Thursday, September 30, 2010
The following bills passed in the last legislative session will promote alternative transportation and improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Members of the Montgomery County delegation were prime sponsors of bills 1), 2) and 5) listed below.
All the bills went into effect October 1, except Chapter 525, which went into effect on July 1. The bills are:
- Bicycle Safety: Chapter Number 517 requires motorists to provide cyclists a three-foot buffer when passing on a roadway.
- Bicycles and Motor Scooters - Rules of the Road: Chapter Number 518 recognizes bicyclists and motor scooter riders as legitimate road users and helps bring Maryland law in conformity with the vast majority of other states.
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, Funding and Reporting: Chapter Number 145 declares that it is the policy of the State that, in developing the annual Consolidated Transportation Program, the Maryland Department of Transportation will work to ensure that there is a balance between funding for specified transportation projects for pedestrians and bicycle riders and specified highway construction projects.
- Smarter Transportation Choices for Maryland Bill: Senate Bill 760 and House Bill 1155 requires the Maryland Department of Transportation to evaluate all State-funded transportation projects against existing state transportation goals, which include safety and security, environmental stewardship, and fixing existing roads and bridges first.
- Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding: Chapter 525 establishes a Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding that will review, evaluate and make recommendations concerning funding sources and structure of the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund. The commission will also look at short- and long-term transit, highway, pedestrian and bicycle facility construction and maintenance funding needs; the impacts of economic development and smart growth on transportation funding and options for sustainable, long–term revenue sources for transportation.
- Sidewalk or Bicycle Pathway Construction: Chapter Number 700 requires the State Highway Administration to give funding priority to sidewalk or bicycle pathway construction projects that are located in a priority funding area. It also authorizes the State to fund the entire cost of specified sidewalks or bicycle pathways.