By Bike Maryland - May 1, 2014
Over the past two years, the Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) has made an effort to make a more walkable and bikeable community. The committee comprised of citizen appointees as well as county agencies representatives from the Office of Planning and Departments of Public Works.
The April 22, 2014 PBAC meeting featured the Baltimore County Office of Planning’s report on which projects to support. Of the many improvements offered by the community, only two were selected. Citizen members of the committee were visibly agitated by the county’s decision. Carol Silldorff was first to express her concern over the lack of improvements. Ms. Silldorff requested that a minimum of $500,000 be considered, as well as, hiring a Bicycle County Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner to manage grants, infrastructure improvements and community relations. If the county allocated $500,000 for walking and bicycling improvement projects they would have the opportunity to obtain a minimum of $2.5 million in matching funds.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Bikeways Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program could potentially fund the vast majority of the projects suggested, especially if the available state and federal funding was combined to have state funds match the federal funds. However, for almost any project, the county would need to put up at least some local funding as a match and to devote some staff time to project coordination and outreach. Failing to do so leaves available money on the table for projects that have clear public support.
Read the full article at Bmore Bikes, the Baltimore Community Bike Blog.