Salisbury Rising: City is building a bicycling network

Matt Drew celebrates the placement of a bike lane on Camden Avenue.

Several times every week, Matt Drew rides his bike from his home near Salisbury University, north to the company where he works, AWB Engineers on Northwood Drive.

It’s not only enjoyable, but beneficial. Bikers, Drew strongly believes, help the environment as they exercise for better health.  Even real estate values increase when homes are near bike routes, since they enhance quality of life, said Drew, who is pleased the Salisbury City Council budgeted $761,500 for FY18 to build a biking network around Salisbury.

Salisbury has areas void of biking facilities, but the goal is to extend marked bike paths from SU, through Downtown and into the northern part of the city.

“One of nice things is, by having a plan in place the community can become more deliberate about how to build bike lanes and not have just short segments that don’t have connectivity or a destination. We want that so we can be intentional about the way we build these bike paths,” Drew said.

“Originally, the budget was zero for this project,” said Drew, who is chairman of the Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

“We’ve gone from an ad hoc process to a much more planned process this year. We’ve certainly had some money to work with but it’s been pretty limited. Most of it has been grant funds that we requested from the state of Maryland. This is the first time it’s been a line item in the city’s budget,” he said.

In December, advisory committee members worked with a consultant, completed a six-month planning process, had public meetings to brainstorm ideas, hosted three workshops, solicited feedback and developed a Bike Master Plan for Salisbury with about a five-year projection. Posted on the city of Salisbury’s webpage, the plan calls for from 18 miles of off-street and on-street bike paths to more than 80 miles. A web of biking trails will make Salisbury more vital, as it integrates with the Urban…

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