Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baltimore County bike and pedestrian committee, first meeting

I have written a bunch of times about my sojourn in Baltimore County, where I led the process of creating the Western Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan. See "Best practice bicycle planning for suburban settings using the "action planning" method, "Western Baltimore County Draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan" and "State and county agenda setting for biking (walking/transit)."

A result of a significant change in the county's elected leaders as a result of the Nov. 2010 election, the political leadership went from bike-indifferent to a pro-bike majority.

Creating an oversight committee was also recommended in the 2003 Eastern County Ped & Bike Access Plan, so I'd be hard pressed to say the committee was my idea, although the structure the committee took through the legislation is based on recommendations from the Western plan, along with the other provisions such as implementing a complete streets policy and changes to development review procedures.

In theory--we have to see how it's implemented--the Baltimore County pedestrian and bicycle policy ordinance is one of the strongest in the U.S.

The first County committee meeting was earlier this week. See "County's new bicycle, pedestrian advisory committee hits the ground running" from the Baltimore Sun. And in the summer, District 5 Councilman David Marks held the first meeting of his District-wide committee. See "County Council member forms pedestrian, bike committee for 5th District: Panel will discuss access issues in Towson, Loch Raven, Perry Hall and Parkville" from the Towson Times.

Provision for subcommittees for each Council District was included in the draft plan, although this recommendation didn't make it to the posted draft (but I lobbied the legislators to put bit back in and they did).

It's still interesting for me to watch the developing process of taking up the recommendations from the plan I wrote, and seeing them get implemented, relatively quickly, all things considered.

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