Through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Group, BMC works with member jurisdictions and state agencies to promote biking and walking as safe and efficient alternatives to motor vehicle travel. Biking and walking promote individual health, help ease traffic congestion, and reduce emissions that contribute to air pollution.
Through the planning process, the BPAG serves as a forum for planners and engineers to exchange information and coordinate work to develop plans and programs to best accommodate bikers and walkers, and to encourage biking and walking in the region. Our strategies include the development of a prioritized network of infrastructure improvements, policies that promote improvements specific to biking and walking in all infrastructure improvements, and the encouragement of programs such as Bike to Work Day.
Recent Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Group Planning Activities:
Regional Bicycle Facilities Map
The BPAG developed the desire to create a regional map of all current, programmed, and planned bicycle facilities to aid the planning process. The BRTB supported that concept and funded local planners to locate and share relevant data.
The Regional Bicycle Facilities Map contains all existing bicycle trails and lanes in the Baltimore region. The focus is on commuting, rather than recreational cycling. It will enable better transportation planning by allowing planners to identify gaps in connectivity among existing bicycle trails and lanes.
Information includes location, facility type, side of road, trail or road name (if applicable), and speed limit (if applicable). Bicycle trails that do not aid in commuting, such as a small loop in a park, likely will not be represented on the Regional Bicycle Facility Map.
The new data can be accessed through an online mapping application. For planners and advanced data users, the raw GIS data is available for download via BMC’s Regional GIS Data Center.
The Regional Bicycle Facilities Map is a collaborative product of BMC, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Group, county planning and GIS partners from the Baltimore region, the Maryland Department of Planning, Maryland Department of Transportation, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Top Bicycle Priorities in the Baltimore Region with Status Updates
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge across the Patuxent River connecting Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties: this project has been funded for construction and is underway.
- Complete multiple projects that are part of the Patapsco Greenway Trail System, connecting the Grist Mill Trail, Ellicott City, BWI Trail, Gwynn’s Falls Trail, and the Baltimore City trail network: This trail concept was funded for preliminary planning through the BRTB Unified Planning Work Program. The multi-jurisdictional nature of the project necessitated bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders. Local jurisdictions were important in providing data and identifying key stakeholders and community groups that were included in public review. DNR involvement was vital as much of the property is on DNR land in the Patapsco Valley State Park. The feasibility study looked at potential trail alignment, cost estimates, easement and right-of-way issues, and a segmented approach for moving the project forward.
Following completion, the BRTB funded the segment from U.S. 1 in Elkridge to the Guinness Open gate Brewery for 30% design. Work is underway at this time. An additional segment has been funded for the upcoming fiscal year.
- Develop the missing link of the Ma & Pa Trail north of Baltimore: The existing Ma & Pa Trail extends west and north of Bel Air. This project, filling in the missing link between the existing segments, has been a priority for Harford County for a number of years. Recently Harford County was able to acquire the private property needed. Harford County secured funding to construct two segments of the Trail, which are now underway.
- Develop the Cromwell Bridge Trail and link to the Towson Spokes Trail: These two trails will be pursued by Rec & Parks in the future.
- Develop the BGE Northeast Region Trail: This is a key segment of the planned “emerald necklace” bike loop surrounding Baltimore City. It connects to Baltimore County, with plans for a trail extending to White Marsh. A coalition in Baltimore City is currently working on the Baltimore Belt Line.
Older Planning Activities:
Access to Rails Study (2011)
The Baltimore Region Transportation Board (BRTB) utilized consultant services for an inventory of conditions and an analysis of the bicycle and pedestrian accommodations around the Baltimore Region’s rail stations. The inventory led to the development of recommendations and costs for improvements proximate to the region’s sixty stations. The BMC sought a 3 mile radius of coverage for bicyclists and a 0.6 mile radius for pedestrians at each station. Due to rail station locations in the region, there was considerable overlap between the areas of coverage for stations. An ArcGIS geodatabase was created.