We want Howard County to be a place where people can easily and safely bike or walk where they need to go. This will positively impact our community’s health, economic vibrancy and environment.
The Bikeway is a proposed network of safe, accessible bicycle routes that extends from Clarksville to Elkridge and Laurel to Ellicott City. The Bikeway includes 10 percent of county’s Bicycle Master Plan.
More than half of county residents, schools and parks ‒ as well as MARC stations and park and rides ‒ are within one mile of these routes. It is a core network that we can build off in the future to bring safer bicycling to every neighborhood.
The Bikeway has strong support.
Supporters include business, health, environment and transportation leaders such as Howard County General Hospital, the Chamber of Commerce and Columbia Association. Over 1,500 residents have called for the Bikeway.
However, the Bikeway is underfunded.
In 2016, we requested $9 million for three years and 31.6 new miles. Unfortunately, the county funded only $600,000 in its FY2018 budget. At this rate, it will take over 12 years to fund the Bikeway. The Bike Master Plan will take decades longer than promised.
Howard County is falling behind.
Other communities are putting far more funds into bike routes and seeing the benefits. Montgomery County is putting $26 million and Arundel County is putting $7.5 million of county funds into bicycling routes this year. In Salisbury, which has a population that is one-tenth the size of Howard County, the budget includes $750,000 for the city’s bike plan.
Voice your support.
We need $3 million for the Bikeway in next year’s budget to get us rolling. Join 1,500+ people, and tell the County Executive and County Council to increase funding for the Bikeway now.