ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball shared Complete Street improvements that will begin this month at the Guilford and Oakland Mills Road intersection in Columbia. Improvements include:
- Installing a new traffic signal to replace the current four way-stop;
- Building 3,000 feet of new sidewalk, curb, and gutter;
- Installing a bus pad in the northwest corner; and
- Including a storm drain, stormwater management, and pavement resurfacing.
This long-awaited groundbreaking marks the start of an improvement project that has been in the works for over 10 years, and we’re getting it done. One of my top priorities is to make sure all our residents have safe, accessible, and reliable infrastructure. We accomplish that by ensuring that our streets are well designed and maintained with safety in mind for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers.
This project is just one example of an overall Complete Streets approach that began more than two years ago but was jump started with the County Council’s passage of legislation in October 2019 to implement the Ball Administration’s proposed Complete Streets Policy. The Howard County Council unanimously adopted the Complete Streets Resolution CR120-2019 on October 7, 2019.
In that time, the Complete Street’s Implementation Team, comprised of public and private members, has developed improved procedures to prioritize the projects that create walkable and more active communities and a Community Engagement Plan to ensure that local citizen input and needs for localized trips are considered on equal footing with the traditional concerns about congestion and safety. The Compete Streets Implementation Team is also finalizing a draft update to the Howard County Design Manual to incorporate complete streets concepts into street design guidance. The draft will be released for public review and comment in October 2021. To learn more about Complete Streets, please visit https://www.howardcountymd.gov/transportation/complete-streets .
“The Guilford community knows that these intersection improvements have been a long time coming. Once completed, this project will save lives, expand access for pedestrians, prioritize equity in transportation, and connect our community,” said Councilwoman Christiana Rigby. “I am so excited to celebrate this groundbreaking ceremony today, and I deeply appreciate the hard work of County Administration and the perseverance of the Guilford community to make this project a reality.”
“This project has been years in the making, and we are thrilled to finally see shovels in the ground,” said Horizon Foundation President and CEO Nikki Highsmith Vernick. “These improvements will make it safer for all users of the road, especially for children trying to walk safely to school. We are excited to see progress and for more of these biking and walking projects to get in the ground across Howard County.”
“As pastor of First Baptist Church of Guilford, I am excited to see this decades long improvement take place on the corner of Guilford and Oakland Mills Roads in the Guilford/Jessup Area of Columbia. It is a wonderful relief to know that pedestrians, cyclists and drivers will soon be able to flow and function together safely,” said First Baptist Church of Guilford Pastor Tyrone P. Jones, IV. “All of the sidewalks, cycle lanes, traffic signals, and bus depots will serve as a memorial to the lives that were lost, and as a monument to all the lives that will now be saved. This day would not be possible without the support of Nikki Vernick and Glenn Schneider of the Horizon Foundation, our County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball and his staff, Councilwoman Christiana Rigby and the County Council, Members of First Baptist Church of Guilford, and the patience and commitment of the Guilford/Jessup Community.”