The Office of Transportation coordinates closely with the Department of Planning and Zoning and the Department of Public Works on a number of transportation planning, design and construction projects for all modes of transportation in the county and region. The Office of Transportation's planning projects are organized into two categories: Current and Ongoing Planning Projects and Completed Planning Projects.
The Office of Transportation is evaluating the implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit system in Howard County. The implementation of such a system would represent a significant investment for the County and the state of Maryland and should be pursued only where frequent bus service could be supported. In order to ensure that the BRT project is successful, it has to be supported by strong forecasted ridership and potential shifts from private auto mode shares.
The Concept Plan study presents preliminary plans and costs for a BRT system along various roads and corridors. These corridors are US 29, Broken Land Parkway, MD 216, MD 32 and Snowden River Parkway.
The Phase I report builds on the Concept Plan study and evaluates the proposed BRT network and determine which routes are most viable given the proposed services and ridership forecasts. Four corridors were studied in this report:
1. US 29 between Mount Hebron and Silver Spring
2. Broken Land Parkway between Columbia Town Center and Savage MARC Station
3. MD 32 between Clarksville and Odenton Town Center
4. MD 216 between Scaggsville and Odenton Town Center
The travel demand model was also used to screen measures of effectiveness including travel time, average annual daily traffic (AADT), and person-throughput; to refine alignments and potential stations; and to test specific operational characteristics.
The Phase II study is an extension of the previous Conceptual and Phase I efforts performed to evaluate a Bus Rapid Transit network for the County, including linkages to other activity centers and transit systems in the Baltimore/Washington Region. The purpose of the Phase II study is to provide additional detail and rigor not part of the previous work, and filter/refine alternatives to a level that can be carried forward to the next stage of right of way design, environmental impact and preliminary engineering. The Phase II effort focuses on a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system within three primary corridors (US 29, Broken Land Parkway, and US 1), and examines specific route alignment and stations, ancillary feeder transit services, landside services such as park and rides and pedestrian accessibility, preliminary operating costs, and land use plans to support high quality transit service within and between them. The aim is to identify and evaluate the corridors and feasible alternatives that demonstrate the potential for attracting riders and receiving funding.
Shared-Use Pathway 30% Design
For more information about the shared-use pathway 30% design project, see the link below.
Public comments related to the traffic study are welcome. However, traffic studies are for informational purposes, and they are not adopted as policy by the County. The traffic study also serves to help the County in its work with State Highway Administration to anticipate needed roadway improvements.
The Howard County Office of Transportation initiated this Location and Site Analysis Study for the relocation, expansion, and reconfiguration of the existing Downtown Columbia Transit Center to serve as the central hub for future county and regional transit services. The purpose of this Study was to:
• Identify a preferred site, size and location for the new transit center;
• Estimate the number of bus bays that the transit center would need, including those to accommodate
future BRT service;
• Develop site and transit center concepts to meet future needs;
• Provide estimates of improvement costs.
Howard County is recognized as one of the best places to live in the United States and is characterized by low unemployment, a highly educated population, low crime, a nationally recognized education system, and is one of the safest jurisdictions in the state to drive, take the bus, walk, and bike. However, crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injuries for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in both Maryland and Howard County and ensuring and improving the safety and health of Howard County’s residents, visitors, and travelers is a county goal and priority. In recognition of this fact, the Office of Transportation initiated a project, in coordination with county and state agencies, to develop the Howard County Strategic Road Safety Plan.
The Howard County Strategic Road Safety Plan serves as a roadmap to guide county policies and actions to reduce the number of traffic-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities using a comprehensive and strategic approach based on the four Es of traffic safety: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Medical Services. The Plan also aligns with the state of Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan in an effort to reach zero traffic fatalities.
The Howard County Strategic Road Safety Plan is guided by a core vision:
To prevent all traffic crash-related fatalities and serious injuries and to reduce the number and severity of crashes in Howard County
To meet this vision the Strategic Road Safety Plan developed:
- Data driven and achievable goals and targets
- Selection of emphasis areas with the greatest impact on safety
- Proven and effective cooperative strategies to meet the plan goals
This method results in realistic, data-driven, and achievable goals and targets:
- A 2040 goal to reduce number of fatalities by at least 50%.
- A 2025 target to reduce the rate of fatalities by 20% to 0.35 / per 100 Million vehicle miles traveled.
- A 2025 target to reduce the rate of injuries by 20% to 28.80 / per 100 Million vehicle miles traveled.
- A 2025 target to reduce the rate of serious injuries by 19% to 2.35 / per 100 Million vehicle miles traveled.
Howard County is undertaking an investigation into the transportation challenges facing residents in the MD 99 corridor. In 2017, during public meetings on the County’s 2018 Priority Letter, many residents shared their concerns about the safety and congestion challenges on MD 99, especially in the section between Marriottsville Road and the US 29/MD 99 intersection. Recognizing these challenges, the County initiated an investigation into the traffic, safety, and congestion challenges on the MD 99 corridor. The investigation is focused on gathering data and information and the impacts on residents, and the results will help guide future county and state actions.
This study is being developed in recognition of the historical residential and commercial development patterns that have led to a patchwork of communities that have sufficient internal transportation facilities, but are not integrated at the corridor level. The study is focused on gathering data and information and the impacts on residents to identify and prioritize bicycle, pedestrian, traffic operations and safety improvements for implementation by the County, MDOT SHA and private sector development.
Every year, Howard County submits a "Priority Letter" to the Maryland Department of Transportation outlining the County's priorities for state transportation funding and technical assistance.
The Howard County Office of Transportation is conducting a planning study and preliminary design for a shared-use (pedestrian and bicycle) pathway along Robert Fulton Drive. Click here for more information.
Howard County is undertaking a US 1 Safety Evaluation in response to a significant increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities along US 1 in 2015 and 2016 and in light of increasing residential and mixed-use development in this historically commercial and industrial corridor. For more information, click here.
In addition to BikeHoward, the Office of Transportation, in partnership with Columbia Association, developed a study that examined the feasibility of implementing a bike sharing system program in the county. The results will be integrated into the Bicycle Master Plan. The project was completed in January 2015 and the full results of the plan are on the project website.
Central Maryland Regional Transit Facility
Through a joint partnership between Anne Arundel County, Howard County, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), and the Federal Transit Administration renovated and expanded the transit operations facility at 8801 Corridor Road in Savage, completing the projecting in the summer of 2015. The $10 Million facility on seven acres of land is a 20,000 square feet certified LEED Silver building with dedicated service space and parking for over 100 transit and service vehicles, bus washing space, training and office space. The facility is sized to allow expansion of the regional transit to a larger market.
The Howard County Office of Transportation is facilitating a Paratransit Workgroup to conduct a review of paratransit policies and services in the County to determine if there are changes that are needed to ensure that paratransit services are provided where they are most needed. The Transit and Pedestrian Advisory Group (TPAG) will be leading the workgroup. The Paratransit Workgroup is made up of representative from the ARC, Association of Community Services, Athelas Institute, Commission on Aging, Commission on Disabilities Issues, Commission on Transitioning Students with Disabilities, Muti-modal Transportation Board, Neighbor Ride, RTA, Office on Aging, and TPAG.
November 14, 2018
September 5, 2018
The Department of Recreation and Parks has constructed a trail connection adjacent to Old Guilford Road between the Guilford Pratt Truss Bridge and the Patuxent Branch Trail to Lake Elkhorn.
For more information, click here.
In December of 2013, the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning initiated a study to assess the feasibility of linking Downtown Columbia to the Patuxent Branch Trail by exploring and evaluating both existing and potential on and off road pathways to develop a direct connection. The study was initiated in response to direction contained in Howard County Capital Project T7107 that called for a study to evaluate connections and routes to link Downtown Columbia and the Patuxent Branch Trail in relation to their community and environmental impacts and relationship to the Oakland Mills Bridge capital project.
The report contains five sections and an executive summary, along with the appendices. The full report, along with each section and the appendices is presented below.
Public transportation plays an important role in our community
The Central Maryland Transit Development Plan serves as a guide for transit services in the Central Maryland region, including Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Northern Prince George’s County, and the City of Laurel. It provides a roadmap for implementing service and organizational improvements, including potential service expansion, during the next five years.
The Howard County Council endorsed the Transit Development Plan on May 7, 2018. Below is the endorsed plan (May 2018) :
Howard County will be making aesthetic and security improvements to the bicycle and pedestrian bridge across US-29 in Columbia. For more information about the project, click below.