Skip Navigation
Skip to Main Content


About the Bikeways Program

What does the Bikeways program do?

  • Makes needed connections: This program will help complete those missing links identified in Maryland’s bicycle trail network.

  • Supports Maryland's bikesharing efforts: successful bike sharing depends on a safe, connected network of roads and trails to connect local destinations. The Maryland Bikeways Program will help build the infrastructure needed to ensure success of bike sharing in Maryland.

  • Leverages our past investments: Bikeways projects will connect to Maryland’s existing bicycle facilities, helping to maximize their use.

  • Complements existing state, local, and federal programs: The Maryland Bikeways Program is just one of many programs available to support bicycle facilities. The program is designed to address key funding gaps for bicycle-specific transportation projects.


How does the Bikeways Program help Maryland?

The Maryland Bikeways program presents a unique opportunity to support Maryland's economy, environment, and quality of life. The Bikeways Program will help to:

  • Stimulate the economy: studies have shown that bicycle infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates local economies.

  • Achieve cost-savings for households and government agencies: Transportation is the second largest household expense. Bicycling is an affordable alternative that can reduce household spending on transportation.

  • Promote the health and well-being of Maryland residents: Increasing physical activity can reduce health risks.

  • Protect the environment: Increasing bicycle travel will help meet Maryland’s goals for reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

What is a Bikeway? 

"Bikeway" is a general term for any trail, path, part of a roadway, surfaced or smooth shoulder or any
other travel way that in some manner is specifically designated for bicycle travel; it may be designated for the exclusive use of bicycles, or it may be shared with other transportation modes. The Maryland Bikeways Program will support the provision and upgrade of many types of bicycle facilities, including these types of facilities:

Transportation Trail (Shared-Use Path) - a bikeway that is and physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier.  It may be within a roadway right-of-way or within an independent alignment.  Transportation trails are generally open to pedestrians (including skaters, users of manual and motorized wheelchairs, and joggers) and other non-motorized users. Transportation trails, by virtue of their design, location, and allowed uses, extend or complement on-road bikeways.

Sidepath – a transportation trail (shared-use path) parallel to a roadway, but physically separated from it.

Shared-Use Path – a transportation trail (hiker-biker trail) following an independent alignment. Shared-use paths may follow utility corridors, historic rail corridors, natural features, or other available rights-of-way. In some cases, a hiker-biker trail may be established over natural terrain, through environmentally sensitive areas, and may be designed with a focus on the outdoor experience. These considerations require flexibility in the design of shared-use paths, while also preserving safe, comfortable conditions for cyclists and others traveling for transportation purposes.

Cycle-Track (protected bikeway) – an on-street exclusive bicycle facility that is physically separated from motorized vehicle traffic and pedestrians. A cycle-track combines the user experience of a separated path with the on-street infrastructure of a bicycle lane.

Bike Lane or Bicycle Lane – a portion of a roadway or shoulder which has been designated by striping, signing and pavement markings for the one-way preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists.

Shared Lane - a roadway lane that is open to both bicycle and motor vehicle travel, without assigned space for each. Specific pavement markings and/or signage may be used to provide positive guidance for drivers and bicyclists allowing them to share the same lane.

Designated Bike Route - a system of bikeways connecting two or more points that is deemed most desirable for bicycling. A bike route is designated with appropriate directional and informational route signs and pavement markings. A bike route may include any of the various types of bikeways, or a combination thereof.