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November 8, 2010

A week after election, Maryland walking issues remain


James T. Smith started the rebuilding of this pedestrian bridge in Baltimore County. It will now be up to Kevin Kamenetz to finish it.
Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox.

Last week's gubernatorial election results will influence a bunch of well-documented transportation issues, including construction of the red and purple lines and the completion of the ICC. Michael Dresser wrote about the transit part of that last week, and he covered the ICC topic in today's paper.

On a more local level, here are a few projects that are likely to be influenced by election results:

-- While the construction at Robert E. Lee Park is largely complete, the election of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz makes it even more likely that the bridge project near Lake Roland will be finished. Predecessor James T. Smith shares many ties with Kamenetz, so it's in their shared interest to make the project work.

-- In the city, the Jones Falls Trail plan is still working its way forward, with eventual extension to the Inner Harbor planned. While the mayoral seat was not up for grabs this year, state and national funding decisions will have a role to play in that plan's success or failure.

-- In Anne Arundel County, a portion of the B&A trail has been washed out since earlier this year. While the trail was hardly a major point of dispute in John Leopold's victory over Joanna Conti, the outcome will probably influence funding for this type of project.

What's probably the most strident debate, however, will likely continue as a result of Martin O'Malley's reelection: Had Robert Ehrlich been returned to office, he would likely have changed the Purple Line from a light rail plan to a rapid bus system. In doing so, it's nearly certain that he would have put an end to Montgomery County resident's worries about rail-pedestrian conflicts in the Capital Crescent Trail corridor. (An opposition voice can be found, here.)

Instead, that debate is likely to drag on for a least another couple of years. The good news for me: I'll have plenty of walking/politics fodder to blog about. Construction on the line isn't scheduled to start until 2013.

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 11:01 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Politics, Running, Walking

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About Exercists
Andrea Siegel, a reporter at The Baltimore Sun, covers mostly crime and courts in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, as well as legal issues. She wishes she was more physically fit, and, as she's more fond of chocolate than exercise, fitness is a challenge. Her partner on a one-mile-plus daily walk is the family dog, a mixed breed named Moxie, and she exercises at the gym where the D.C. snipers once worked out.
Jerry Jackson has been a photo editor at The Baltimore Sun for 14 years and an avid cyclist for more than 30 years. Inspired by the movie "Breaking Away," he started racing as a teenager in Mississippi when leather "brain baskets" were still the norm. He regularly commutes to work by bike and still enters several mountain bike races a year for fun.
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Patrick Maynard, who will be writing about running and walking, has been a producer for since 2008. In 2009, he tweeted on-course for the Sun from the Baltimore Marathon, finishing in just under 4 hours and almost managing to run the whole time. He sometimes walks to the Sun offices on Calvert Street.
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Leeann Adams, a multimedia editor at The Baltimore Sun, also dabbles in content for the mobile website and iPhone app and covers the Ravens via video. She did a triathlon to celebrate her 40th birthday and continues to swim, bike and run -- none of them quickly, though. Her biggest fitness challenge is to balance working, working out, spending time with her husband and being a mom to a 6-year-old boy.
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Anica Butler, the Sun's crime editor, is a former high school runner and recovering vegetarian who spent more of her early-adult years on a bar stool than working out. She is currently training (though poorly) for a half marathon and is trying to live a generally healthier lifestyle. She also hates the gym.
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