A group of community leaders is hoping to keep the momentum of small busines revitilization going on Frederick Road by further partnering with the State Highway Administration.
On Friday aftertoon at , local business leaders and elected officials met with SHA officials to discuss what projects could be started to make Frederick Road through downtown Catonsville more pedestrian-friendly. Since Frederick Road is a state road, most projects would have to be done through SHA, officials said.
The meeting was organized by the economic development committee for the .
Here are five ideas that were discussed at the meeting and where they stand:
1. Adding more pedestrian crosswalks: SHA officials said the only funding for Main Street improvements are funding sources that make ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) improvements and improve pedestrian safety. An example of a more visible crosswalk is outside the Catonsville Library.
2. Expanded sidewalks for outdoor seating for restaurants: The idea has been proposed by local real estate agents Kirby Spencer and George Brookhart and was discussed at the meeting, but any expansion of sidewalks for outdoor seating would also involve partnerships with the county and local business leaders.
3. Improved signage reminding motorists of pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Some of these improvements will occur as part of the county's long-term for the area.
4. Having parking kiosks instead of meters: Business leaders and Councilman Tom Quirk are starting to look into the idea of replacing parking meters with kiosks similar to what is available in Baltimore City and Towson. SHA officials said the changes in parking would just need approval on a state road, but it's typically not an issue.
5. Sidewalk improvements: SHA officials shared maps that outlined sidewalk improvements that are from South Rolling Road east to the Baltimore Beltway.
Catonsville resident Jim Himel said the group hopes to prioritize what can be done with existing proposals.
"Our timing to work on this is actually good because of this existing plan," he said referring to the state highway's sidewalk upgrades, which are ongoing.
What do you think is the highest priority for downtown Frederick Road?