Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety: Maryland Department of Transportation to Develop State’s First Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

From Our Partners

By Kandese Holford, Regional and Intermodal Planning Division Assistant Chief and Statewide Bike/Ped Coordinator, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

Figure 1 – Screenshot depicting MDOT SHA’s draft Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.

In spring 2021, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) initiated the state’s first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) to address the needs of the most vulnerable roadway users, namely pedestrians and bicyclists.

The PSAP outlines how MDOT SHA will improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety by identifying challenges, setting goals and objectives, establishing priorities, and determining where to focus roadway safety improvements. Guided by principles established in Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and MDOT SHA’s Context Guide, it identifies areas of need, prioritizes corridors, and recommends safety countermeasures by employing a systematic approach to project planning and design.    

MDOT SHA hosted the first PSAP virtual public meeting in spring 2021. The goal was to reintroduce MDOT SHA’s Context Driven framework, explain MDOT SHA’s plan development process, discuss with federal and local partners best practices and how the PSAP would be applied in Maryland, and seek input on goals and biking and walking opportunities and challenges. MDOT SHA hosted a second virtual public meeting in fall, 2021. (Recordings of both meetings can be found on the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan webpage) 

During the fall meeting, MDOT SHA representatives shared the results of existing conditions and areas of need analyses and sought public input on an interactive map identifying over 100 priority corridors within designated Areas of Need that have the potential for bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements.  

The final plan is anticipated to be completed in spring 2022. Be sure to check back for updates in future editions of Planning Practice Monthly! 

For more information on MDOT SHA’s PSAP efforts, please visit www.roads.maryland.gov/psap or email shacontextguide@mdot.maryland.gov. 

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