Transportation Projects

The Office of Transportation coordinates closely with the Department of Planning and Zoning and the Department of Public Works on a number of transportation planning and construction projects.

Projects

Maryland Route 99 Investigation

Howard County is undertaking an investigation into the transportation challenges facing residents in the MD 99 corridor. In 2017, during public meetings on the County’s 2018 Priority Letter, many residents shared their concerns about the safety and congestion challenges on MD 99, especially in the section between Marriottsville Road and the US 29/MD 99 intersection. Recognizing these challenges, the County initiated an investigation into the traffic, safety, and congestion challenges on the MD 99 corridor. The investigation is focused on gathering data and information and the impacts on residents, and the results will help guide future county and state actions.


For more information, please visit the project website: Maryland Route 99 Investigation

Paratransit Policy Review

The Howard County Office of Transportation is facilitating a Paratransit Workgroup to conduct a review of paratransit policies and services in the County to determine if there are changes that are needed to ensure that paratransit services are provided where they are most needed. The Transit and Pedestrian Advisory Group (TPAG) will be leading the workgroup. The Paratransit Workgroup is made up of representative from the ARC, Association of Community Services, Athelas Institute, Commission on Aging, Commission on Disabilities Issues, Commission on Transitioning Students with Disabilities, Muti-modal Transportation Board, Neighbor Ride, RTA, Office on Aging, and TPAG.

The next Paratransit Workgroup meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the George Howard Building in the Columbia/Ellicott City Room.

Meeting Materials 

November 14, 2018

Meeting Audio

Meeting Packet 

September 5, 2018

Meeting Audio

Meeting Informational Packet

Meeting Agenda

 

 

WalkHoward

Recent efforts nationwide to promote pedestrian planning and activity have reinforced the value of a systemic approach to pedestrian improvements. In 2014, the Office initiated an update of the 2007 Pedestrian Master Plan. The new Pedestrian Plan, WalkHoward: Moving Forward, continues efforts to improve walkability in Howard County. This Master Plan will address walking in all of its forms – whether you are trying to get somewhere or just taking a casual stroll. WalkHoward will provide a list and map of locations where pedestrian facility improvements are deemed to be needed. 

walkhoward.org

2007 Pedestrian Master Plan Document
2007 Pedestrian Plan Map of Proposed Projects
2007 Pedestrian Plan List of Proposed Projects by Community
2017 Status of 2007 Pedestrian Master Plan Projects

 

US 29 Pedestrian and Bike Bridge Project

Howard County will be making aesthetic and security improvements to the bicycle and pedestrian bridge across US-29 in Columbia. For more information about the project, click here.

Patuxent Branch Trail Connection

The Department of Recreation and Parks is constructing a trail connection adjacent to Old Guilford Road between the Guilford Pratt Truss Bridge and the Patuxent Branch Trail to Lake Elkhorn.

For more information, click here.

Complete Streets Corridor Studies

The Office of Transportation is conducting three intermediate planning projects in 2018-19 to assess the needs and opportunities for complete streets improvements along three roadways in Howard County. The three roadways are:

  • Oakland Mills Road from Old Montgomery Road to Snowden RIver Parkway
  • Tamar Drive from Flamepool Way to Snowden River Parkway
  • Columbia Road from Old Annapolis Road to ¼ mile east of Hemlock Cone Way

In conjunction with the Columbia Road complete streets planning project, the Office of Transportation is assessing current traffic operations along Columbia Road between MD 108 and Old Annapolis Road.

Clarksville Pike Streetscape Plan and Design Guidelines-Traffic Study

Public comments related to the traffic study are welcome. However, traffic studies are for informational purposes, and they are not adopted as policy by the County. The traffic study also serves to help the County in its work with State Highway Administration to anticipate needed roadway improvements.

Bus Rapid Transit

The Office of Transportation is evaluating the implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit system in Howard County. The implementation of such a system would represent a significant investment for the County and the state of Maryland  and should be pursued only where frequent bus service could be supported. In order to ensure that the BRT project is successful, it has to be supported by strong forecasted ridership and potential shifts from private auto mode shares.  

The Concept Plan study presents preliminary plans and costs for a BRT system along various roads and corridors. These corridors are US 29, Broken Land Parkway, MD 216, MD 32 and Snowden River Parkway.  

The Phase I report builds on the Concept Plan study and evaluates the proposed BRT network and determine which routes are most viable given the proposed services and ridership forecasts. Four corridors were studied in this report: 

1. US 29 between Mount Hebron and Silver Spring

2. Broken Land Parkway between Columbia Town Center and Savage MARC Station

3. MD 32 between Clarksville and Odenton Town Center

4. MD 216 between Scaggsville and Odenton Town Center  

The travel demand model was also used to screen measures of effectiveness including travel time, average annual daily traffic (AADT), and person-throughput; to refine alignments and potential stations; and to test specific operational characteristics.  

The Phase II study is an extension of the previous Conceptual and  Phase I efforts performed to evaluate a Bus Rapid Transit network for the County, including linkages to other activity centers and transit systems in the Baltimore/Washington Region. The purpose of the Phase II study is to provide additional detail and rigor not part of the previous work, and filter/refine alternatives to a level that can be carried forward to the next stage of right of way design, environmental impact and preliminary engineering. The Phase II effort focuses on a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system within three primary corridors (US 29, Broken Land Parkway, and US 1), and examines specific route alignment and stations, ancillary feeder transit services, landside services such as park and rides and pedestrian accessibility, preliminary operating costs, and land use plans to support high quality transit service within and between them. The aim is to identify and evaluate the corridors and feasible alternatives that demonstrate the potential for attracting riders and receiving funding.

BRT Concept Study-Part 1.pdf

Downtown Columbia Transit Center

The Howard County Office of Transportation initiated this Location and Site Analysis Study for the relocation, expansion, and reconfiguration of the existing Downtown Columbia Transit Center to serve as the central hub for future county and regional transit services. The purpose of this Study was to:

• Identify a preferred site, size and location for the new transit center;
• Estimate the number of bus bays that the transit center would need, including those to accommodate
future BRT service;
• Develop site and transit center concepts to meet future needs;
• Provide estimates of improvement costs.

Downtown Columbia Transit Center   

US 1 Safety Evaluation

Howard County is undertaking a US 1 Safety Evaluation in response to a significant increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities along US 1 in 2015 and 2016 and in light of increasing residential and mixed-use development in this historically commercial and industrial corridor. For more information, click here.

BikeHoward, Bike Howard Express

Howard County has developed its first Bicycle Master Plan: BikeHoward. The master plan addresses bicycling for both transportation and recreation and looks at both on-road and off-road bicycling facilities. For more information, visit the project website: BikeHoward.com

BikeHoward Express is an accelerated three-year initiative to build a 48-mile core network of bicycle facilities serving central and eastern Howard County. For more information, click here.

 

Completed Transportation Plans & Projects

Transit Development Plan 2018

Public transportation plays an important role in our community

The Central Maryland Transit Development Plan serves as a guide for transit services in the Central Maryland region, including Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Northern Prince George’s County, and the City of Laurel. It provides a roadmap for implementing service and organizational improvements, including potential service expansion, during the next five years.

The Howard County Council endorsed  the Transit Development Plan on May 7, 2018. Below is the endorsed plan (May 2018) :

Cover, Table of Contents, & Approvals

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 1 - Introduction

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 2 - Demographics and Land Use

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 3 - Public Input

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 4 - Existing Services

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 5 - Alternatives

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 6 - Plan

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Chapter 7 - Future Transit Development

Endorsed Central Maryland Transit Development Plan Appendices

 A three page plan highlights document can be found here. An Executive Summary can be found here

Central Maryland Regional Transit Facility

Central Maryland Regional Transit Facility

Through a joint partnership between Anne Arundel County, Howard County, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), and the Federal Transit Administration renovated and expanded the transit operations facility at 8801 Corridor Road in Savage, completing the projecting in the summer of 2015. The $10 Million facility on seven acres of land is a 20,000 square feet certified LEED Silver building with dedicated service space and parking for over 100 transit and service vehicles, bus washing space, training and office space. The facility is sized to allow expansion of the regional transit to a larger market.

Patuxent Branch Trail Extension Feasibility Study

In December of 2013, the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning initiated a study to assess the feasibility of linking Downtown Columbia to the Patuxent Branch Trail by exploring and evaluating both existing and potential on and off road pathways to develop a direct connection. The study was initiated in response to direction contained in Howard County Capital Project T7107 that called for a study to evaluate connections and routes to link Downtown Columbia and the Patuxent Branch Trail in relation to their community and environmental impacts and relationship to the Oakland Mills Bridge capital project. 

The report contains five sections and an executive summary, along with the appendices. The full report, along with each section and the appendices is presented below.

Executive Summary-Patuxent Branch Trail Extension Feasibility Study- Final.pdf

REPORT-Patuxent Branch Trail Extension Feasibility Study- Final.pdf

Section 1-Summary of Findings-Patuxent Branch Trail Extension Feasibility Study- Final.pdf

Section-2-existing-conditions-patuxent-branch-trail-extension-feasibility-study-final.pdf

Section-3-alternatives-analysis-patuxent-branch-trail-extension-feasibility-study-final.pdf

Section 4-Recommendations-Patuxent Branch Trail Extension Feasibility Study- Final.pdf

Section-5-design-and-maintenance-guidelines-patuxent-branch-trail-extension-feasibility-study-final.pdf

Appendix-patuxent-branch-trail-extension-feasibility-study-final.pdf

Downtown Columbia Transportation Demand Management Plan

The Downtown Columbia Plan includes Transportation Demand Management (TDM) as one element of the overall approach to managing Downtown Columbia’s growth.  TDM refers to a toolbox of strategies used to manage the demand for travel.  TDM strategies encourage people to take transit, rideshare, walk, bike, and telework, thereby reducing the number of motor vehicles using the road network.  Effective TDM can reduce the need for new road infrastructure such as additional lanes, intersection widenings, and interchanges that make a place less walkable.

The Howard County Office of Transportation (OoT) developed the Downtown Columbia Transportation Demand Management Plan (TDMP) in conjunction the Downtown Columbia Partnership.  The TDMP includes action steps on the part of property owners, Howard County, and the Downtown Columbia Partnership.

Downtown Columbia Transportation Demand Management Plan Final 

 

Materials Presented at the July 10, 2018 Public Meeting:

TDMP Draft Plan

TDMP Presentation Public Meeting

Map of Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure in Downtown Columbia

Map of Roads and Parking

Bike Share Feasibility Study

In addition to BikeHoward, the Office of Transportation, in partnership with Columbia Association, developed a study that examined the feasibility of implementing a bike sharing system program in the county. The results will be integrated into the Bicycle Master Plan. The project was completed in January 2015 and the full results of the plan are on the project website.

Trail Pict For Website-OOT