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The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) works to improve safety for all users and encourages economic prosperity and community vitality by cooperating with local governments to enhance multimodal transportation options. Designating an area as a Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Area (BPPA) facilitates the planning of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in areas with a high potential for bicycling and walking. This collaborative approach helps State and local transportation agencies overcome a wide range of impediments to bicycle and pedestrian travel, regardless of facility ownership.
The Annotated Code of Maryland allows for the creation of BPPAs, and states “Bicycle and pedestrian priority area means a geographical area where the enhancement of bicycle and pedestrian traffic is a priority.”
The BPPA designation identifies a geographical area where bicyclists and pedestrians are priority. It also allows for State and local government to develop a BPPA Plan (BPPAP) for improvements that make the area safe and accommodating.
Once MDOT designates an area as a BPPA, drafting a BPPAP may commence. In partnership with local governments, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) leads BPPAP development. MDOT SHA plans bicycle and pedestrian treatments that align State, local, and stakeholder goals to expand existing or planned bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. If no MDOT SHA roads are within a BPPA, the local agency leads and funds BPPAP development.
Local jurisdictions can apply annually to MDOT SHA for one or more areas to be designated BPPAs. MDOT SHA coordinates the application review and evaluates available resources to determine whether to designate the requested BPPA(s).
The BPPA application process and screening criteria are below.
BPPAP development requires a partnership between applicants and local implementing agencies, such as municipal and county level public works or transportation departments. If a non-implementing agency applies, a letter of support from municipal or county level public works and/or transportation departments is required.
Stakeholder involvement is important when developing a BPPAP. The BPPA applicant must seek stakeholder involvement. Responsibilities include soliciting participation from affected stakeholders and selecting participants for the BPPAP working group.
For each designated BPPA, MDOT SHA convenes a BPPAP working group, including the appropriate MDOT SHA district office, applicant, local implementing agency (if different from the applicant), local planning agency (if different from the applicant) and stakeholder participants to draft a BPPAP to improve safety and access for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
MDOT designates up to two BPPA(s) annually in areas with high potential for bicycling and walking. Selection criteria include:
Download and complete the BPPA application online
here. The BPPA application period opens the first full week of March and closes the first week of May. State BPPA designation decisions will be made the first full week of August.
Supplemental information can be found below under Additional Resources.
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