MEMO FROM GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
Baltimore Department of Transportation Joins Forces with Bike Maryland to Spread Awareness of Bicycling Safety
Baltimore, MD (August 7, 2012) – Supporting safe bicycle access throughout the state, Governor Martin O’Malley today announces $44,500 as funding support for the City of Baltimore’s Bicycle Safety Education Program. The Department of Transportation will partner with Bike Maryland’s “Bike Minded Program” to communicate safety awareness throughout the city.
“Whether for tourism, recreation, exercise or commuting, our message is that Maryland roadways welcome bicyclists,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Our State is evolving to include bicycling as a more environmentally beneficial and healthy way of commuting, and to continue those efforts we need bicyclists and drivers to know and follow the basic rules of the road for everyone’s safety.”
The project includes updating, publishing and distributing “Bike Baltimore” maps, which will be available in English and Spanish, hosting workshops on bicycle safety, and organizing outreach by law enforcement. These efforts will not only communicate safety rules to cyclists, but will also alert motorists to the need to drive with caution and share the road. The City of Baltimore will contribute the remaining funding for the $96,800 project.
“Year after year, Baltimore is becoming a more bike friendly city,” said Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “We are grateful for Governor O’Malley’s continued support of our efforts to increase bicycle use and safety, which supports our goal of making Baltimore a more attractive city for families.”
Over the past two years, Baltimore has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of bike commuters. The opening of five new bike shops in the past four years also signals the growth in bicycling popularity. With Charm City Bikeshare scheduled to launch in September 2012 and the Jones Falls Trail opening in 2013, Baltimore can expect even more cyclists on local roads.
The Bicycle Safety Education Program enhancements are funded through the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP), which funds non-traditional, community-based transportation-related projects. This year Maryland awarded six TEP projects totaling more than $4.1 million. The Governor determines which projects qualify for funding based on need and potential benefit to the public. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration oversees the federal program, which has awarded more than $206 million for 270 projects in Maryland since the TEP program began in 1991.
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