February 13, 2018
County Executive Kittleman announces BikeHoward Express
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced a comprehensive strategy to significantly improve bicycle infrastructure during the next three years throughout Howard County. BikeHoward Express outlines approximately $8 million in improvements paid from a mixture of County funds and grants. More than half of residents are within a mile of BikeHoward Express, which would link them to schools, parks, MARC Stations, park and ride lots, and key employment centers, such as Columbia Gateway.
“During the past few years, I’ve heard growing support for improved bicycle infrastructure and this strategy directly answers those calls,” said Kittleman. “I would like to thank all those who have reached out to me on this issue and I look forward to delivering these improvements.”
The innovative and cost-effective BikeHoward Express consists of specific proposals to provide nearly 48 miles of improved bicycle infrastructure and builds on the ideas expressed by community advocates during recent years. Proposed infrastructure improvements have been selected from the Howard County Bicycle Master Plan and would include new bike lanes, designated shared roadways and shared-use pathways.
“This plan represents a sensible, strategic and fiscally responsible approach to improve bicycle infrastructure in Howard County,” said Randy Lovelace, a local pastor and bicycle advocate.
Key components of BikeHoward Express include the North Laurel Connections bicycle route from Savage to North Laurel, new shared-use pathways providing bicycle access into Downtown Columbia, Columbia Gateway and along Dobbin Road, and nearly 14 miles of bike lanes. Unified wayfinding signs throughout BikeHoward Express would provide for easy navigation. Additional community input will help determine the final details of bicycle infrastructure improvements.
“Columbia Association is a longtime, ardent supporter of improvements to and expansion of the bicycle infrastructure in Columbia and throughout Howard County,” said Milton Matthews, President and CEO of Columbia Association. “We support BikeHoward Express as a next step in Howard County’s implementation of the bicycle master plan, and we believe the County’s ongoing commitment to increasing the number of transportation options as Columbia continues to grow and become a true urban center will produce many benefits for residents and businesses.”
“County Executive Kittleman’s BikeHoward Express will provide true connectivity not only inside Howard County, but it will also link Howard County to key regional interests,” said Pete Rahn, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation. “I would encourage other local jurisdictions to take a similar commonsense approach in improving their infrastructure to create more transportation options for their communities.”
BikeHoward Express is just the latest way Kittleman has increased transportation options and improved the bicycle friendliness of Howard County during his first term in office. Prior accomplishments and improvements include:
- Passing the County’s first Bicycle Master Plan with unanimous support from the County Council
- Developing a Complete Streets Policy and updates to the Design Manual to improve the County’s transportation network so that it can support users of all ages and abilities
- Introducing and expanding a pilot bikeshare program with broad support from the community
- Renovating the more than three-decade-old bicycle and pedestrian bridge over US 29 in Columbia
These accomplishments contributed to Columbia receiving national designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community in 2016 by the League of American Bicyclists.
“Starting this year, BikeHoward Express includes the greatest financial investment ever made in bicycle infrastructure in Howard County,” said Kittleman. “If we make it easier and safer for people to get around by biking, more people will choose to do so. This brings health and economic benefits to our entire community. The actions we’ve already taken and these future improvements represent significant strides in continuing to create a more sustainable community in Howard County.”
Details on the BikeHoward Express can be found at: www.howardcountymd.gov/bikehowardexpress.
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Chris Eatough, Howard County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, 410-313-0567
County Executive Kittleman seeks input into transportation funding priorities for Howard County
- Email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- Mail to: Howard County Office of Transportation, c/o David Cookson, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043 by no later than Friday, February 9.
December 20, 2017
Howard County Executive Kittleman improves transit fleet; puts seven new buses into service
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced that seven new transit buses will be introduced to serve Howard County through the Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) of Central Maryland. These seven buses will replace seven older buses in the fleet.
“Through thoughtful planning over the past three years by my administration, we are now starting to see the results of an improved fleet,” said Kittleman. “With more than 60% of bus riders using this service to get to work, there is strong economic benefit in ensuring we provide a reliable transit service.”
These seven 2017 El Dorado EZ-Rider II buses will have a significant positive impact to Howard County’s transit system by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing maintenance costs and providing more reliable and comfortable service. These seven new buses will join 11 additional new buses that were added to the fleet this past summer. The buses put into service during the summer included the county’s first electric buses.
“A more reliable fleet, coupled with the better route structure we are planning, will transform our transit system into one of choice that will be a greater asset for our community,” Kittleman said. “Since taking office, we have taken strategic steps to upgrade the quality of our fleet to deliver a more efficient and enjoyable rider experience and we will continue to do so moving forward.”
In November, Howard County commissioned six more buses that will be in service in Fall 2018.
“Howard County has been a strong leader in improving the RTA from the beginning,” said Cristin Tolen, RTA General Manager. “By investing in new buses, Howard County is building a modern and dependable transit system that delivers the type of service our community expects and deserves.”
Video of Executive Kittleman discussing transit fleet improvements can be found at https://youtu.be/Y8j4mQX9gdU.
Photos courtesy Howard County Public Information Office.
Central Maryland Transit Development Plan
The development of the Transit Development Plan for Central Maryland began in the Fall of 2016. The purpose of the plan is to evaluate the performance of the existing transit service, identify public transit needs in the region, and develop proposals to meet those needs and improve transit service.
The draft final plan (November 2017) is available on the project website at
www.kfhgroup.com/centralmd/transitplan.html and will be reviewed by the Howard County Multimodal Transportation Board, the Howard County Transit and Pedestrian Advisory Group, and the Howard County Council.