Trail NeTWORK PROGRESS! 4 Segments should begin construction in 2022

We are pleased to report that invitation for construction bids are now posted for both the Patuxent River hiker/biker bridge that will connect the AA and PG county WB&A Trails and also Broadneck Trail Phase 3 that will connect to the B&A Trail at Jones Station Rd (see green below). Construction funding is lined up for South Shore Trail Phase 2 with connection to the Odenton Rd sidepath and on to the WB&A Trailhead and Broadneck Trail 1b and 5 which provide connection to Sandy Point State Park. (see blue). All 4 projects should start construction in 2022. These projects never come as fast as we would like but these are important milestones. In nearly all other gap areas of the envisioned network there are feasibility studies or design work underway.

New Video Highlights Anne Arundel Trails!

Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County recently released a new video about the variety of places to bike for every age, ability and interest! The story includes a video that features the Anne Arundel County Trail Network. Click to learn more! https://www.visitannapolis.org/blog/stories/post/bicycle-advocates-for-annapolis-anne-arundel-county/?fbclid=IwAR0F2T2YWsu3BsePx92s1Wc4Yv3VdN3JCtZAvKYcMsZq6xYMV11eKvl96fc

Announcing the Anne Arundel Trail Network!

Where can you live in Anne Arundel County without daily use of a car?   Can your kids safely walk to school?  Can you bike to work?  Walk or bike to the grocery store, train station, park or doctor’s office?

Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (“BikeAAA”) has developed a vision and a new website (www.annearundeltrailnetwork.org) for a network of paved trails that will equitably connect residential, employment, education, recreation, cultural and natural areas within the county and to the greater Washington and Baltimore trail networks. The trail network will transform public life by providing healthy, low-stress access to open space and safe active transportation and recreation for people of all ages and abilities.    Anne Arundel County has several existing trails including the B&A Trail, WB&A Trail and BWI Trail that are popular with residents and visitors as well as new trails underway like the Broadneck Trail and South Shore Trail.   The City of Annapolis has several smaller trails like the Poplar Trail, Spa Creek Trail and the USNA Stadium loop.        The vision for the Anne Arundel Trail Network (“AATN”) knits these together and identifies critical gaps that join individual trails into a network.   The AATN provides transportation, recreation and fitness opportunities for people of all ages and abilities on foot or on wheels.     It also provides regional connections to the Capital Trails Network in the greater DC area and the Baltimore Greenway and is part of national networks including the East Coast Greenway, Sept 11 Memorial Trail, American Discovery Trail and Grand History Trail.

The AATN consists of a continuous trail “hub” around the denser northern half of the county,   ”spokes” radiating north, east, south and west and dozens of smaller “community connectors” that access neighborhoods, schools, parks, libraries, shopping, employment, transit, cultural and other destinations.   The trail network connects our town centers including Annapolis, Parole, Odenton and Glen Burnie as well as key destinations such as our colleges (USNA, St. Johns and all 3 AACC campuses); major employment centers including Annapolis, Ft. Meade and the BWI area; shopping such as Arundel Mills, Annapolis Mall & Town Center and Marley Station; and transit including MARC, Light Rail, Amtrak and BWI.

Anne Arundel County’s Move Anne Arundel! strategic transportation plan approved in 2019 calls for a reduction in automobile dependence and more safe walking, biking and transit options as the most effective way to reduce traffic, protect our environment, improve health and make living here more affordable and equitable.    The AATN vision support this strategy by providing safe walking and biking connections.     The AATN was developed in collaboration with the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission and provides a guide for identifying, prioritizing and funding new trails.    A majority of trail construction is funded by federal and state grants and the AATN shows how each new trail segment fits into a larger network.  In gap areas, it has been the basis for securing study grants for new trail routes that close the gaps.   In the past three years, Anne Arundel County has secured over $10 million in federal and state grants for trail studies, design and construction.  BikeAAA’s role is to advocate and provide a holistic view and information clearinghouse for the AATN.  The actual responsibility for trail project design, implementation and maintenance remains with county, city and state agencies. BikeAAA worked with AACPS high school STEM student interns Ryan Lomax and Michael Shutt to develop a website and maps that provide more details and a variety of links to related information sources.    Please visit www.annearundeltrailnetwork.org  to learn more about the AATN and to find places where you can walk, run, roll, bike, skate or scooter

Acknowledgements and Origin of the Anne Arundel Trail Network

Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (“BikeAAA”) launched as an all-volunteer 501c3 in 2013. We advocated for a County Bicycle Advisory Commission which launched in 2016 and then for a county Bicycle/Pedestrian Transportation Planner. The Bike Commission began to develop a concept for a fully connected network of bike routes, both on-road and paved trails. BikeAAA picked up on this concept and put more focus on a trail network which would knit together the existing and planned trails in the county while identifying the critical gaps.

We learned a great deal from the Capital Trails Coalition Network in the greater DC area and the Baltimore Greenway to our north as well as other trail advocates such as the East Coast Greenway and Rails to Trails. We realized that a website was the best way to bring it all together and promote it to the public. BikeAAA had prior success working with Anne Arundel County Public School’s STEM program on other bike-oriented projects so we reached out to AACPS and developed a STEM Internship project to build this website. It was our good fortunate to work with 11th graders Ryan Lomax and Mike Shutt who developed this website from scratch. BikeAAA’s Alex Pline and Jon Korin worked with Ryan and Mike over the summer and into fall of 2020 to complete the website you now see. We are also grateful to Daniel Paschall of East Coast Greenway who built the static map for us and also to the citizen and county, city and state government members of the county Bike Commission. We will continue to rely on our many partners and volunteers to advance our vision and bring it to reality.

Anne Arundel County Awarded $2.2M Grants for Trail Construction and Enhancement

On Nov. 25, 2020 MDOT SHA awarded Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks a $2.2M grant for construction of South Shore Trail Phase 2 (Bonheur Ave to Sappington Station Rd) and $20K to build out the enhanced “Caraker Plaza on the B&A Trail” behind The Big Bean in Severna Park. The South Shore Trail will eventually connect Annapolis and Odenton and is a critical link in our envisioned Anne Arundel Trail Network. The gathering area on the B&A Trail will be named in memory of Tom Caraker, known as the “Mayor of the B&A Trail”. The Caraker grant leverages $5K raised by BikeAAA and Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails. All this is the result of close collaboration among county and city departments, BikeAAA, the county Bike Commission, state and regional agencies and organizations. We are grateful for these many partners and progress on our network of bikeways. You can help each time you see a call for public input. For more details about the statewide grants: https://www.roads.maryland.gov/…/pressreleasedetails…

South Shore Trail Phase 2
Tom Caraker

Trail Networks Provide Economic and Social Benefits

Ernst & Young LLP and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, on behalf of the Greater Washington Partnership released a report on the Economic and Social Benefits of Completing the Baltimore Greenway Trails Network. The study examines the potential economic and social benefits of a $28 million plan to expand and connect existing trails in Baltimore City to complete the Greenway Trails Network. 

 Benefits highlighted in the report include:

  • Gross Economic Output Generated from Trail Construction: up to $48 million total
  • Residential Property Value Increase: up to $314 million total
  • New Biking or Walking Trips: up to 6.9 million per year
  • New Public Transportation Trips: up to 700,000 per year
  • Decline in Vehicle Miles Traveled: up to 8.6 million per year
  • Avoided Health Costs of Residents: up to $2.4 million per year
  • Local Business Activity Near Trail: up to $113 million annual

Your Input Needed on this Vital Odenton to BWI Trail Link!

Anne Arundel County is aiming to close the gap in multimodal transportation options linking Odenton with the BWI trail to improve access to vital economic generators in the County, including Ft. Meade, Arundel Mills, BWI Airport, and surrounding employment centers. Several projects and studies have been performed in the area for multimodal improvements, including along MD 175, MD 713, and Clark Road.
This project, partially funded through a Maryland Kim Lamphier Bikeways Grant, is focused on areas not yet studied for a potential shared-use path between the end of the WB&A Trail in Odenton and the BWI Trail. This connecting shared-use path would be paved, off-road, and buffered from motorized traffic. The goal of the study is to select a preferred route and a preliminary design for the shared-use path. The path will be inviting and accessible for bicycle and pedestrian travel between the BWI Trail, Odenton Town Center trails, the WB&A Trail, and nearby destinations. The study will evaluate safety, connectivity, convenience, cost, and several other factors.   Please let the county know how much we need this link and what your preferences are before October 31! Click HERE to learn more and provide your input!

Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Awarded Grants to Address Network Gaps

Bike Grants for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County! Very pleased to report 2 important grant awards from the Maryland Kim Lamphier Bikeways Program! Thanks to advocacy work led by Bike Maryland, BikeAAA and others the program nearly doubled in value to $3.8M and was named for our friend and fearless advocate Kim Lamphier who we lost to cancer last year. Anne Arundel County got a $600K grant for design to extend the BWI Trail spur from Maple Ave to Nursery Rd. From there we plan to connect to Baltimore’s Gwynn’s Fall Trail, the subject of another grant-funded study awarded to Harbor Hospital in collaboration with the Greater Baybrook Alliance. The City of Annapolis received a $224k grant for design of several connectors to close gaps among Annapolis trails and bike lanes to create a network.
These and a variety of other studies, design and construction projects advance our envisioned Anne Arundel Trail Network!

Click for the MDOT Media Release about the 2021 Kim Lamphier Bikeways Grants.

New B&A to Broadneck Trail Connector Is Vital Link in Network Vision

Maryland DOT supported design for this new link between the existing B&A Trail and in-process Broadneck Trail. See the MDOT video and story and about how this link is important locally, regionally and nationally! https://news.mdot.maryland.gov/mdot-helps-turn-trail-network-vision-into-a-reality/

For an awesome video of the Connector itself, please click https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=62&v=nTIKzjDfpIo&feature=emb_logo