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July 29, 2011

Beacon Park: More connections, please

Today's story by Frank Roylance about Beacon Park plans contained an interesting nugget:

In focus groups and email and phone surveys, the consultants found that, overwhelmingly, their target audience was looking for a "walkable" community with ample green space, a relaxing atmosphere with athletic opportunities, nighttime activity and a top-ranked school.

The biggest barrier for this audience was crime. Sixty-nine percent of those who rejected the location cited "risk and safety" as the reason.

The consultants also concluded that the new community needed a "story" or "theme." After more research they determined that the theme that most appealed to the Hopkins community and the broader Baltimore residents surveyed was "wellness."

Full story

I like the idea of a health theme, but I have to cringe a bit at the idea of yet another walking/jogging path that just doubles on itself, making any runner feel like a tiny space station that just goes round and round.

I was just lamenting to my wife last night that we had to drive in order to get to the NCR Trail. I know there are plans to extend the Jones Falls Trail northward to Cylburn Arboretum quite soon, but my impatient side wants it going all the way to Sparks now.

The Washington Times reported yesterday about how our neighbor city's bike system is now staggering a bit under growth. Part of the reason for that is the system's breadth: You can actually use Capital Bikeshare to get across town, even though -- as the article mentions -- you might have to go out of your way for a parking slot.

Here's hoping we eventually have to face similar challenges on an interconnected trail system. It would be lovely to explain to tourists at the Inner Harbor that they can indeed ride their bikes to York, but that they might want to call ahead if they want a trail-side hotel room because of heavy demand.

I'm not holding my breath.


 


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Posted by Patrick Maynard at 10:20 AM | | Comments (0)
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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 baltimoresun.com 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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