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.
Current and Ongoing Planning Projects
Enhanced safety and connectivity are long-standing goals in the Route 1 Corridor. Based on these goals, the county has undertaken multiple planning, design, and transportation infrastructure projects in the corridor.
To learn more, please see the project website.
Bus Rapid Transit
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:
- US 29 between Mount Hebron and Silver Spring
- Broken Land Parkway between Columbia Town Center and Savage MARC Station
- MD 32 between Clarksville and Odenton Town Center
- 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.
Clarksville Pike Streetscape Plan and Design Guidelines
The Howard County Office of Transportation and Department of Public Works are advancing the Clarksville/River Hill Streetscape Design Guidelines by developing plans for a system of shared use pathways, sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes within Clarksville.
Dobbin Road Pathway
To learn more about the Dobbin Road Pathway Project, please visit the project webpage.
Downtown Columbia Transit Center
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.
Ellicott City - Oella Pedestrian Connections Feasibility Study
The purpose of this project is to further develop one particular plan recommendation—better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations across the Patapsco River—in a way that is compatible with the historic nature of the area as well as ongoing flood mitigation and planning efforts.
Currently, pedestrian connections between Oella and Ellicott City consist of buffered sidewalks along the Main Street bridge, while bicycling between the two places requires sharing the travel lanes of the Main Street bridge with motor vehicle traffic. This configuration does not provide safe and comfortable travel between Ellicott City and Oella for pedestrians and bicyclists of all skill and confidence levels. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (SHA) has therefore awarded Howard County, Maryland a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant to identify a way to provide better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations between Ellicott City and Oella.
Howard County Strategic Road Safety Plan
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. 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
The Strategic Road Safety Plan was completed in 2020. Howard County is now moving forward on the implementing actions in the plan and is reforming the steering committee to guide this implementation.
To find out more about the plan and implementing actions, including additional roadway safety information, please visit the project webpage.
Robert Fulton Drive
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.
Regional Transit Planning
As part of the regional and long-range transportation program, OOT works with regional and state partners to evaluate, forecast and plan for regional transit.
The Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan is a 25-year plan for improving public transportation in the region. The Plan presents goals, objectives, and initiatives to enhance transit service, support the economy, and reduce impacts on the environment. The Plan was developed by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration in coordination with the Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan Commission, the five jurisdictions that compose the Central Maryland region, local transit agencies, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, and members of the public.
The US 1 Corridor Small Area Plan is one of five Small Area Plans meant to complement the Regional Transit Plan for Central Maryland. The US 1 corridor study area is in the eastern portion of Howard County and while the area is diverse in its land use, including office parks, light-industrial areas, and multi-family housing, it is primarily automobile-oriented and challenging to serve effectively with traditional fixed-route service only. The US 1 Corridor Small Area Plan identifies opportunities to improve transit service in the study area. Key recommendations detailed in this plan include the following:
- An extension of Route 409 service from its current eastern terminus of Elkridge Corners to Lansdowne Station in Baltimore County.
- An expansion of service frequency on Route 409 to 30-minute peak-period service on weekdays as ridership grows.
- The introduction of an app-based demand response service known as micro-transit, to expand local transit coverage and complement the regional transit network through first and last-mile connections.
Transit Development Plan (2023 Update)
The RTA of Central Maryland/Howard County 2023 Transit Development Plan (TDP) will serve as a short-term plan to guide transit system development and funding requests. The TDP process reviews and assesses current transit services, identifies unmet transit needs and develops a recommended plan for improvements (with phased implementation), including capital and operating budget projections, in the short‐range future, typically a five‐year horizon. Once completed, the TDP will serve as a guide for our local transit system, providing a roadmap for implementing service improvements, and/or potential expansion during the five‐year period. The draft is now available for review:
Transportation Priorities Letter
Every year, Howard County submits a letter outlining its transportation priorities to the Maryland Department of Transportation for state transportation funding and technical assistance.
Completed Planning Projects
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
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.
Maryland Route 99 Investigation
Howard County completed 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 focused on gathering data and information and the impacts on residents. The results will help guide future county and state actions.
Maryland 103/104/108 Corridor Study
This study was developed in recognition of the historical residential and commercial development patterns that led to a patchwork of communities that have sufficient internal transportation facilities, but are not integrated at the corridor level. The study 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.
Oakland Mills Complete Streets Project
The pedestrian and bicycle improvements to a segment of Oakland Mills Road have been completed.
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
Patuxent Branch Trail Connection
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.
Patuxent Branch Trail Extension Feasibility Study
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.
Transit Development Plan 2018
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) :
US 29 Pedestrian and Bike Bridge Project
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.