Howard County is ramping up its efforts to build a large bike network that could rival those in other nearby jurisdictions.

The county recently said it will accelerate its plans to build a 48-mile network over three years, thanks to $8 million infrastructure new spending.

The Bike Howard Express plan would allow about half of the county’s residents to access the network, which links key locations in Columbia and other areas of the county. The network would include connections to MARC Train, Park N’ Ride lots, and massive Columbia Gateway development. The network is largely based off of the county’s Bicycle Master Plan approved by the county council in 2016.

The network would include 20 miles of dedicated bike lanes, 14 miles of shared-use paths, and 14 miles of shared roads. The project calls for about $8 million in infrastructure spending, some of which may come from grants.

In a letter to the Baltimore Sun, Chris Eatough, the county’s bike and pedestrian coordinator, said that there is a stretch of about 1.5 miles that may require grant funding.
“We are confident that grant funding will be available for these projects, but even if it is not, there will still be a strong bike network of over 45 miles in Howard County in the next three years,” he wrote.