An initiative to start the development of a new network of bike trails and bike lanes aimed to link Baltimore County neighborhoods, parks, and schools was announced today by County Executive Don Mohler.
The idea is part of an overall county-wide master planning process aimed at improving bicycle and pedestrian access and safety, in the hopes the county becomes more livable and sustainable.
“Creating environments that support biking and walkability is increasingly important to maintaining the County’s attractiveness and quality of life for our residents,” said Planning Director Andrea Van Arsdale. “Promoting walking and bicycling also helps to address the national obesity problem, supports environmental sustainability and helps to strengthen people’s sense of connection to their neighbors and communities.”
The County will use $200,000 to supply matching funds to the Maryland Bikeways Program, the federal Recreational Trails Program, and the Transportation Alternatives Program, as required by state law. In all, the plan could warrant $1 million in funding for county projects, a release from Mohler's office said. The funding will come from the Department of Public Works budget. Go forward, Mohler hopes that going forward the funding can be a line item in the county's budget.
“People want to live in communities where they have easy access to bike trails and bike lanes so they can safely pedal to work and school and can enjoy a weekend bike ride with family and friends,” Mohler said. “Our BaltCoBike 2030 initiative is a planning and grant-making process that will prioritize funding for recreational off-road bike trails and bike lanes that will be strategically located to help provide more transportation options for residents in the County and surrounding jurisdictions.”