ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced the Office of Transportation’s “Go Howard” program, along with the Downtown Columbia Partnership (DTCP), have been honored by the Chesapeake Chapter of the Association for Commuter Transportation with its annual Transportation Demand Management Collaboration and Cooperation Award. The duo was recognized for its efforts to encourage residents to utilize alternatives modes of transportation while living, working, and enjoying community life in Howard County.
This award is a testament to the transformational efforts of our Office of Transportation to ensure Howard County is a walkable and bikeable county, and proves that through meaningful and beneficial partnerships, like that which we have with DTCP, we can ensure our residents have what they need to live their best life. Not only are the programs and activities these two are hosting improving the quality of life for our residents, both inside and out, but they are also having a positive impact on our environment as well.
Transportation’s Go Howard program seeks to reduce single occupancy travel and its impact by educating residents and local businesses about transportation options and alternative work arrangements. DTCP, which was created to support the vitality of the Downtown Columbia community and its businesses, supports Go Howard by partnering with Transportation on community events that bring attention to its efforts and shared goals.
Together, Transportation and DTCP have hosted several active transportation-focused activities that feature incentives for biking and walking. These activities include:
- Cranksgiving – A food drive on two wheels held during the month of Thanksgiving, this annual event is designed to provide active recreation for residents, raise awareness about the county’s bikeable pathway system and generate food items for individuals and families in need. This year’s Cranksgiving is set to take place this Saturday, November 4th from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Azlon Plaza (6100 Merriweather Drive) in Downtown Columbia.
- Culinary Walking Tour – A Walktober event, this annual event takes participants on a three-mile walk showcasing the ease of walking to and from stores, while featuring some of Downtown Columbia’s favorite places to grab a bite to eat or drink to sip. This year’s sold-out walk attracted 250 participants and featured eight participating restaurants.
- BikeAround – A more than six-mile exploration of Downtown Columbia and its existing and evolving neighborhoods, this annual event showcases the physical connections that make alternatives to automobile transportation possible. This annual event included a Block Party that encouraged cycling and provided an opportunity for cyclists to develop a community.
Partnerships are vital to moving our multimodal transportation efforts forward, and we value the collaborative and creative approach the Downtown Columbia Partnership provides, particularly during and coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the recognition of these efforts and look forward to continuing to partner with DTCP and others to offer the public opportunities to get around Howard County on foot and by bike and bus.
In addition to these family-friendly biking events and walking tours, Transportation and DTCP also:
- Conducted a walk audit that influenced the development of a Pedestrian Action Improvement Plan for Downtown Columbia;
- Held focus groups to identify opportunities and challenges to reducing automobile use and encouraging alternative means of transportation; and
- Recruited additional partners and stakeholders to expand the reach of their programs and activities, including engaging the Howard County’s bike advocacy group to implement a reward program, Bike HoCo Trip Rewards, to encourage people to ride their bicycles to local businesses rather than drive.
“I’m proud of the efforts of the Downtown Columbia Partnership and the county’s Office of Transportation to create events and programs fostering transportation demand management and encouraging behavior change to get people out of their single occupancy vehicles and engaged in active transportation, transit, carpooling, and remote work and I’m honored that our activities are being recognized by the national leader in this field. Together, we are realizing the vision of a walkable downtown and creating a true fifteen-minute city,” said Phillip Dodge, DTCP Executive Director.
The Association for Commuter Transportation is the premier organization and leading advocate for commuter transportation and transportation demand management professionals.