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Md. Gets Millions In Grants To Make Cyclists Safer

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Spending millions to make biking in Maryland more safe. More than $3 million in grant money is awarded for various projects around the state.

Andrea Fujii tells us how Baltimore will use its portion.

Cyclist Keith Lorenz loves to ride in the city but says it can be dangerous.

“Right now in most streets, we have to ride in the middle of the street in order to be noticed because there aren’t that many bike lanes,” Lorenz said.

But Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Cycle Maryland initiative hopes to change that. The state is doling out $3.1 million to improve bike safety across Maryland, and Baltimore is getting $1.5 million.

Part of the grant money will go to help find ways to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists along the water. That comforts John Lynch, who worries about his three-year-old grandson.

“I think the largest problem is just with all of the people along the harbor and bike paths, there’s not really a separate area for bikers and walkers,” Lynch said.

The money will also go toward bike lanes on several city streets and improving the bike share program.

“It protects the environment, it saves us money, it is good for our health, and it helps us reconnect with our communities,” said Erin Henson, Maryland Department of Transportation.

Lorenz says there’s safety in number and more people would bike if it weren’t so risky.

“Right now, I think we surprise people and we get honked at because they want us to get on the sidewalk, whereas it’s illegal to be on the sidewalk,” Lorenz said.

Before any construction starts, the city will be taking resident feedback in September.

St. Mary’s and Prince George’s counties will also be getting money to improve their biking opportunities.

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