Mohler launches BaltCoBike 2030 ini­tia­tive

The Avenue News - - EDITORIAL -

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Don Mohler an­nounced a plan to jump-start the de­vel­op­ment of new bike trails and bike lanes link­ing neigh­bor­hoods, parks and schools around the County. This fund­ing ini­tia­tive sup­ports a county-wide master plan­ning process for im­prov­ing bi­cy­cle and pedes­trian ac­cess and safety in­tended to add to the liv­abil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of Bal­ti­more County com­mu­ni­ties.

“Peo­ple want to live in com­mu­ni­ties where they have easy ac­cess to bike trails and bike lanes so they can safely pedal to work and school and can en­joy a week­end bike ride with fam­ily and friends,” Mohler said. “Our BaltCoBike 2030 ini­tia­tive is a plan­ning and grant-mak­ing process that will pri­or­i­tize fund­ing for recre­ational off-road bike trails and bike lanes that will be strate­gi­cally lo­cated to help pro­vide more trans­porta­tion op­tions for res­i­dents in the County and sur­round­ing ju­ris­dic­tions.”

The ini­tia­tive will al­lo­cate $200,000 in county fund­ing that would sup­ply match­ing funds as re­quired by state, fed­eral and pri­vate grant pro­grams in­clud­ing, but not lim­ited to, the Mary­land Bike­ways Pro­gram; the fed­eral Recre­ational Trails Pro­gram; and the Trans­porta­tion Al­ter­na­tives Pro­gram. The pro­gram could lever­age as much as $1 mil­lion in fund­ing for County projects. The ini­tial funds will be iden­ti­fied in the ex­ist­ing bud­get in the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works. Be­gin­ning in FY20, we are hope­ful that there will be a line item in the County’s bud­get to sup­port this pro­gram. “I am pleased that for the first time we will ac­tu­ally iden­tify fund­ing to ex­pand bik­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Bal­ti­more County,” said Mohler.

“Cre­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments that sup­port bik­ing and walk­a­bil­ity is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to main­tain­ing the County’s at­trac­tive­ness and qual­ity of life for our res­i­dents,” said Plan­ning Di­rec­tor An­drea Van Ars­dale. “Pro­mot­ing walk­ing and bi­cy­cling also helps to ad­dress the na­tional obe­sity prob­lem, sup­ports en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and helps to strengthen peo­ple’s sense of con­nec­tion to their neigh­bors and com­mu­ni­ties.”

“Ded­i­cated pub­lic fund­ing is key to de­liv­er­ing bike and pedes­trian projects that our res­i­dents can en­joy,” said Pub­lic Works Di­rec­tor Steve Walsh.

“This is a very pos­i­tive ini­tia­tive be­cause I know that com­mu­nity lead­ers around the County are in­ter­ested in hav­ing more bike trails and bike lanes as de­sir­able ameni­ties that of­fer great op­por­tu­ni­ties to ride for fun and for get­ting around,” said County Coun­cil Chair Ju­lian E. Jones, Jr.

“This is a very gen­er­ous and proac­tive step by the County that will be put to good use in pro­vid­ing safe ac­com­mo­da­tions for peo­ple to walk and bike, pro­vid­ing mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits in­clud­ing re­cre­ation, fit­ness and eas­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion,” said Shel­don Ep­stein, the Chair of the County’s Pedes­trian and Bi­cy­cle Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee. “We are see­ing na­tional trends where walk­ing and rid­ing a bike are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar as an al­ter­na­tive to driv­ing for short trips.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.