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Hagerstown awarded $87,000 in grants for bike lanes, trees

March 28, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown has won a pair of grants worth nearly $90,000 that will be used to add bicycle lanes and trees to help meet the city’s Community Greening Grant Program goal.

The city was selected as one of the winners of Maryland’s first bikeways grants, worth $60,000, as well as an additional $27,000 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for the costs associated with planting new trees, according to a city news release.

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a grant agreement with the bay trust.

The program strives to improve the quality of life in urban areas by increasing the forest canopy and bettering air quality.

The bikeways grant was developed as part of the Cycle Maryland Initiative under Gov. Martin O’Malley, which includes programs that support the development of bicycle path connections to work, school and shopping.

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“These grants are a great way to help local jurisdictions make key connections to build a more comprehensive bike network that will benefit our citizens,” O’Malley said in the release. “By getting out and taking a bike ride, we can learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, help reduce the impact on the land, improve our fitness and well-being, and enhance our quality of life.”

Mike Mittel, owner of Hub City Cycles and chairman of the city Bicycling Advisory Committee, said the grant will help expand the bike lanes already in place around Hagerstown.

“It’s really going to make Hagerstown a little more friendly for cycling, which is the overall key,” Mittel said. “Every time we can get some money our way, that’s a real help.”

The bicycling committee offered the following preliminary suggestions for use of the funds:

  • Addition of a bike lane along Frederick Street to allow residents to ride to the Potterfield Pool.
  • Addition of a bike lane along Pennsylvania Avenue to ride out of the downtown area to schools.
  • Update the trail from Bester School to Frederick Street, tying into what will be done by the new school project.
  • Completing the City Center hub around Park Circle.
  • Addition of a bike lane along Summit Avenue from Park Circle to connect the Jonathan Street bike lane.
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