The Baltimore City Department of Transportation Completes Evaluation of the Big Jump Initiative
Wednesday Jul 28th, 2021
Today, Mayor Brandon Scott and Department of Transportation Director Steve Sharkey today announced that the evaluation of the Big Jump program is now complete. The Big Jump Shared Use Path is an initiative by the Department of Transportation and community partners to create a safe and comfortable pedestrian/bicycle connection between the Reservoir Hill and Remington neighborhoods.
“The Big Jump provides a unique community connection for residents that achieves a better balance of our public space and significantly improves the quality of life, safety and livability in surrounding neighborhoods,” said Mayor Scott. “We are committed to creating a more accessible and convenient transportation system that meets the needs of our diverse population and provides important community connections.”
The Big Jump Shared Use Path along Druid Park Lake Drive repurposes one eastbound travel lane for walking and biking across the Jones Falls waterway, the MDOT MTA’s Light RailLink tracks, and the Jones Falls Expressway. Installed in 2018 as a pilot demonstration project, the Big Jump provides a direct, ADA-accessible connection and car-free alternative for residents to travel between city communities.
The Department of Transportation conducted an evaluation of the project, which included a public survey and data analyses. Overall, 87% of survey respondents value the shared use path and believe it should be permanent. The study indicated that the Big Jump achieves the goal of increasing pedestrian and bicycle mobility by reducing stress via separation from motor vehicles, providing the most direct route between neighborhoods, and improving accessibility for users of wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Analyses also showed no significant impact on motor vehicle travel times on neighboring streets, in communities, or along parallel routes in the area.
“The Department of Transportation initiated the Big Jump project to create a safe and much-needed pedestrian/bicycle connection between communities that have been geographically separated by the Jones Falls for many years,” said Director Sharkey. “With diverse concepts such as the Big Jump, we are working to provide residents with urban transportation networks that transform the quality of life in city neighborhoods.”
Recommendations from this pilot project study include making this shared-use path a permanent installation. The study identifies concrete actions to increase safety and improve transportation connectivity and accessibility. This innovative connection of communities including Remington, Reservoir Hill, Station North, and Hampden will serve as a model to the rest of the city for smart investments in biking and pedestrian infrastructure. To read the study please visit our website at https://transportation.baltimorecity.gov/big-jump-evaluation-report.