ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The first Howard County Complete Streets Design Manual was approved by the County Council last night, making Howard County one of only six counties nationwide with complete street design guidance in place. The Manual is a technical document that guides County street design, including national best practices and complete streets design concepts that improve safety and accessibility for all users, including drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders.
This is a critical milestone to move forward our vision of reliable and accessible infrastructure for all our residents, of all ages and abilities. The manual is such a valuable tool to improve design of new and existing streets and to ensure robust community engagement will play a role in transportation projects that impact our residents’ everyday lives.
Updates to the Design Manual were required by the Howard County Complete Streets policy, which was adopted by County Council in October 2019. The Design Manual includes a Community Engagement Plan that allows for greater opportunities for public engagement throughout projects, particularly by groups that have been historically disinvested. With the Design Manual approved, the Complete Streets Implementation Team will now work to update Subdivision and Land Use regulations, so that new development better supports the multimodal transportation network.
The Howard County Complete Streets Design Manual recognizes that traffic includes pedestrians and cyclists, and it strikes a better balance for all road users. It contains design requirements that over time will guide drivers to maintain appropriate speeds, help them be aware of where they may encounter cyclists and pedestrians, and if necessary, to separate motor vehicles from cyclists and pedestrians altogether.
For more information, please visit the Howard County’s Complete Streets Policy and implementation page. If you have further questions about the Howard County Complete Streets Design Manual or Complete Streets policy, please contact the Office of Transportation at [email protected].