Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the creation of a new Bicycle Advisory Commission, which will advise the city on bike-related issues and oversee the implementation of the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan.

Article4 Baltimore Bike1-001

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (center) at her weekly media availability on March 25, prior to announcing the creation of an 11-member Bicycle Advisory Commission by executive order. (photo by Roberto Alejandro)

“This 11-member commission will represent voices from across our city focused on expanding safe cycling,” the mayor said. “The commission will bring city agencies, not-for-profits city representatives together so that we will move forward with a unified vision.”

Since 2006, the city has installed over 125 miles of bicycle lanes, and the new commission is part of the mayor’s efforts to continue that progress, she said.

“It’s imperative that we continue to expand the network of sustainable transportation opportunities,” said Rawlings-Blake.

The chair of the new commission, attorney Jon Laria, said expanding the city’s bicycle infrastructure was key to attracting more millennials to the city.

“It is important to make Baltimore a city of choice for residents, and is really an economic development strategy, or at least part of an economic development strategy which the mayor and her team have been developing,” said Laria. “And it matters for residents, it matters for tourists, for visitors. The city needs to be perceived as a place where cycling and this kind of alternative transportation is nurtured, is supported and is encouraged.”

The mayor also announced that an agreement had been reached to open up Loch Raven Reservoir to mountain biking, something that had been “a contentious issue for decades,” according to Rudy Chow, director of the Department of Public Works.

“We now have an agreement in place that balances the protection of the environment, as well as the enthusiasm in terms of the biking at Loch Raven,” said Chow at the announcement.