Cumberland Times-News

November 29, 2012

New trail plan out for comment

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — An open house for Allegany County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan drew about 30 people Tuesday and was generally well-received, said Allegany County Transit Planner Siera Wigfield. The meeting was held at the Allegany Museum on Pershing Street.

A number of potential projects and goals to connect towns and trails were described.

The first focus of the plan is connecting communities, officials said. The connections between the trails and towns will offer more than recreational activities, but also provide for transportation and bring economic benefits.

“These projects can be as small as providing a crosswalk to allow students a safe route to school, or as large as connecting Frostburg from the Great Allegheny Passage down to Westernport,” the plan document states.

Funding possibilities for each of the proposed projects are listed in the plan document, Wigfield said.

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

Among the projects described in the plan is connecting the town of Mount Savage to Frostburg and the Great Allegheny Passage, while creating a small loop trail that supports the Great Allegheny Passage.

The new connection would primarily make use of an abandoned rail bed to connect the two towns.

Another project would rehabilitate the tunnel under Frostburg’s Main Street to restore a connection between the GAP and Frostburg, according to the plan.

The proposed trail heads south from the tunnel to become the Georges Creek Rail Trail ending in Westernport. The trail will provide a “backbone” to link all the parks inā€ˆFrostburg, according to the plan.

Another project would connect Dan’s Mountain State Park to the Dan’s Rock Overlook Park by a hiking and biking trail.

 Members of the public can offer comments on the plan through Dec. 21.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.