It’s been a little more than a year since Columbia Association (CA) implemented the Active Transportation Action Agenda, also known as “Connecting Columbia.”
Much has already been done, with more to come. Here are the “top 10” initiatives implemented so far:
1. CA completed the pathway signage pilot project. Directional signage was placed on a 1.5-mile segment between Wilde Lake and Lake Kittamaqundi. CA plans to move forward with additional directional signage.
2. CA implemented its first 10-foot wide pathway. A segment of pathway alongside Lake Kittamaqundi by Kennedy Gardens meets CA’s new 10-foot wide standard for primary pathways. This meets national standards and provides an easy passing width.
3. CA completed planning and began engineering for a loop around Lake Kittamaqundi. That project is expected to be completed by late 2014, pending permitting and approval process. The loop will be 2 miles in length.
4. CA is working to address crosswalk and intersection improvements. CA has partnered and advocated with Howard County. The county has received a grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation. It’s still being evaluated which crosswalks and intersections will be improved and made safer with this funding. Work should begin in 2014.
5. CA has continued to participate as a member of Howard County’s Bicycle Master Plan Technical Advisory Committee and as a member of the State of Maryland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Advisory Group. CA is advocating for and encouraging the county to provide on-street bikeways and other needed connections and has worked with the state’s committee to include recommendations related to advancing innovative stormwater management techniques for multi-use pathways.
6. CA and Howard County were awarded a bike sharing grant. This grant allows CA and the county to partner on a feasibility study for a bike share program.
7. CA developed a pathway app for smartphones. Those using the app can use it to locate CA facilities and to find routes for pedestrians and cyclists.
8. CA granted an easement to Howard County for a cross-Columbia pathway. The easement is along the frontage of Symphony Woods for a portion of the pathway that will improve east-west Columbia non-motorized transportation and is to be constructed by the Howard Hughes Corporation from Howard County General Hospital to Blandair Park.
9. CA partnered with the county’s volunteer mounted pathway patrols. Howard County Police Department’s volunteer unit provides an extra set of eyes and ears for law enforcement efforts.
10. CA and Howard County staff shadowed Baltimore’s bicycle count program. Learning how Baltimore counts bicycle users will help CA and the county monitor pathway usage, which CA hopes to begin in spring 2014.