Active Transportation

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Master Planning

The Office of Transportation develops and implements master plans for pedestrian and bicycle transportation.

WalkHoward

WalkHoward is Howard County's pedestrian master plan and was adopted in February 2020 through Council Resolution 14-2020.  This master plan addresses walking in all of its forms – whether you are trying to get somewhere or just taking a casual stroll somewhere you love.

For more information, visit the WalkHoward website.

BikeHoward

BikeHoward, the Howard County bicycle master plan, was adopted by the County Council in 2016. The plan provides guidance for improvements for transportation and recreational bicycling, both on-street and off-street. Recommendations are provided in the general areas of infrastructure improvements, policy and programs.

For more information, visit the BikeHoward website.

Programs

Complete Streets

Howard County Council Resolution 35-2016 requires the County to develop a Complete Streets Policy and Design Manual updates in accordance with the following policy intention statement:

“To ensure that Howard County is a place for individuals of all backgrounds to live and travel freely, safely, and comfortably, public and private roadways in Howard County shall be safe and convenient for residents of all ages and abilities who travel by foot, bicycle, public transportation or automobile, ensuring sustainable communities Countywide.”

For more information, see the project page.

Howard County Bikeshare

Howard County Bikeshare is a 9-station, 78-bicycle system serving Columbia and Ellicott City. For more information, go to the system's website.

E-Scooter Information

 

Shared Electric Scooter Permitting in Howard County

CB3-2020, the enabling legislation permitting a publicly accessible electric scooter sharing system for short-term electric scooter trips on certain County rights-of way; requiring certain information in support of an application for a permit; requiring permit fees as part of the permit; and generally related to electric scooters on public rights-of-way in Howard County, was passed by the Howard County Council on March 2, 2020.

The Howard County Office of Transportation is preparing a process for the permitting of shared electric scooter vendors to operate in the public right of way.

What are electric scooters?

The Maryland State Code section 11–117.2a states:

“Electric low speed scooter” means a vehicle that

(1) Is designed to transport only the operator;

(2) Weighs less than 100 pounds;

(3) Has single wheels in tandem or a combination of one or two wheels at the front and rear of the vehicle;

(4) Is equipped with handlebars and a platform designed to be stood on while riding;

(5) Is solely powered by an electric motor and human power; and

(6) Is capable of operating at a speed of up to 20 miles per hour.

 

What are the laws for riding electric scooters?

 

Maryland State Code section 11-104 includes electric low speed scooter in the definition of bicycles, asserting that all the same rules and regulations that apply to bicycles also apply to electric low speed scooters. In Howard County, this means:

  • Electric low speed scooters are legal on public sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes and streets (except expressways and streets with posted speed limits above 50mph) except where otherwise posted as prohibited.
  • When operated on streets, riders of electric low speed scooters are subject to the same traffic control as drivers of motor vehicles.
  • Riders of electric low speed scooters must wear a helmet if they are less than 16 years old.

Howard County permitting process for shared electric scooter vendors

 

The Howard County Office of Transportation is preparing a process for permitting of shared electric scooter vendors to operate in the public right of way, similar to those in effect in Baltimore City, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia.

Vendors will apply for a permit on an annual basis. The draft Terms and Conditions for the permit can be viewed here.

Vendors will be evaluated based on a scoring system that is still under development.

Schedule for permits (estimated, subject to change)

**March 24th meeting is POSTPONED until further notice** 

Upcoming Public Hearing, March 24, 2020 (POSTPONED until further notice)

There will be a public hearing for the Electric Scooter Sharing Permit Terms and Conditions at the March 24 Multimodal Transportation Board meeting at 7pm.

The draft document under review is here.

Testimony can be submitted to transportation@howardcountymd.gov. Deadline for written testimony is March 23, 2020.

It is likely that the public hearing on March 24 will be an online meeting. Details will be posted here closer to the meeting.

 

 

Contacts:

 

Howard County Office of Transportation:

Bruce Gartner, Administrator, 410-313-0702, bgartner@howardcountymd.gov

Chris Eatough, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, 410-313-0567, ceatough@howardcountymd.gov

Scooter sharing vendors that are approved for operation in Howard County through the permit process will be listed with their contact information here after selection.

Data and Reporting:

Reports on scooter operations will be posted here once they become available.