Investing in Biking and Walking
We want Howard County to be a place where people can easily and safely bike or walk where they need to go. This will positively impact our community’s health, economic vibrancy and environment.
For the past several years, the Horizon Foundation, American Heart Association and the Bicycling Advocates of Howard County have led the charge to advocate for adequate funding from the county government for biking and pedestrian infrastructure. Thousands of community members have joined the call for greater county investments in improved bikeability and walkability in the county.
Investing in safe, accessible spaces for biking and walking benefits a broad and diverse cross-section of our community, including children and families seeking to walk or bike to school, young workers who want to bike to the office, residents without a car who need to get to a bus station and people with disabilities who need to be able to move through their neighborhoods. Residents who do not have a car should be able to walk, bike or get to the bus stop easily and safely.
In last year’s budget, County Executive Calvin Ball and the County Council promised $2.2 million in funding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects. This was a historic level of funding for Howard County – in the previous two years, the county budgeted $1.45 million and $600,000 in biking and walking projects, respectively.
Howard County Needs to Catch Up
While we are moving in the right direction, other communities are putting far more funds into bike routes and seeing the benefits. In 2017, Montgomery County designated $23+ million in their budget and Arundel County budgeted $6+ million for bike infrastructure. Salisbury, Md., which has a population that is one-tenth the size of Howard County, recently invested over $750,000 to implement projects in the city’s bike master plan.
Our coalition will continue to advocate for the funding we need in the county budget for bike and pedestrian projects to make this a reality.
Our time to invest in the health and well-being of Howard County is now.