Multimodal Access and Public Spaces (MAPS) is a subcommittee of the Bowie Green Team. In addition, we are an advisory committee to the City of Bowie's Planning Department. Our functions are to provide advice on policy and projects as well as advocacy for project priority and funding.
Our Vision is to make Bowie a place to live where anyone can safely and conveniently walk or bike to unique and vibrant destinations. Think of a college campus, but grown up!
Currently we are focused on a number of various projects and initiatives which all fall under our Priority Focus Areas. Our approach is to review City of Bowie policies and projects related to these Priority Focus Areas, provide advice on these as well as advocacy for project priority and funding, and attend field review meetings as requested by the City of Bowie's Planning Department.
We are a volunteer advisory committee, so our success depends on the ability of our members to dedicate a few hours a month of time and effort. In addition to a monthly 90 minute meeting, we engage in the efforts mentioned in our Approach above.
We're always looking for interested people to help us advance our strategies. You can even bring a new one aboard! As a member of our group, all we're asking is that you listen to what the City is doing and if you feel strongly about it, write to your councilman or advocate.
At our last meeting of the year, we decided on our focus areas for the next year. The majority of our work will focus on advancing various active public infrastructure projects in the City. We select projects if we believe we can guide and influence the design and outcome of the project. These public infrastructure projects can range from trails to parks to roadway projects. Most are projects initiated by others, however, occasionally we'll start our own.
The Bowie Byway is the greater trail network in the City resulting from the Trails Master Plan update. We are actively engaged in the beginning phase of the implementation of this trail network by providing feedback on trail segment priorities, design, and placemaking opportunities.
We are also working on advocating for other trails described in the plan such as the WB&A Spur trail, Bowie Heritage Trail, and future trails like the Northview retrofit.
We've successfully lobbied the City Council for funds for the design and construction of each phase of the Bowie Heritage Trail in Old Town. The City's Planning Department is in the process of completing construction of Phase II, which includes a new urban park at 10th Street, and is planning to begin construction of Phase III in FY 21. Completion of the overall Bowie Heritage Trail will provide an important linkage connecting Old Town, Bowie State University, and the WB&A Trail.
The City of Bowie is making pedestrian safety improvements to Northview Drive. These are improvements that our group has advocated for. To improve pedestrian and traffic safety, the proposed scope of changes include modifying Northview Drive to reduce from four-lane to 2-lanes road in the area near Easton and Everette Drives, relocating mid-block pedestrian crosswalk to align with the trail, and lighting improvement at the pedestrian crossing. We will remain engaged during the implementation.
Our group participated in a field review of the MD 214 Pedestrian Overpass Study to assess options for building a pedestrian connection across MD 214 to connect the upcoming South Lake development to the South Bowie area near the library. We worked with the city's Planning Department and the contractor overseeing this effort. We provided feedback on each of the options being assessed and stated the option that we thought was best. We look forward to future participation in this study.
The City of Bowie's Trails Master Plan contains a proposed footpath along the Patuxent River. This will primarily be a project managed by M-NCPPC and our group plans to be involved in advocating for funding for this project in addition to attending meetings and providing feedback on the project.
Our group participated in a number of the County's Focus Group sessions regarding the Bowie-Mitchellville & Vicinity Master Plan. We are focused on ensuring that plans for the Bowie Focus Areas contain ample features and facilities for outdoor recreation, and social gathering; and that any new trails follow safety standards and connect into, and enhance, the cities existing network as called for in Bowie’s Master Trail Plan. We will remain engaged throughout the formation of this plan.
The WB&A Spur Trail is a paved, 1.3-mi. side trail that runs north, parallel to the Patuxent River, starting at Horsepen Branch park and terminating just east of Bowie State University. We are planning to work with MNCPP to push for funding for the last part of the spur trail which will cross Bowie State University and connect to the Bowie heritage trail. This effort may also involve working with MNCPP to have the trail constructed under the MD-197 bridge that is over the Amtrak & MARC rails.
The County DPW&T is redesigning Race Track Rd from Marquette Ln to Ovalstone Ln. We've discussed the design with DPW&T and made some changes, including the introduction of a new crosswalk and median protection at all crosswalks. This year we're pushing to lower the speed limit and are awaiting DPW&T's decision.
Tanglewood Park in North Bowie is seen by many local residents as a diamond in the rough - one of Bowie's least known treasures. Well, it has the potential for becoming such a treasure at least. For now, its riddled with its problems and the City has discouraged its public use. Our group has engaged the City about revitalizing this park and have a long way to go, however, are hopeful to see some progress in the future.
In addition to infrastructure projects, we advocate for enhancements to plans, policies, programs and procedures within the City of Bowie.
Our group lobbied the City Council to fund a long-needed update to the Trails Master Plan. We came out in force to the City Council budget sessions and made it happen! We then worked with the City Planning Department and their consultant, Lardner Klein, to update the plan.
We then advocated to the City Council for the successful adoption of the plan. Our group will continue to work with the City Planning Department to build annual programs that fund trail projects for many years to come.
Complete Streets is a concept that provides access for all modes of transportation throughout the transportation network. Our group wrote a draft Complete Streets Policy for the City in coordination with the Environmental Advisory Committee. City staff presented the policy to the City Council and we successfully advocated for the adoption of the policy.
We will continue to work with the City Planning Department on design concepts and implementation of the policy throughout the City.