Notes from Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting

Jim Titus kindly took notes from the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting.

Here are my notes from Today's Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory
Committee Meeting.

1. MG-MNCPPC's Carolyn Wainright decided to not seek re-appointment to a
second 4-year term as Chairman of MBPAC. The new chairman will be Dave
Dione of Anne Arundel County Parks and Recreation, arguably the biggest
trail builder in Maryland. Technically, Carolyn was one of two Baltimore
area residents required by the statute, so her replacement must be from the
Baltimore area--probably the city itself.

2. The Authority that runs the Bay Bridge is thinking about building a
truck weigh station using Homeland Security money--with Kent Island one of
the plausible sites. Peter Lee said that the site would occupy land
through which the new Cross-Island trail passes--but details are sketchy
about whether this is a done deal, whether the Authority will mitigate with
a nice detour, or even the precise location.

3. Does everyone know that the Gwynne's Falls Trail officially opened last
week? Secretary Flanagan, May O'Malley, the head of Rails to Trails were
all there--and Congressman Ben Cardin (our next Senator?) took his bike for
the 10-mile ride before the ceremony. (I got a flat on my mountain bike
with a 1/2" piece of glass--Balto trails have alot of glass.)

4. The Northern Chesapeake trail from Easton-Lewes is getting
started. Easton already has five miles. The state is giving AA the
go-ahead to get started planning a trail along the light rail line from BWI
to Harbor Hospital, i.e., connect with Gwynne's Falls trail.

5. The state is coming out with a "missing links" report on trail
connections that would improve intercounty bike trail connectivity. The
list includes crossing over Pax River near Bowie, connecting WB&A sections
in PG and AA. It also includes a link between Baltimore and BWI along the
light rail, effectively connecting Baltimore to the B&A and WB&A. It does
not, however, include a link between ICC trail and the WB&A.

6. Speaking of the ICC: We heard that the Legislature (unclear who) sent
a letter indicating that the entire 18-mile trail should eventually be
built. MDOT responded--not sure whether orally or in writing--that they
would like to build that trail too. Both parties agreed that the priority
is getting the highway built. Sounds similar to the MBPAC resolution, as
well as recent letters from MOBIKE--but no one had the letter. Supposedly,
they'll send us a copy soon.

7. GIS data is slowly being provided by counties to MBPAC so we can make
decent map.

8. The state pedestrian enhancement funds--e.g. funds for sidewalks in
towns traversed by state highways--were eviscerated at the end of the
session by the Legislature. MDOT Assistance Secretary told us that this
was not simply a case of a last-minute raid on one program to pay for a few
pet projects, but rather a deliberate attempt to unnecessarily cut sidewalk
improvements because MDOT had the money, but was prohibited from spending
it. I am a bit unclear how that worked.

9. A rails-to-trails project in Charles County from PG to St Mary's is
being harmed by plans for Walforf bypass, which will use railroad right-of-way.

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