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Friday, May 19, 2023

Howard County gets first perfect score on walk-ability and bike-ability from national organization


From the Columbia Patch:

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Howard County has received a 100 percent score for its Complete Streets Policy after it was evaluated by Smart Growth America, making it the first jurisdiction in the nation to receive a perfect score under the 2023 scoring matrix.

“Complete Streets allow our children and students to walk and bike safely to schools and parks. They ensure that our neighbors with disabilities can access transit and other transportation modes,” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said. “They provide unlimited opportunities for connections between our neighbors and neighborhoods, growing and strengthening our sense of community. This national recognition is the result of collaboration, hard work and a truly inclusive process.”

The fiscal year 2024 proposed capital budget includes a record $13.2 million for a variety of Complete Streets investments, including:

  • $1.3 million for Rogers Avenue Complete Streets project;
  • $1.1 million for Guilford Road bike and pedestrian improvements;
  • $1 million for the South Entrance Trail to connect downtown Columbia to the Patuxent Branch Trail; and
  • $3.6 million for bike and pedestrian infrastructure maintenance and repairs.

Ball announced the creation of two new capital projects in the fiscal year 2024 budget: the Dobbin Road Pathway, which will be a two-mile long, multi-use pathway for walking and cycling, and the U.S. 1 Corridor Safe Streets for All, which will bring critical streetscape, pedestrian, bicycle and transportation safety improvements along Route One from historic Elkridge to Laurel.

"Creating award-winning Complete Streets policies has been a dedicated, community-wide effort. By investing in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure around Howard County, we are also investing in equity, accessibility, and connectedness in our communities," said Howard County Council Chair Christiana Rigby.

The transportation investments also include $150,000 for expanded transit service in the Elkridge area, as well as an expansion of the FLASH bus rapid transit service to Howard County in a cross-county collaboration with Montgomery County. Howard County has committed more than $850,000 in county matching funds to purchase FLASH buses to travel along Route 29 from Burtonsville to Maple Lawn and Downtown Columbia.

The Complete Streets policy was first adopted in 2019 and followed by the launch of Howard County’s Complete Streets Implementation Team, which was charged with developing visionary and transformative standards for multi-modal transportation access and safety in Howard County. Following more than two years of comprehensive work from the implementation team, Howard County’s Complete Streets Design Manual was approved in 2022.


   I wrote about the problem for pedestrians on Dobbin Road 5 years ago.

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