MORE Recognized by MD State Highway Administration
Terry Maxwell of the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) recently shared the following about MORE in an email to all SHA Stake Holders in Maryland’s Scenic Byways program. The message recognizes MORE’s successes in working with difficult land access issues to keep growing the region’s trail network.
While the recognition comes for efforts taken specifically in Maryland, MORE and its dedicated group of trail liaisons has made great strides in relationships across the region, including the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia.
This week, we would like to recognize the excellent work of MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), a premier mountain bicycling club in the Mid-Atlantic region; focused on bringing mountain bikers together through a shared vision of riding bikes on, building, and maintaining sustainable trails.
MORE has recently set a huge precedent in MD by brokering a commitment with Pepco to build trails along their power lines. This is HUGE since these corridors are opportunities to build regional trail networks! When MD/DC power utility Pepco merged with Exelon earlier this year, MORE and other trail users were able to obtain this commitment from Pepco to design and help seek funding for a 13 mile trail in Montgomery County as a pilot project that could lead to more trails throughout Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. The design process for the pilot trail is now well underway, with involvement from trail users, county and state agencies, Pepco and its design engineers. The pilot trail is really two trails, a 5 mile natural surface trail that would connect the Muddy Branch and Hoyles Mill trails, and a 13 mile paved trail from the Soccerplex to Montgomery Mall in Germantown. MORE members Dave Scull and Dave Magill are on various committees associated with the design, licensing and funding of the trails. The teams have set a goal of completing designs by March 31, 2017 so that fund raising can begin.
Also, MORE has also helped facilitate agreements with Baltimore City DPW regarding trail use within the Loch Raven Reservoir. More than 50 people attended a community meeting at the Timonium REI store on Oct. 13 to discuss mountain biking at Loch Raven. MORE Trail Liaisons Bob Compton and Jim Bole are leading an effort to build a stronger community around Loch Raven by providing more open communication about various issues. There were good discussions about riding, trails and how to approach the Trail Stewardship Agreement with Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW). Bob and Jim will be providing a more detailed follow-up with action items.
One of MORE’s most important pillars is to build a network of single track trails. When MORE was established, it was primarily as a social club so that riders could meet, bond and ride the trails of Northern Virginia, and Maryland. It became quite obvious, however, that the available network of trails available for mountain biking in our region was limited. So, MORE began to advocate for more places to ride and became an active partner and steward of our region’s natural resources.
MORE has numerous certified representatives regarding the use of IMBA’s Trail Solutions ( https://www.imba.com/trail-solutions ). IMBA isthe international leader in developing sustainable singletrack trails, with experience on more than 350 trail projects in the United States, etc…. Their staff excels at planning, design, construction, and management of trail systems that provide high-quality experiences for visitors while simultaneously minimizing environmental impacts.
Best Practice Friday is a Maryland Scenic Byways Program initiative, for the purpose of building partnerships towards achieving a sustainable system of scenic byways that contribute towards the State’s goals for preserving our natural and cultural heritage, enhancing economic opportunities related to that heritage, and providing the means to experience that heritage in a safe and enjoyable manner. To see the MSBP Strategic Plan, go to http://www.roads.maryland.gov/OED/MSBP.pdf.
Maryland Scenic Byways / Recreational Trails Program
Office of Planning & Preliminary Engineering | State Highway Administration
707 N Calvert Street |Baltimore, Maryland 21201