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On the Road to Complete Streets

The trip starts with Maryland’s Bike and Foot Master Plan

With Bike Plans Come Bike Lanes Complete streets often come with bike lanes, like these added this month in Annapolis, which already has a Bicycle Master Plan. On Bay Ridge Avenue, a five-foot-wide bike lane replaced a parking lane from Hilltop Lane to Victor Parkway. The lane creates a connected bicycle route from Eastport to Quiet Waters Park and the Annapolis Neck Peninsula. Left to right: Alderman Kenneth Kirby, former mayor Josh Cohen and Public Works Director David Jarrell.

Hey, car … van … SUV … RV … bus … truck, can you give walkers and bikers a little room?
    If that’s your plea, you’ll find fascinating reading in Maryland’s Draft Twenty-Year Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
    Developed by transportation planners and interested walkers and bikers throughout the state, the plan aims at “making walking and bicycling an integral part of Maryland’s transportation system.”
    Its 50 pages document the present and set visions for the future. Nowadays, only 2.5 percent of Maryland commuters walk to work. Even fewer — 0.4 percent — bike to work.
    Eventually, we’ll share “complete streets” where we can each go our own way safely, sharing the transportation resources now hogged by engine-driven vehicles. That someday won’t conform to a one-size-fits-all pattern. Instead, each kind of community — Urban Centers, Towns and Suburban Centers, Rural and Agricultural Areas and Natural Areas — will develop a plan that works for it and all its people and ways of getting around.
    The road to complete streets is already being traveled. Still, reaching a place where “bicycling and walking are safe, practical and inviting ways for people of all ages and abilities to complete their everyday travel” is expected to take 20 years.
    This is the time to have your say.
    Read the full plan at www.mdot.maryland.gov/bikewalkplan. Share your thoughts by December 10. Write Kate Sylvester: ksylvester@mdot.maryland.gov.