-long proposed pathway along the sewer alignment from downtown Columbia to connect to the county's Middle Patuxent Branch trail (the Downtown - Patuxent Branch Trail Connector). The proposed capital project is T-7107. It is in the Capital budget on pages x and xxx. It's a huge document you can access here I have clipped and attached the relevant page to this email for your convenience.

The suggested alignment is flat and cleared because of the completed sewer project. It is scenic, running close to the Patuxent River. It would allow pedestrians and cyclists to get easily and directly from downtown to points south and east and west. With this pathway, pedestrians and cyclists could avoid the the 29/Brokenland Parkway interchange since the pathway would go underneath.

What you can do? 
  • Use the following link to submit written comment on this project and that you support it. Select all Council Members and then you'll be asked to enter your email, etc and then you will be able to write your comment of support for T-7107 - the Downtown - Patuxent Branch Trail Connector. Short and sweet is fine.
  • Sign-up to testify and give your testimony in person. Here is the link to sign up. Please select Budget Hearing -  Capital, and then select: "DPW Trans Intersec". You will be asked for your contact information, etc and whether you suport the item. You want to select support... do this soon so you get on the list now. 
  • Ask others to testify or submit written comments. Anyone who lives in Jen Terrasa's district who supports the pathway is needed especially since the pathway is mostly in her district and she is the one hearing the angst from Allview.
The facts: the pathway alignment needs to be studied. That would be the first step in the county's process. They will hire consultants to undertake a feasibility study. This will define the alignment and make clear what mitigation steps will be needed to implement the pathway stormwater management, wetlands mitigation, etc. Engineering would follow and then construction. Issues of screening to a few nearby houses (you can count them in single digits) could be addressed at that time. The pathway alignment would use the sewer easement that the county has already."  

At the Miller Library tonight:

Understanding U.S. Census Records: 1790-1940
Census records offer an important tool for family history research and can provide information on age, residence, place of birth, and occupation, among other significant facts. Using HCLS research tools, Family History Center volunteer Dottie Aleshire guides you through the history, details, and process of locating and recording United States census information from this historical period, including population census, mortality, agriculture, and slave schedules.

*Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

P.S. 1
   Do you know we once had "orphan trains" in the United States that took orphan children from cities in the East and shipped them to the Midwest to mostly farms.  Hear about a new novel that tells this story.

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