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Howard bike plan lacks financing

Howard County bicyclists participate in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19, 2017.
Howard County bicyclists participate in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19, 2017. (Andrew Michaels/BSMG Staff)

Great news! Howard County is supporting their Bicycle Master Plan to make it easier and safer for kids biking to school, parents biking to work, families biking to the library, the grocery, or extra curricular events. Sort of (“Howard County rolls out plans for $8 million in bike network improvements,” Feb. 14).

In this fiscal year, the county put up well under $1 million to support it, which is less than one-third the suggested amount necessary to complete the critical mass of safely networked bike routes. In the future, the county is assuming they will win grants for the other 60 percent but that is a very optimistic assumption based upon historical grant data. For the county to truly succeed in achieving the vision of the Bicycle Master Plan, we need County Executive Allan H. Kittleman to fully support his BikeHoward Express without relying on unrealistic grant numbers.

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Generations of bicyclists are counting on him, from current commuters to millennials contemplating where to move (“Howard County: best in many ways, but biking,” Feb. 18) to my first and second graders and soon to be kindergartner, who all bike to Mr. Kittleman's alma mater, Atholton Elementary School, and would happily bike throughout Howard County given a safe network of bicycle infrastructure.

Please make BikeHoward Express a reality, not dependent upon others' grants.

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Kevin Cropper, Columbia

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