Baltimore, MD – May 14, 2024 - In March of 2023, Councilmen Izzy Patoka, along with leadership from the Baltimore County Department of Public Works & Transportation, and representatives of our community, went for a walk. This “walk,” organized at the request of community advocates and with the support of Councilman Patoka, was graciously and impressively attended by DPW&T leadership, specifically the team focused on Pedestrian Safety: D'Andrea Walker, who was then the Director of the Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation (recently appointed as the Baltimore County Administrative Officer by County Executive Johnny Olszewski), Angelica Daniel, Bureau Chief of Transportation, Anthony Russell, Deputy Director, and other staff.

The meeting kicked off in the parking lot of the Greenspring Shopping Center and quite literally continued as a walk eastbound on Smith Ave to Greenspring Ave, and continuing north on Greenspring to Lightfoot. Along the way (and back), members of the community pointed out the challenges of safe pedestrian crossing, speeding, and other traffic/pedestrian-related issues on this stretch.

Though the meeting took place on a weekday, community members presented to the audience a visual explanation of how much more challenging these issues are on Shabbos and Yom Tov when the “walking” population skyrockets. Recognizing that this corridor had experienced a lot of change in recent years with the Quarry drawing pedestrians from all directions, the community growing, the local schools, and the growing number of households in the Indian Village and Summit Park communities going from “empty nesters” to young families with school age children, it was clear improvements were needed.

After reporting their findings internally and working with traffic engineers, the improvements you see happening in the area were designed, reviewed, approved, and budgeted accordingly. B’H, when all is said and done, we will see 4 new crossing areas (Smith @ Laurelwood, Smith @ Maurleen, Greenspring @ Hunt, Greenspring & Lightfoot), and other traffic calming efforts to help slow down traffic, raise awareness of drivers, and provide safe crossing areas in an area that previously had none, and was unfortunately the scene of a number of pedestrian incidents, including fatalities.

While no crosswalk or signal is ever a replacement for awareness and caution, there is no doubt that these new improvements will help keep our walking community safe. Parents are encouraged to reinforce with their children the importance of staying alert and aware, as well as crossing in designated areas. With Hashem’s help, and our hishtadlus, we hope everyone is able to enjoy the great outdoors, safely!
Many thanks to Councilman Patoka, the dedicated team at DPW&T, and all those involved in advocating for these improvements over the course of many years.

UPDATE: B’H, some of these crosswalks, including the crosswalk extending from the Greenspring Shopping Center across Smith Ave toward Ohel Moshe (Rabbi Zvi Teichman), the location at Greenspring & Hunt, and the location at Lightfoot & Greenspring, a popular crossing spot to get to Ohr Yisrael (Rabbi Duvi Rubin) is almost complete as of this time. The community is extremely grateful. It is really great to see them in place.