The Bicycling Advocates of Howard County (Bike HoCo) is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization founded in 2008 as a coalition of cycling clubs and bicycle riders in Howard County, Maryland. Bike HoCo advocates to improve the visibility and safety of bicycling, supports bicycling education programs for adults and children, and promotes a vision of bicycling and sharing the road as part of a healthy, energy efficient, and environmentally sound transportation system to help achieve a sustainable future for Howard County and for Maryland.
The Bicycling Advocates of Howard County was founded in 2008 by representatives of the Baltimore Bicycling Club, Howard County Cycling Club, Mid-Maryland Triathlon Club, The John Hopkins University APL Cycling Club, as well as representatives from the Columbia Association, and other community groups and individuals concerned with road safety issues in Howard County. Our goal as an organization is to work with the Howard County Government, and other government agencies when needed, to improve the safety of roads in Howard County that are the most heavily used by bicyclists – to include:
- Implementing the 2016 Howard County Bicycling Master Plan/Bike Howard
- Improved visibility and safety of the bicycling community in Howard County
- Bicycle commuting as an alternative to automobiles within Howard County for both work and school transportation
- A vision of bicycling as part of an energy efficient transportation system to help achieve a sustainable future for Howard County and the region.
Bike HoCo is currently working to implement the Bike Howard Master Plan through a partnership with Horizon Foundation to initially develop the Bikeway.
The Bikeway is a proposed 50-mile network of bicycle routes that would help people in Howard County bike more easily and safely to places they need to go. The Horizon Foundation, Bicycling Advocates of Howard County and other community organizations asked the county to fund $3 million for three consecutive years as the next step in ensuring county streets are designed to promote health, help the environment and contribute to a robust economy. The Bikeway includes 10 percent of projects in the county’s Bicycle Master Plan and would be located within one mile of more than half of county residences, schools and parks.
Baltimore Sun: Roll-out of Howard County's bikeway at risk, advocates say
What We've Achieved
Since its founding in 2008, Bike HoCo has worked to improve cycling in Howard County and across the state of Maryland. Here are a few of our main achievements:
- Championed the hiring of a Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, Howard County Government (September 2014)
- Advocated for improved bicycle infrastructure, resulting in approval of the Howard County Bicycle Master Plan (April 2016)
- Initiated the HoCo Bicycle Advisory Group (BAG) with the HoCo Government (Mar 2009)
- Facilitated development of the commuter route through Howard County to Fort Meade (April 2014 – November 2016)
- Established ongoing working relationships with HoCo Council, government officials, staff, and others
- Initiated the HoCo Safe Cycling Ambassador Program (May 2016)
- Established Partnership Agreement with the Howard County School System (October 2015)
- Hosts Annual Howard County Bicycle Advocacy Forum
- Hosts Annual Bike HoCo Howard County (Formerly All-Club) Bicycle Ride