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County Executive Kittleman announces BikeHoward Express

County Executive Kittleman announces BikeHoward Express

February 13, 2018

Media Contacts:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Chris Eatough, Howard County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, 410-313-0567

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced a comprehensive strategy to significantly improve bicycle infrastructure during the next three years throughout Howard County. BikeHoward Express outlines approximately $8 million in improvements paid from a mixture of County funds and grants. More than half of residents are within a mile of BikeHoward Express, which would link them to schools, parks, MARC Stations, park and ride lots, and key employment centers, such as Columbia Gateway. 

“During the past few years, I’ve heard growing support for improved bicycle infrastructure and this strategy directly answers those calls,” said Kittleman. “I would like to thank all those who have reached out to me on this issue and I look forward to delivering these improvements.” 

The innovative and cost-effective BikeHoward Express consists of specific proposals to provide nearly 48 miles of improved bicycle infrastructure and builds on the ideas expressed by community advocates during recent years. Proposed infrastructure improvements have been selected from the Howard County Bicycle Master Plan and would include new bike lanes, designated shared roadways and shared-use pathways.

“This plan represents a sensible, strategic and fiscally responsible approach to improve bicycle infrastructure in Howard County,” said Randy Lovelace, a local pastor and bicycle advocate.

Key components of BikeHoward Express include the North Laurel Connections bicycle route from Savage to North Laurel, new shared-use pathways providing bicycle access into Downtown Columbia, Columbia Gateway and along Dobbin Road, and nearly 14 miles of bike lanes. Unified wayfinding signs throughout BikeHoward Express would provide for easy navigation. Additional community input will help determine the final details of bicycle infrastructure improvements. 

“Columbia Association is a longtime, ardent supporter of improvements to and expansion of the bicycle infrastructure in Columbia and throughout Howard County,” said Milton Matthews, President and CEO of Columbia Association. “We support BikeHoward Express as a next step in Howard County's implementation of the bicycle master plan, and we believe the County's ongoing commitment to increasing the number of transportation options as Columbia continues to grow and become a true urban center will produce many benefits for residents and businesses.” 

“County Executive Kittleman’s BikeHoward Express will provide true connectivity not only inside Howard County, but it will also link Howard County to key regional interests,” said Pete Rahn, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation. “I would encourage other local jurisdictions to take a similar commonsense approach in improving their infrastructure to create more transportation options for their communities.” 

BikeHoward Express is just the latest way Kittleman has increased transportation options and improved the bicycle friendliness of Howard County during his first term in office. Prior accomplishments and improvements include:

  • Passing the County’s first Bicycle Master Plan with unanimous support from the County Council
  • Developing a Complete Streets Policy and updates to the Design Manual to improve the County’s transportation network so that it can support users of all ages and abilities
  • Introducing and expanding a pilot bikeshare program with broad support from the community
  • Renovating the more than three-decade-old bicycle and pedestrian bridge over US 29 in Columbia

These accomplishments contributed to Columbia receiving national designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community in 2016 by the League of American Bicyclists. 

“Starting this year, BikeHoward Express includes the greatest financial investment ever made in bicycle infrastructure in Howard County,” said Kittleman. “If we make it easier and safer for people to get around by biking, more people will choose to do so. This brings health and economic benefits to our entire community. The actions we’ve already taken and these future improvements represent significant strides in continuing to create a more sustainable community in Howard County.”

Details on the BikeHoward Express can be found at: www.howardcountymd.gov/bikehowardexpress.   

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