Imagine Catonsville if every place in the community linked through bicycle lanes on roads from UMBC north to Edmondson Avenue at the Baltimore city line.
The folks at Catonsville Rails to Trails want to make that vision a reality.
The next project for the group, which is working closely with Councilman Tom Quirk, is to extend bike lanes from Baltimore city into the county on Edmondson Avenue.
The city has added the lanes all the way to the county line this year, and Rails to Trails President Tom Aljuni said members are working hard to get support and funding from the county.
"Baltimore city has really been at the forefront of biking and hiking," he said. "It's the right thing to do [to extend the lanes]."
Kathy Schlabach, a project manager for the Baltimore County Department of Planning, said that multi-use lanes are part of the Western Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan.
A multi-use lane would allow residents who live on Edmondson Avenue to still park their cars in front of their homes but would also provide a safer space for bicyclists, she said.
The next step is to secure funding for the lanes, Quirk said, adding that he wants to see more pedestrian-friendly roads in Catonsville.
"A lot of families today are looking for communities that are more bikable and walkable," he said.
A public meeting will be scheduled soon to allow residents to give further input on the draft plan before it is submitted to the Baltimore County Planning Board and then the Baltimore County Council.
Rails to Trails is also looking at long-term plans such as creating a trail that links UMBC to downtown Arbutus and downtown Catonsville. Rails to Trails members have met with UMBC officials and the campus is studying the issue further, Aljuni said.
"We're working really hard to make something like this a reality," he said. "These things take a long time."