Introduction & Overview

The Route 1 Corridor, also known as Washington Boulevard, spans the entire 10.9 miles of Route 1 in Howard County. The Route 1 Corridor also includes the land east of Route 1, to Anne Arundel County, and the land west of Route 1, to Interstate 95. The Corridor features a wide mix of land uses and functions, including residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and lodging. Residential and industrial uses dominate the Corridor, with residential uses concentrated west of Route 1 and industrial uses concentrated east of Route 1. The Route 1 Corridor is bisected by major arterials (Routes 32, 175, and 100) that—together with industrial and commercial land uses—result in a transportation network primarily comprised of commercial vehicles and freight movements. Route 1 serves both regional and local transportation needs by providing access for residents’ day-to-day travel, while also serving as a linkage between other regional transportation corridors.

Enhanced safety and connectivity are long-standing goals in the Route 1 Corridor, and based on these goals, the County has undertaken multiple planning, design, and transportation infrastructure projects in the corridor.  

  • In 2009, the County updated the Route 1 Manual to include specific recommendations to increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and to enhance accessibility and connectivity in the Corridor.   

  • In 2017, in response to increases in pedestrian-related crashes and fatalities along Route 1, the Howard County Office of Transportation initiated a study of bicyclist and pedestrian safety, focusing on traffic hazard conflicts for pedestrians and bicyclists. Additionally, The Safety Evaluation identified four focus areas based on historical crash trends and needs for improvement. The final report and appendices, completed in 2019, can be found below in the US 1 Planning Section. Howard County funded the design of four intersection improvements, based on the previously identified focus areas, between FY 2019 and FY 2023.  The State Highway Administration (SHA) is constructing these intersection improvements. As of September 2023, the intersection at US 1 at Guilford Road is complete and US 1 at Brewers Court is underway. The intersections at US 1 at Rowanberry Drive and US 1 at Doctor Patel Drive are scheduled for completion in calendar year 2024. Click here for additional information on SHA's US 1 intersection improvements.

  • In 2020, Howard County, in partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration developed the US 1 Corridor Small Area Plan to advance the recommendations from the Regional Transit Plan and develop a blueprint for transit service improvement in the corridor.  

  • In 2022, the County developed a Sidewalk Prioritization Study to assist delivery of sidewalk project on the corridor. The Recommendations for Prioritization and Delivery of Sidewalk and Safety Protocols in the US 1 Corridor study developed a metric-driven implementation strategy to prioritize sidewalk.  

For more detail and information on planning efforts, please see the US 1 Planning section below. 

    Current Projects Along US 1 Corridor

    These County and regional planning projects, along with the County’s general, bicycle, and pedestrian master plans, guide the development of transportation projects in the Corridor. Projects that are committed, currently in design, in construction, or recently completed are shown in the interactive map and include information on project status, purpose, and projected delivery dates. The map represents the current known status of projects and will change with new information. The project information in the map can also be viewed in the project chart, linked here

    Clickable photo for US 1 webmap link

    Complete Streets Leadership Academy - US 1 Quick-Build Demonstration Project

    The Howard County Office of Transportation and Department of Public Works are partnering with Smart Growth America and the State Highway Administration on a Complete Streets Leadership Academy project on US 1 in North Laurel. 

    Smart Growth America (SGA), with support from CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation initiative, launched the Complete Streets Leadership Academies to equip and train local agencies and state departments of transportation to collaborate, innovate, and commit to making changes together to address safety on these dangerous state-owned roads. Cohorts were selected to plan and implement “quick-build” demonstration projects, a way to pilot and test new ideas and street designs to activate streets and better support walking, biking, and rolling.

    Safe Streets and Roads for All - Improving Pedestrian Safety in the US 1 Corridor

    The Howard County has been awarded a grant of over $480,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation for planning and demonstration of safety improvements at approximately 22 locations on the US 1 Corridor. The locations will be evaluated for quick-build improvements and to determine their feasibility as long-term projects. Such quick-build projects may include temporary sidewalk designation in narrow rights-of-way, narrowing of turning radii, and additional pedestrian protection using differing material types.

    The Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program funds regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. Planning and Demonstration Grants fund supplemental planning and/or demonstration activities that inform the development of a new or existing Action Plan, including feasibility studies using quick-build strategies that inform permanent projects in the future.

    US 1 Planning

    Route 1 Manual

    The purpose of the Route 1 Manual is to present requirements and recommendations to:

    • Improve the visual appearance of the corridor's streetscape.
    • Enhance the appearance and value of developments in the corridor.
    • Establish the desired design character for new developments in the Corridor Employment (CE), Transit Oriented Development (TOD), and Corridor Activity Center (CAC) Districts.  
    US 1 Safety Evaluation

    Throughout 2017 and 2018, Howard County developed a US 1 Safety Evaluation to identify short-term actions to improve safety for people walking and bicycling along US 1. The final report and appendices can be viewed at the following links:

    US 1 Corridor Small Area Plan

    The US 1 Corridor Small Area Plan is one of five Small Area Plans meant to complement the Regional Transit Plan (RTP) for Central Maryland. The RTP identified specific areas in the Central Maryland region that have a demonstrated need for small, localized, or express transit network improvements.  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 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. 

    To review and read the study, click here.

    To review and read the RTP, click here.


    Sidewalk Prioritization Study

    To assist in the delivery of sidewalk project on the corridor, the county developed a draft study to guide implementation of projects on the corridor. The Recommendations for Prioritization and Delivery of Sidewalk and Safety Protocols in the US 1 Corridor study developed a metric-driven implementation strategy to prioritize sidewalk and safety investments to propose a strategy for timely delivery.  

    To review and read the study, click here. 

    Current Transit Resources

    Transit Service in the US 1 Corridor:

    RTA Bus Routes

    • RTA Route 409 (Town Center Laurel to Elkridge Corners Shopping Center)
    • RTA Route 409B (North Laurel Community Center to MD Food Center)
    • RTA Route 501 (Columbia Mall to Arundel Mills Mall)
    • Click here for RTA route information.

    MTA Commuter Bus Routes

    • MTA Route 320 (Downtown Baltimore to Columbia via Jessup)
    • Click here for MTA route information.

    MARC Line Routes

    • MTA MARC Camden Line
    • Click here for MARC Camden Line route information.
    Planning Background and Additional Resources

    PlanHoward 2030, the currently adopted general plan guides decisions related to development, land preservation, changing demographic and employment trends, neighborhood sustainability, capital projects, county services, and transportation projects and priorities. The plan is updated every ten years and in 2023, the plan is being updated as “HoCo By Design”. HoCo By Design is currently in its public review and approval stage, with an expected approval date in the fall of 2023.  

    BikeHoward and WalkHoward, the county’s functional master plans for walking and biking, recommend multiple corridor improvements—such as separated bike lanes for the entire Corridor and multiple long-term crossing improvements—that can be accomplished as either capital projects completed by the public sector or capital projects completed by developers as a condition of zoning or site plan approval.  

    Addtional Resources:


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