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Advocacy for Harford County

By - November 11, 2014

Monday night over thirty people attended the first Harford County Advocacy Group meeting at the Harford County Library in Bel Air.  We explained what we hope to see out of Harford cyclists in terms of advocacy and outlined the positives of Harford County.  The county has a Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan, a vibrant Bike to Work Day, and three active cycling groups that represent both road and mountain biking.  At this point, advocates in Harford County do not have to push local government to plan for bikes: the plan exists, it has been adopted, and it spells out specific improvements needed.  At this point, cyclists need to pressure government to put on the ground the improvements that they have planned.  Harford County cyclists need to organize to support and remind government that cyclists are there, cyclists are active, and cyclists matter.  Plans are great, but now we need implementation.

This is an opportune time for advocates in Harford County to organize, with a new delegation entering Annapolis and many shake ups about to happen in local government.  Now is the time for cyclists in Harford, and in all counties where significant change is happening, to embrace the new elected officials and appointees and educate them on why cycling is relevant for a myriad of reasons: health, tourism, energy independence, traffic mitigation, happiness, the environment,and attracting and retaining residents to name a few.

At this point we have created a Google Group which interested Harford cyclists are encouraged to join and participate in.  Moving forward, Harford cyclists – please review what improvements the Bicycle Master Plan already spells out and decide the critical ones to demand!  We are lucky that Harford County already has a road map, now we need to prioritize, participate, and shape the future!

Issues and Needs Identified:

  1. Educating drivers and cyclists of the rules of the road, especially safe passing
  2. Emergency Access Roads in the trails
  3. More bike friendly signage
  4. Heat map of bicycle preferred routes
  5. Access across Rt 40 – Havre de Grace to Perryville
  6. Connecting the MA & PA Trail between Bel Air and Forest Hill

Thanks to everyone who came out!  If you were unable to attend the meeting, please join the Google Group and/or email Emily (emily@bikemd.org) to get involved.  We are looking forward to better cycling in Harford County!


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