Cycle Maryland Bikeways Program Has Funded 74 Projects Since 2011
ANNAPOLIS (May 1, 2014)—Kicking off National Bike Month, Governor Martin OMalley today announced that Maryland is ranked among the Nations Top 10 Bicycle Friendly States according to an annual evaluation done by the League of American Bicyclists. Maryland is ranked number 7 in the nation, up from number 11 last year, and number 2 among Mid-Atlantic and North East States. Thanks to the passage of the landmark Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, Maryland will dedicate nearly $210 million over the next six years (FY 2014 FY 2019) to fund programs that support alternative transportation projects, including building bicycle lanes and trails.
To build a modern transportation system that supports the needs of all Marylanders, we have to invest in alternative forms of travel like bicycling, said Governor OMalley. We are honored that the League of American Bicyclists recognizes Maryland as a leader in making bicycling a true transportation alternative. Beyond the health benefits, expanding cycling and walking opportunities are fundamental to our ongoing efforts to foster sustainable land-use, protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better connect our communities.
The Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) ranking is based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride. The BFS program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff worked closely with state officials and advocacy leaders to help Maryland identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.
Thanks to the Governors leadership and established partnerships with bicycle advocacy groups, we are investing in an interconnected bicycle network that safely connects people to where they want to go, said Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr. Its gratifying to be recognized for our ongoing efforts to make Maryland a safe, bicycle-friendly State.
In an effort to reduce traffic crashes and improve bicycle safety, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) partnered with the Maryland State Police to complete a police training video as a tool to reinforce traffic laws associated with bicyclists and motorists safely sharing roadways. MDOT also has partnered with local jurisdictions throughout Maryland to help fund Bikeshare programs, including Montgomery County, which launched their program last fall.
We are encouraged to see Maryland move into the top 10 in the 2014 ranking, said League President, Andy Clarke. The completion of the state's police training video, The Law Enforcement Role in Bicycle Safety, coupled with significant legislative and funding wins will help make bicycling safer and more comfortable for residents and visitors alike.
To expand cycling opportunities, Governor OMalley launched the Cycle Maryland initiative in 2011 to promote cycling in Maryland and increase funding to expand bicycling opportunities. Maryland also offers numerous programs that provide grants to local governments and non-profit organization that support bicycling, including: Safe Routes to School, Transportation Alternatives, Federal Lands Access Program, Recreational Trails and Bikeways. This year, $16 million in reimbursable grant funding was made available to local governments and organizations for projects that enhance walking, biking, pedestrian safety, recreational trails and federal lands access. Since announcing Marylands Bikeways Program in 2011, Governor OMalley has invested $8.5 million in Bikeways Program grants to help fund 74 projects across Maryland.
Click here to see how Maryland ranked in the five evaluation categories. Learn more about the BFS program at www.bikeleague.org/content/states.
The Maryland Department of Transportation recently updated the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which establishes a 20-year vision to support cycling and walking as modes of transportation in Maryland. Learn more at www.mdot.maryland.gov/BikeWalkPlan. For more information on Cycle Maryland efforts and great bicycling resources, please visit us on our website at www.cycle.maryland.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cyclemaryland and follow us on Twitter @CycleMaryland.
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful unified voice for change. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.
Source: Office of Gov. O'Malley