By Bruce Cohen - April 10, 2015
As of the end of March, Hagerstown has a Livable Streets Policy which mandates the inclusion of bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities on all streets that are redone in the future. This is yet another bike forward move for Hagerstown, Maryland’s newest Bicycle Friendly Community. An exciting piece of their policy is that it allows Hagerstown engineers to use innovative and non-traditional design options where appropriate, even if they are not included in federal, state, or local design guidelines.
On the county level, Montgomery County enacted their own Complete Streets Policy in November 2014 to serve the purpose that “Each road and street must facilitate multi-modal use and ensure that all users can travel safely in the public right of way.” This includes 10 feet widths for county roads and 25 mph maximum target speeds in urban areas. It also includes provisions for protected, buffered bike lanes and shorter crossing distances for pedestrians.
We applaud both Hagerstown and Montgomery County for committing themselves to improve their roads for all users. When we design roads to be safe for bicyclists and pedestrians as well as cars, we improve safety for all. They join Baltimore County as Maryland jurisdictions with official Complete Streets policies.