Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Tuesday $44,500 in funding support for Baltimore City’s Bicycle Safety Education Program.
The Baltimore Department of Transportation will partner with statewide nonprofit Bike Maryland’s “Bike-Minded Program” and develop safety awareness through several initiatives, including free children’s bike safety rodeos and free adult bicycle commuter workshops.
“Whether for tourism, recreation, exercise or commuting, our message is that Maryland roadways welcome bicyclists,” O’Malley said in a press release. “Our state is evolving to include bicycling as a more environmentally beneficial and healthy way of commuting, and to continue those efforts we need bicyclists and drivers to know and follow the basic rules of the road for everyone’s safety.”
The bicycle safety project also includes updating, publishing and distributing “Bike Baltimore” maps — to be available in English and Spanish — and organizing law enforcement outreach. The effort is designed to communicate safety rules to cyclists, as well as emphasizing the need for motorists to drive with caution and share the road.
Baltimore City will contribute the remaining funding for the $96,800 overall project, according to the press release.
“Year after year, Baltimore is becoming a more bike friendly city,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. “We are grateful for Gov. O’Malley’s continued support of our efforts to increase bicycle use and safety, which supports our goal of making Baltimore a more attractive city for families.”
Over the past two years, the number of bicycle commuters has increased 40 percent in Baltimore and in the past four years, five new bike shops in the city have opened, the Governor's office noted. Additionally, the Charm City Bikeshare program (25-30 bikeshare stations in Locust Point, Federal Hill, the Inner Harbor, downtown and Fells Point) is scheduled to launch next month and the Jones Falls Trail is slated to open in 2013.
Also from the press release:
“The Bicycle Safety Education Program enhancements are funded through the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP), which funds non-traditional, community-based transportation-related projects. This year Maryland awarded six TEP projects totaling more than $4.1 million. The Governor determines which projects qualify for funding based on need and potential benefit to the public. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration oversees the federal program, which has awarded more than $206 million for 270 projects in Maryland since the TEP program began in 1991.”