As some of you may have heard the good news, the Planning Commission voted 5-1-1 in favor of recommending the Frederick County Bikeways & Trails Plan to the Frederick County Council. Because of your active engagement in the review process, we will see the plan updated with substantive changes based on input from the public, organizations, and members of the commission.
There were a few comments worth noting during the review meeting on Exhibit #1 - Compilation of Comments on the Draft Plan.
- Item #7: Staff is considering retaining CSX (Bush Creek) trail connection as Mount Airy would like to put a trail on this connection. Frederick County staff will collaborate with Mount Airy officials to determine if there is justification to retain this route before finalizing the bikeways & trails plan.
- Item #17: The Commission gave a strong endorsement for a full-time bike/ped coordinator position. Members disagreed with the staff recommendation that this is a position that should be split among the department. One member felt strongly that to make significant progress on the plan, you need to ‘bite the bullet’ and get a dedicated resource to work on executing the plan. The commission said to let the executive branch decide the final location of the position.
- Item # 27: Monocacy National Battlefield director requested a meeting with county staff to align Park trail plans with the county plans, and to explore the establishment of multi-use trails in the Park. The staff will work with Park Service to generate an integrated bike plan before finalizing bike plan.
- Item # 33: Requested that language is clarified to state that private property owners would ‘voluntarily’ provide an easement for trail access. This should be reworded so that it is not misinterpreted that the county has the right to take away land from private property owners involuntarily.
We want to thank everyone for testifying or submitting your public comments and suggestions. Your voice made a difference! It significantly upgraded the plan. Without your direct and strong input, we would have been at risk of adopting a weakened plan without much accountability. Unofficially, I have received word that Jan Gardner has reviewed the amended plan and has given the OK to proceed with it.
It will take about 2-3 weeks to incorporate the changes into a revised plan. The amended plan should be available for review by the public and Frederick County Council around January to February 2018. It is our expectation that the Frederick County Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the plan in mid-February. As we receive status updates, we will pass along the information to you and plan for the next public hearing.
Thanks for your continued support!
Frederick Bicycle Coalition – Community Outreach Coordinator
League Cycling Instructor #5043