Planning for Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements
Bicycle and pedestrian planning began with the Baltimore County Master Plan 2010. The master plan called for the creation of a countywide plan focused on improving the County's transportation system for pedestrian and bicycle use, in response to growing concerns related to motorized vehicle traffic congestion and health. The countywide planning process was undertaken nearly 15 years ago and resulted in the adoption of two plans, the Eastern and Western Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plans.
Implementing Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements
The Department of Public Works and Transportation recently completed the County’s first Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. This planning document offers a strategic roadmap for the development of active transportation infrastructure and was created to reflect the evolving needs of Baltimore County communities. A StoryMap was also created as a companion to the plan. The plan updates and builds upon the two previous plans integrating new development patterns and the growing enthusiasm for active transportation witnessed in the County. The plan not only identifies existing policies and physical barriers, but also introduces new policies aimed at fostering complete streets. It provides a prioritized list of bike and pedestrian improvement projects, ensuring that investments are made where they will have the greatest impact.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee
The creation of a Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) was an important first step in implementation of the Eastern and Western plans. The PBAC provides oversight of the implementation process, recommending priorities for pedestrian and bicycle improvements and programs, and developing supportive policies and regulations.
Complete Streets Policy
Baltimore County adopted a Complete Streets Policy in December 2012. The policy directs County agencies and developers to consider all types of users and transportation modes when constructing buildings and improving roads, and include facilities that will allow people to walk, bicycle or use transit where appropriate. The policy was developed by the PBAC and includes an annual review by the PBAC to assess its implementation.
Thanks largely to the Maryland Department of Transportation's Maryland Bikeways Program, several bicycle improvement projects for bike lanes and bike route signage have been constructed, and several more are in the detailed planning stages. Citizen input and feedback is welcome.
Every year, pedestrian projects are undertaken to improve conditions for walking. These projects are funded largely by Baltimore County's Capital Improvement Program, and are implemented by the Department of Public Works and Transportation. Contact the Division of Highways Design if you are interested in pursuing a petition process to upgrade your street with sidewalks.