From the Chair of the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee:
Dear Mayor O'Malley:
As chairman of your Bicycle Advisory Committee, I was quite pleased when the city's Bicycle Master Plan was completed and even more so when it was adopted by the Planning Commission. The plan was the result of a good deal of time and effort by this committee, the hired consultant, and city staffers, mostly from the Departments of Planning and Transportation. It is a good plan and its unanimous adoption by the Planning Commission on May 4, 2006, making it "the law of the land", will improve the ambiance and livability of this fine city.
That is, the Bicycle Master Plan will start to improve the city once we start to implement it. I realize the plan calls for an impressive amount of paving, striping, and signing and that money has already been set aside to start this process, for which I am grateful. However, one of the most important aspects of the plan is hiring a Bicycle Coordinator for Baltimore City, to advocate for implementation of the various facets of the plan, to coordinate between the different departments and agencies within the city, and to liaise with other jurisdictions to ensure that the Bicycle Master Plan does not just gather dust on a shelf. According to the Plan, this position is to be filled by the beginning of 2007, but to my dismay, the position has not even been defined yet, which puts the timetable in jeopardy.
I write to urge that this important position be created and filled to meet the timetable set forth in the Plan. I would like to further ask that the position not just be filled with a "warm body", but the individual hired not only be fully qualified, but an enthusiastic and forceful advocate for bicycling in Baltimore, and occupy a position within the city bureaucracy that ensures adequate visibility and influence in the decision-making process.
I understand that you and your administration have a lot on your plates at this time, but I feel strongly that this is an important matter that must be addressed. The Bicycle Master Plan is a fine document of which the city should be proud, but it will come to nothing if it is not implemented, and promptly hiring a Bicycle Coordinator is a crucial piece of that implementation