Cumberland Times-News

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November 19, 2012

Open house set on bike-pedestrian plan

CUMBERLAND  — An open house is scheduled for Nov. 27 for a presentation and public comment on the Allegany County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

 The open house will provide citizens and stakeholders with the opportunity to review and comment on the final draft of the master plan, county officials said. The open house will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Allegany County Museum at 3 Pershing St. in the second-floor ballroom.

The goal of the master plan is to improve biking and walking in Allegany County, county officials said.

A January open house brought out about 20 people for a preliminary look at the plan.

“I see Allegany County as a destination for families, with something everyone can do,” said Jim Christie, a planner who is heading up plan development with county planners. “We want everyone to get excited about the project,” Christie said.

Topics at the January meeting ranged from the crossing at Depot and Main streets in Frostburg to the larger questions of funding and organization.

Funding is not part of the plan and will ultimately depend on government and interested organizations. Having a plan, though, will provide a good start toward obtaining the funds, said Christie in January.

The plan isn’t just about the major trails but every type of pedestrian and bike path in the countryside or in towns, including small walking paths and high school tracks where people walk or run for exercise.

The master plan aims to connect bikers, pedestrians and local transportation systems into a vital network of trail connections throughout Allegany County. An integrated plan could make more recreational opportunities available for residents and tourists, county officials said.

Allegany County Transit Planner Siera Wigfield will be present for the Nov. 27 meeting.The consulting firm for the plan, Thrasher Engineering of Oakland, will also be represented.

This master plan involves a comprehensive review of facilities and an analysis of strategies to connect communities, create recreational opportunities, and provide safe access for biking and walking.

Written comments may be submitted by Dec. 6 via email to; by fax to 301-722-0326, to the attention of Siera N. Wigfield; or by mail to Allegany County Transit, Attn: Siera N. Wigfield, 1000 Lafayette Avenue, Cumberland, MD  21502.

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