TOWSON, MD—The Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation on Monday released its first-ever countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (PDF).
The document offers a strategic roadmap for the development of active transportation infrastructure, and was created to reflect the evolving needs of Baltimore County communities. It updates and builds upon the Eastern Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan (2006) and the Western Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan (2012), integrating new development patterns and the growing enthusiasm for active transportation witnessed in the county.
“We are committed to sustainable and active transportation planning in Baltimore County, which will ensure our infrastructure meets the diverse needs of our residents and create more vibrant and accessible communities,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “The Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan sets a bold new standard for incorporating this growing need in future projects, and I thank the Department of Public Works and Transportation team for its work on this important roadmap moving forward.”
The plan identifies existing policies and physical barriers and introduces new policies aimed at fostering complete streets and enhancing active transportation across the county. It provides a prioritized list of bike and pedestrian improvement projects, ensuring that investments are made where they will have the greatest impact.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan released on Monday offers recommendations to assist in planning for more connected and accessible biking options for users of all ages and abilities, including:
- About 119 miles of shared use paths;
- About 70 miles of on-road bikeways;
- About 33 miles of Complete Streets; and
- About 256 miles of long-term projects.
“We’ve listened, learned, and are now ready to act; this is a game changer for our communities,” said Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation Director D’Andrea Walker. “This plan lays down a robust foundation for a future where walking and biking are integral parts of our transportation network. We are ready to transform Baltimore County, making it safer, more accessible, and enjoyable for all.”
The Master Plan also provides recommendations to help Baltimore County advance pedestrian safety and sidewalk programs throughout the County, regarding addressing missing sidewalks, maintaining and improving existing sidewalks, incorporating pedestrian facilities in new development, and evaluating pedestrian facilities.
In addition, the plan provides a number of short, medium, and long-term policy goals Baltimore County can explore to help further institutionalize design and engineering recommendations and encourage active transportation options.
Residents are invited to share input on the master plan at the Baltimore County Planning Board public hearing scheduled for Thursday November 16, 2023 at 4 p.m. in 105 W. Chesapeake Ave., Room 104, Towson, MD.
Following this public hearing, the Baltimore County Planning Board is anticipated to vote on the Baltimore County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan in January 2024. Following adoption by the Planning Board, the Master Plan will be submitted to the County Council for consideration and adoption.
Photo via Pixabay