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Marks wants new department to focus on bikes, pedestrians

David Marks

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks said today that he will introduce legislation next month that would create a county Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The new agency would replace the current Department of Public Works. Under the change, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure would have a expanded mission of promoting bicycling, pedestrian features, and transit where appropriate.

“I believe we need a 21st century focus that looks across transportation modes,” Marks said in a statement. “I also think Baltimore County can do a better job of responding to community concerns about safety on higher-order routes. There are these types of corridors all around the county—routes where there are clearly problems, but an unwillingness to creatively work to slow down traffic and improve pedestrian safety.”

State Sen. Jim Brochin, who is running for Baltimore County Executive, said he thinks the legislation is “very promising.”

“We need to be thinking more broadly about biking and other infrastructure improvements and that’s what I’ve been calling for in my campaign,” he said. “We need to do things to alter the quality of life in Baltimore County and we can’t just let developers pour concrete over the entire county. I think this is a good step in the right direction.”

John Olszewski Jr., who is also running for county executive, has called for the creation of a county Department of Transportation, though a spokesman said he would keep the Department of Public Works in place.

“Johnny’s proposal would create a [Department of Transportation] in addition to [the Department of Public Works] to focus on multimodal transit,” Tucker Cavanagh said. The campaign of Councilwoman Vicki Almond, who is also running for county executive, did not reply to a request for comment.

Nate Evans, past executive director of Bike Maryland and a member of the Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, said he supports Marks’ legislation.

“This proposal will help steer Baltimore County toward a more multimodal transportation system,” he said.

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2 Comments on "Marks wants new department to focus on bikes, pedestrians"

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Patrick.

Yeah…these bike lanes sure are helping when its 26 degrees

Ann Greenbaum

This is great news! Many thanks to Marks and Olszewski for promoting transportation alternatives to enhance quality of life for Baltimore County residents!