The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' (MWCOG) Transportation Planning Board (TPB) recently announced its funding recommendations for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding for suburban Maryland. Only two are bicycle projects and only one of those is in the close in suburbs. These projects will not necessarily be funded. These are recommendations made to Marylands' State Highway Administration. They'll convene another committee that will review all applications from the state and make their own recommendations. Those recommendation will go to another committee made up of the executive leadership of SHA, the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Maryland Transit Administration Historic Preservation Office. And they will choose what does and does not get funded. Ahh...government.
Anyway, the only nearby bicycle project to get funding is Phase III of the Central Avenue Connector. Prince George's County requested $109,400 to pay for preliminary engineering (30% Design) for 0.32 miles of trail, pedestrian/bicycle bridge structures, and two trail crossings on the project that runs from the eastern corner of DC to Largo Town Center.
This phase of the trail starts at Capital Beltway/I-495, connecting to underground and above ground Metro lines, traveling from Morgan Boulevard Metro Station to Largo Town Center Metro Station.
The other recommended project is the East Street Rails with Trails in Frederick. The City of Frederick requested over a $1M but TPB recommended only $479,000. That money will be used to fund
Construction of a 3.7 mile off street shared use path and waysations along an old rail bed from the MARC Station to Mill Island.
The project is really cool-looking and I like the way they want to use the logo of the Pennsylvania Rail Road and the Frederick Secondary name to brand it. [Also, check out this cool bridge design from Tel Aviv that the project summary cites]
The other three projects recommended for funding are Safe Routes to Schools projects in College Park, Edmonston and Takoma Park. These projects include construction of new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, crosswalks, ramps, bump outs, raised intersections, water quality devices at drainage inlets, and pedestrian detection signals. They also pay for enforcement activities, outreach, educational programming, and maintenance. Some of these projects will certainly have some carry over benefit for cyclists, especially young cyclists on the sidewalk.
Three other projects were not recommended for funding. They could still be chosen at the end, but I guess their chances go down. The three projects are:
- A new Rock Creek Hiker/Biker Trail bridge over Silver Creek and trail improvements nearby. Silver Creek is just outside the Beltway near the intersection of Beach Drive at Kensington Parkway. The trail would also be enhanced to meet ADA compliance.
- Construction of pathways and sidewalk connections through Pinecrest Local Park, adjacent to Pinecrest Elementary School
- Pedestrian improvements on the north side of the block of Rhode Island Avenue southwest of the Mt. Rainier traffic circle.