The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) convened the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Group (BPAG) on Wednesday, January 15th. The purpose of the meeting was to hold elections for the advisory group chair and vice chair positions and to discuss the BPAG’s 2020 goals for the Baltimore Region and upcoming tasks and studies to be included in the FY 2021 update of the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). BPAG members also heard presentations from representatives of the Maryland Department of Transportation.
A state level overview of the Complete Streets program helped kick-off BPAG’s work program for 2020. Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe use and to support mobility for all users: people of all ages, abilities and modes whether traveling as pedestrians, bicyclists, micro mobility users, public transportation riders or drivers. MDOT is currently working on a state level to develop a Complete Streets policy that will define the approach for effective implementation of enhanced network connectivity, safety and access.
Details from MDOT’s new guide, Context Driven: Access & Mobility for All Users was also shared during the meeting. This Guide is a planning and design resource that offers practitioners new techniques and solutions to achieve safety, accessibility, and mobility goals framed by the surrounding land-use. This new approach accounts for the unique characteristics of different areas in Maryland that ultimately affect roadway design and resulting safety. The guide is not prescriptive, however it encourages up-to-date tools based on current community feedback, proven solutions rooted in the surrounding context, and flexibility to encourage innovation and community-specific solutions.
Following the presentations, the BPAG members discussed exciting bicycle and pedestrian activities happening in their jurisdictions including: bicycle and pedestrian master plan updates in Anne Arundel and Harford Counties; construction of new segments of the Broadneck Peninsula Trail in Anne Arundel County; funding for design of two segments of the 35-mile loop trail in Baltimore City; development of new trail mapping in Carroll County; a new website developed by Maryland Department of Planning and MDOT where users can gather data on Transit Oriented Development; and new bicycle and pedestrian grant application cycles through several MDOT initiatives.