HEAL Grant Helps Increase Safe Space for Bicyclists in Frederick

HEAL_Bike Lane Markings_Bentz Street

Through funding provided from IPHI’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign, the City of Frederick, Maryland now has nearly six miles of bike lane striping and share use, or “sharrow,” markings, making it safe for residents to bicycle as a method of active transportation and as a commuting option.

The Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), through its HEAL Campaign, offered $40,000 to local governments in Maryland and Virginia to implement policies that promote access to nutritious foods and physical activity through a competitive application process in the Spring of 2015. Over 25 communities applied for grants and kick-off awards ranging from $500 to $9,000. Ten local governments, including the City of Frederick, were awarded funds in August 2015 and have until February 2016 to complete the implementation process. For the purposes of this Small Grant Program, implementing a HEAL policy means to put it into effect. Often a lack of financial resources can be an obstacle for local governments to move from adopting a policy to policy implementation.

With its award, the City installed shared use bike striping and signs along Rosemont and Dill Avenues in October 2015. This corridor represents a critical connection between two existing shared bicycle lanes along Bentz Street and Fairview Avenue and passes by the local Hood College. In addition to city residents, students and faculty have benefitted from this project. A bi-annual bicycle and pedestrian data audit is scheduled for April 2016 to formally measure the expected increase in bicyclists using this corridor; a similar built environment improvement implemented in 2011 increased ridership by 40 bicyclists. Please stay tuned in the coming months for more success stories from HEAL Small Grant awardees across the region.

For more information on the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, visit the Campaign website at: healcitiesmidatlantic.org or contact Evelyn Kelly, Sr. Program Manager, ekelly@institutephi.org.