State announces $2.3 million in grants to improve bike paths

The state has awarded more than $2 million in grants to improve bike paths across Maryland, including more than $80,000 to better connect West Baltimore with downtown.

The new funding for the state's Bikeways Program was announced Friday by the Maryland Department of Transportation, which administers the program aimed at encouraging biking to work, school and other activities.

"Establishing a modern transportation system is more than building roadways, runways and railways," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement. "It means investing in projects that support alternative forms of travel like bicycling."

O'Malley said the grants, which total $2.3 million, would reduce traffic and help the state reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The funding is intended to support 23 projects in six counties and eight municipalities from Hagerstown in Western Maryland to Assateague Island on the Eastern Shore.

Several projects are located in the Baltimore region:

•The $84,000 slated for Baltimore is to be used to "establish neighborhood bike boulevards" between West Baltimore neighborhoods and downtown, the state said. An additional $90,000 is intended to upgrade storm grates on Baltimore bike paths.

•Three projects in Baltimore County totaling $118,300 are to improve grates and signs along trails in Franklintown, Dundalk and the Security-Ingleside area.

•Three projects totaling $160,000 are intended to support trail design in Howard County, including a $40,000 project to design a "trail and on-road extension" of the Patapsco Branch trail to North Laurel.

•A $44,000 project in Anne Arundel County is to provide design work on a connection between the B&A; Trail to Broadneck.

•In Carroll County, $131,600 is to be used to construct the first phase of a trail between Eldersburg and Sykesville.

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