What is BikeHoward Express?
BikeHoward Express is a comprehensive strategy to significantly improve bicycle infrastructure during the next 3 years throughout Howard County. It 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.
What is included?
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.
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.
Click here for a draft list of possible projects proposed to be included in BikeHoward Express. This list will be publicly considered at the Bicycle Advisory Group meeting on June 18, 2019.
How does this fit into bigger picture?
BikeHoward Express is just the latest way Howard County has increased transportation options and improved the bicycle friendliness of Howard County. 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 over 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.
What are people saying about BikeHoward Express?
“Columbia Association is a longtime, ardent supporter of improvements to and expansion of the bicycle infrastructure in Columbia and throughout Howard County,” says 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.”
“BikeHoward Express will provide true connectivity not only inside Howard County, but it will also link Howard County to key regional interests,” says 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.”
“This plan represents a sensible, strategic, and fiscally responsible approach to improve bicycle infrastructure in Howard County,” says Randy Lovelace, a local pastor and bicycle advocate.
How can I stay informed and provide feedback?
Click here to access the online BikeHoward feedback form. Everyone who submits a comment via the online form will be added to the BikeHoward email list, which is used to announce meetings and provide project updates.