May 15, 2019 Op-ed by Jon Korin encourages riding for transportation and also safety tips for drivers and cyclists.
This April, 2019 feature was part of a monthly series celebrating 25 years of Leadership Anne Arundel. It describes how LAA provided the launch and supported the growth and success of BikeAAA. Click LAA and BikeAAA.
From the April edition of Business Monthly
We are delighted to announce that Lois Findlay and Rachel Killeen Varn have joined the BikeAAA Board! Lois brings a wealth of experience having been president of Potomac Pedalers, loads of bike event leadership and diverse non-profit experience to her role as Treasurer. Rachel is an avid cyclist/tri-athlete, League Cycling Instructor, founder of wildly successful PedalPowerKids, and brings a passion for bike safety and adventure for kids to her role as our lead for education. We are proud to have them join our board!
BikeAAA has released it’s BikeAAA Annual Report 2018 which includes an update on biking in Anne Arundel County and Annapolis, highlights of 2018, the achievements that led to the Bronze Bike-friendly designation in 2018 and the goals that will take us to Silver.
Reports from previous years can be found at History
We are quite proud that Anne Arundel County and Annapolis have together been designated Maryland’s seventh Bronze Bike-friendly Community but it is more of a call to further action than a trophy. Two important benefits of the designation are:
County Executive Steuart Pittman and Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley address the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission and set the new goal of Silver-level. Click for a short video.
Local Survey Results (BFC_Fall_2018_Public_Survey_Annapolis and Anne Arundel County_MD) from the League of American Bicyclists.
Both BikeAAA and the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission are reviewing these to chart a course for the future. Together they reflect input from more than 100 local cyclists and measures against best practices across the country. We know that more safe, connected bikeways (trails and on-road lanes) are vital but we also need better education and enforcement for drivers and cyclists as well. Stay in touch with BikeAAA for progress and for ways you can help.
The County Council passed into law Bill 78-18, Multimodal Transportation, October 1, 2018 and it became effective on January 1, 2019. The purpose is to enhance the residential and commercial subdivision and site development regulations to ensure that all modes of transportation, not just motorized vehicles, are equally considered when creating the road and site design during the development process. The new regulations require more consideration of safe walking, bicycling, and transit access and expansion of the existing network, to improve mobility options to schools, libraries, trails, parks, neighborhoods, commercial centers, transit stops and other destinations.
Some developers have done this already with projects that include the connector from the B&A Trail to Jones Elementary (photos above courtesy of PedalPowerKids), the sidepath along the new Odenton Town Center Blvd, the extension of the WB&A Trail down to the Patuxent River and the shared-use path on Underwood Rd on the frontage of The Ridings. The addition of even short sidewalk, trail or bike lane connectors can fill critical gaps and reduce short automobile trips by providing safe walking and biking alternatives.
The new regulations only apply to new developments not already in the plan review process but we are hopeful that some that are underway will opt in and provide bike/pedestrian facilities. The benefit to developers is enhanced property values while also helping to relieve traffic congestion, promote health and protect our environment.
We encourage you to advocate for safe walking, biking, and transit access facilities for nearby developments during the community meetings that are required during the development process and other forums. You can find pending developments at the County Subdivision GIS Map. Learn more about the new law and the Bike/Pedestrian/Transit Assessment process at the County Office of Transportation BPTA page.
Anne Arundel County & Annapolis named a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists
BikeAAA has been the catalyst for this milestone since our launch in 2013. We now have an advocacy group, a Bike Commission, a full-time Bike/Ped Planner and office of Transportation at the county, over 60 miles of bike routes, record-level trail-building and bike lane marking, new legislation, our Anne Arundel County Lifeline 100 Century Ride signature event, bikeshare, awesome partners and more. We’ve had full support from Steve Schuh and that is continuing with Steuart Pittman; and Mayor Gavin Buckley is all in! Thank you Anne Arundel County, The City Of Annapolis, partners and cyclists! This is a big milestone but we have so much more to do, especially to build out our safe network. Now on to Silver! The media release from the county is below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anne Arundel County & Annapolis named a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists
Annapolis, MD (December 6, 2018) – Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis with a joint Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award, joining 464 visionary communities from across the country. With the announcement of 61 new and renewing BFCs today, the two jurisdictions join a leading group of communities in every state that are transforming the American landscape.
“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, executive director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities.”
There are currently 464 BFCs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Bronze BFC award recognizes the collaborative county and city commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
“We’re honored to receive this award. Our new county slogan is “The Best Place” and we want to make Anne Arundel County the best place to ride a bike,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman.
The county and city, with the support of local nonprofit organization BikeAAA, applied jointly for this prestigious award. The two jurisdictions recently collaborated on a bikeshare program. There are over 60 miles of bike routes (trails and on-road lanes), though many are disconnected. The city and county seek to connect these segments and close gaps, encouraging more people to ride to work, school, recreation and other destinations. This helps relieve traffic congestion, improve health, protect our environment, and make our area a more attractive place to live, work and visit.
“As an avid, daily commuting bicyclist, this bronze award is an honor and a step in the right direction to continue our commitment to making Annapolis the most bike friendly city in the state. Bicyclists spend more in locally owned shops, help alleviate valued parking in our historic district, and attract more tourism. I look forward to connecting more of the city’s safe bike routes with the growing network of trails and bike lanes in the county to create safe options for cyclists and communities,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley.
“Anne Arundel County has a strong commitment to bicycling for both transportation and recreation. That vision started under County Executive Steve Schuh and will continue under new County Executive Steuart Pittman. As we work towards Silver level, we will continue to build our bicycle network to provide safe, efficient and equitable transportation choices for people of all ages, abilities and means.”, said Jon Korin, president of Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County and chair of the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission.
Since the Bicycle Friendly Community program’s inception over 20 years ago, more than 800 distinct communities have applied for recognition. The program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community for areas of all shapes and sizes. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.
The five levels of the BFC award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category and a no designation level – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. The League of American Bicyclists provides feedback and guidance to every applicant community, regardless of award designation, with the goal of helping every community to improve.
Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.
To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.
The Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM, Bicycle Friendly StateSM, Bicycle Friendly BusinessSM and Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM programs are generously supported by program partner Eco-Counter and by League Members. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.
This important bill assures that all modes of transportation including biking, walking, transit and motorized vehicles are considered when residential or commercial developments are planned and approved. Historically, only motorized traffic has been considered and facilities were added that either neglected the other modes or worse, created hazards. This bill helps assure that Complete Streets Resolution 45-14 unanimously passed by the County Council in 2014 will be implemented. This legislation was initiated by the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission
and then a working group comprised of reps from the Bike Commission, Maryland Building Industries Association (MBIA), County Office of Transportation and County Office of Law developed this mutually agreed bill which was then vetted with county Planning & Zoning, Public Works and Inspections & Permits. BikeAAA supported the bill as did MBIA and the Alliance for Livable Communities. Implementation will be overseen by the County office of Transportation in coordination with other departments.
This is a vital step in the county’s effort to build a safe interconnected network of biking,
walking and transit routes. It provides for bike/ped connections among neighborhoods, schools, employment, transit, shopping, recreation and other destinations.
The approved bill can be found HERE.