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County Executive Ball Announces Funding for BikeHoward Express in Capital Budget

March 29, 2019

Media Contact:
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the largest, single year investment ever dedicated solely to bicycle infrastructure in Howard County. The investment will be included in his FY2020 Capital Improvement Budget, to be presented to the County Council on Monday, April 1. The investment includes $2.2 million in county and grant funding, providing the next step towards BikeHoward Express, an integrated 48-mile network of bicycle infrastructure. Developing this network will provide significant economic, environmental, safety, and health benefits for our community.

BikeHoward Express is a comprehensive strategy to significantly improve bicycle infrastructure throughout Howard County. More than half of residents are within a mile of the network, which would link them to schools, parks, MARC Stations, park and ride lots, and key employment centers, such as Columbia Gateway.

“I am proud to invest in a future of multi-modal transportation in Howard County that improves sustainability and accessibility,” said Ball. “Our investment in BikeHoward Express will make it safer and easier for residents to travel by bike in Howard County. This innovative investment is better for economic development, our environment, our health, and equity, as it is necessary to improve the bikeway for those without access to a car.”

“This meaningful investment will bring BikeHoward closer to its goal of 48 miles of connected bike infrastructure in Howard County,” said Howard County Council Chair Christiana Mercer Rigby. “When we expand connectivity in our community, we are dedicating ourselves to improved health outcomes, greater access to employment, and a more sustainable future. I am excited to see County Executive Ball’s commitment to BikeHoward Express in the FY2020 Capital Budget, and I look forward to working with him to advance this initiative.”

“We thank County Executive Calvin Ball for listening to the voices of thousands of residents and 46 local businesses and civic organizations who want to see a more bikeable and walkable community. We’re shifting to a higher gear,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President and CEO of the Horizon Foundation.

“Many thanks to the County Executive for investing in Howard County’s biking infrastructure and for supporting the years of work by cycling advocates,” said Councilmember Deb Jung. “I am looking forward to a more bikeable Howard.”

"BikeHoward is a necessary infrastructure project that will promote accessibility to adequate public transportation for residents,” said Councilmember Opel Jones. “I am excited that County Executive Ball has provided funding for the expansion of our trails, ensuring a healthier and eco-friendly option for commuters around the county. This initiative ensures our position to remain as one of the top ten healthiest counties in America."

“Bike HoCo's (Bicycling Advocates of Howard County) objective has consistently been to increase bicycling safety through infrastructure improvements and to help build an energy efficient, environmentally sustainable transportation system to meet the needs and desires of all HC residents from 8 to 80+,” said Jack Guarneri, President of Bike HoCo. “The funding that County Executive Ball is committing is more than the total county funding over the past 3 years, since the Bike Howard plan was unanimously approved by the County Council. If you really want to accomplish something transformative you'll find a way, and we are extremely gratified that the county has found a way.”

The funding contributions will include $220,000 of federal grants through the Transportation Alternatives Program for the design of the Dobbin Road/McGaw Road shared-use pathway, and $1,980,000 in county funding. The plans include construction of the North Laurel Connections bicycle route, finalizing the design of the South Entrance Trail and Dobbin Road pathway, and implementation of a countywide bicycle wayfinding plan. For more information on BikeHoward Express, visit our site.

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