As part of the state’s Cycle Maryland initiative, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced 28 Maryland Bikeways Program grants Tuesday, including funding for a Towson “Bike Beltway.”
Administered by the state Department of Transportation, the Bikeways Program was established last fall to support the planning, design and construction of projects that improve bicycle connections to work, school and shopping destinations.
The latest round of grants includes $3.13 million to seven counties, Baltimore City and a dozen other municipalities for projects ranging from feasibility assessment and design to construction, according to an MDOT press release. The recent grants are the second set of awards announced this year, bringing the total to 48 Bikeways grants and $5.63 million.
In Baltimore City, a $320,000 Bikeways grant will fund a downtown cycle track (an on-street bike lane physically separated from motorized vehicle traffic and pedestrians.) and additional bike network design and construction. Another $50,000 will support feasibility assessment and design for accommodating bicycles on the Inner Harbor Promenade (projects mentioned in Tuesday’s Bike Shorts' transit post).
In Towson, $100,000 will be directed for signing and road striping designed to create a 4-mile Towson “Bike Beltway,” connecting government buildings, schools, colleges and shopping areas. Potential additions could link the Towson Town Center and the Towson downtown, and extend toward Loch Raven High School, Rodgers Forge Elementary and north Baltimore City. The Towson proposal had the support of Towson University and the Greater Towson Committee.
Also in Baltimore County, a $100,000 Bikeways grant will fund the design of the Catonsville Short Line Rail Trail and UMBC connections.
The entire list of fiscal year 2013 Bikeways project grants can be found here.
In Anne Arundel County, $30,000 in Bikeways funding will support BWI trail signing and wayfinding enhancements; additionally, $25,000 will be used to place bike racks throughout historic Annapolis. A Carroll County effort to assess and design a trail network connecting Sykesville and Eldersburg will receive $55,000.
The largest grant announced in this round, $1 million, will fund an almost half-mile connection between the Anacostia Tributary Trail and the Washington D.C. River Trail. That project has also been approved for a $500,000 in Bikeways funding in 2013.
In Frederick County, $200,000 will go toward a feasibility study of a shared-use path extending the Carroll Creek trail across U.S. 15.
The cities of Brunswick, Cambridge, College Park, Laurel, Takoma Park, Williamsport and Salisbury will all receive funding for minor retrofits, linking existing trails and streets, for example, with local downtown areas or MARC train stations.
“I am pleased to see such a great interest in working together to build a more comprehensive bike network statewide that will benefit our citizens,” O’Malley said in a press statement. “These grants will help local jurisdictions build key connections that make bicycling a true transportation option. Bicycling is a win-win for all of us by helping us learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land, improving our fitness and well-being, and enhancing our quality of life.”