​Plan Identifies Areas of Need, Charts Course for Pedestrian and Bike Improvements 

(May 11, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration today released the state’s first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan​, a new tool in the agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility, and improve multi-modal access for communities across the state.

“Maryland’s transportation network must be safe, convenient and accessible for every user in every community,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Working together, our state can be a national leader in integrating bike and pedestrian safety and access into everything we do. This new Pedestrian Safety Action Plan gives us an important tool in that mission.” 

Maryland’s goal is to ultimately have zero motor vehicle-related fatalities or serious injuries. The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan will help advance that Vision Zero mission through physical improvements to state roadways that make travel safer for all users and by addressing policies and strategies related to pedestrian and bicycle safety. As part of its commitment, the State Highway Administration has allocated $75 million to address the needs of these vulnerable road users.

The new plan provides an overview of existing conditions throughout the state, identifies areas of need and recommends strategies to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in those areas, using data to identify and prioritize solutions.

“The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan positions us to take a data-driven approach to identify specific needs and prioritize corridors where safety and access needs are most prevalent,” said State Highway Administrator Tim Smith. “The plan will allow us to continue to collaborate and build partnerships with our local partners and stakeholders to implement near- and long-term improvements.” 

The State Highway Administration began developing the plan in 2020 with a public outreach effort that included two virtual meetings, an online interactive map and coordination with stakeholders. The team used this valuable feedback in determining areas of greatest need. The team then prioritized and scored corridors within those areas, using factors such as equity, destinations and connections, crash data and density. Corridors prioritized in the top 15% based on the data were deemed “priority corridors” where resources could provide the greatest benefit.​

Identifying the community ‘Context’ for safety projects

The State Highway Administration is already beginning design activities for projects in the priority corridors across Maryland using another vital asset in its toolkit – the innovative Context Driven Guide – to help chart courses of action.

Developed by the State Highway Administration in 2019, the Context Driven Guide considers the “context” of each area in terms of land-use, population density, transit connections and other factors to determine what types of improvements can have greatest impact on safety and mobility – from speed limits and bike lanes to special crosswalks and road “diets” that reduce the number of vehicle lanes. The guide is an invaluable resource to make communities safer, more accessible and more livable for everyone – transit users, motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and those with mobility challenges.

Even as the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan was being developed, the State Highway Administration was using the Context Driven Guide to advance safety improvements across Maryland. In fact, more than 300 Context Driven initiatives already have been implemented throughout the state. Now, the agency is using the guide to help plan projects in the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan’s priority corridors while also pursuing policy and strategy improvements to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety. 

The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is intended to be a living document that will be updated periodically to ensure areas of need are being addressed with innovation and community input. For more information on the priority corridors, click on the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan tab on the Context Driven webpage​.​

Context Driven Gide excerpt
A page from the State Highway Administration Context Driven Gide describes some of the strategies that could enhance safety and mobility in urban areas

For a list of all major State Highway Administration projects, go to Project Portal, or visit the homepage at For a look at real-time traffic conditions, go to md511.mary​