Entertainment, Family, Traffic

Online petition seeks to close gates at Loch Raven Reservoir on weekends again

LOCH RAVEN, MD—Some Baltimore County residents would like to see a former weekend tradition restored.

For decades, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works closed the gates along Loch Raven Drive between Providence Road and Morgan Mill Road to traffic from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

This practice stopped during COVID-19 and has yet to return.

Now, an online petition seeks to bring the closures back.  A petition on Change.org entitled, “To Close the Gates On Weekends at Loch Raven Reservoir Again” has garnered over 3,500 signatures as of Thursday morning.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is responsible for more than 24,500 acres of watershed, including Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County.

In a statement to WJZ, the city wrote:

“The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) strives to balance accommodating access to the reservoir lands with protecting the Baltimore region’s water supply. We welcome people to visit our reservoirs, but recreational activities are regulated and limited to certain areas of the reservoir lands to protect ecologically sensitive areas, water quality, and visitor safety. It is also important to note that the reservoir lands are not public parks.

In the past, at the Loch Raven Reservoir, DPW closed the gates on the weekends to support the recreational use of the reservoir.

Over the years, with the gates closed to traffic, the number of people who took advantage of this recreational opportunity increased, expanding the footprint on reservoir lands. As a result, reservoir visitors began parking in undesignated areas, compacting soils and causing some erosion. In addition, the road closures also became blockades for emergency vehicles, further impacting public safety.

Due to these reasons, Loch Raven Drive will remain open to traffic and emergency vehicles on weekends.”

The Office of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski seems somewhat more supportive of the idea, however.

“Loch Raven Reservoir is a destination in Baltimore County that offers incredible scenery and a wide variety of recreational activities for residents and visitors to enjoy year-round. We continue to be supportive of Baltimore City to close the gates to vehicle traffic on weekends and again allow families, walkers and bikers to feel safe while they enjoy this gem and welcome any opportunity to work with them to do so,” press secretary Erica Palmisano told WJZ.

Those interested in doing so can sign the online petition here.

Photo via Change.org

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