Jon Laria, Managing Partner of the Baltimore office of Ballard Spahr, has been appointed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to serve as chairman of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Commission, which will work to promote bicycling as a safe and convenient form of transportation and recreation in Baltimore.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake signed an executive order on March 25 creating the 11-member commission. As chair, Mr. Laria will lead the commission’s efforts to coordinate implementation and review of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan; provide guidance on policies, designs, trends, and opportunities to support bicycling; advocate for funding; and work toward Baltimore’s adoption of national transportation standards on bicycling.

“I applaud Mayor Rawlings-Blake for recognizing the importance of bicycling as a viable and desirable mode of transportation in Baltimore, and for taking action to achieve her vision of a more bike-friendly city,” said Mr. Laria, a longtime recreational cyclist. “I look forward to working with the mayor, city officials, fellow bicyclists, and other stakeholders to create a better environment for cycling, an important component for maintaining and enhancing Baltimore’s status as a great place to live, work, and visit.”

In addition to his cycling experience, Mr. Laria brings to the position a strong background in the legal and practical aspects of transportation planning, land use, government relations, regulatory affairs, and infrastructure project finance.

Since 2013, Mr. Laria has led a coalition of business leaders convened by the Greater Baltimore Committee to advocate for better bicycling options in Baltimore. “Many businesses say that their current and potential employees want to ride to work but first need better bike facilities and infrastructure,” Mr. Laria said. “Bicycles also represent an inexpensive and practical means of transportation for lower-income residents who cannot afford a car.”

The commission’s formation occurs with the unveiling of the city’s ambitious 94-page Bicycle Master Plan, which calls for expansion of bike lanes, trails, protected tracks, and facilities such as bike parking and racks. Other objectives include promoting bicycle safety at schools, a bike-share project, and a bicycle-friendly business program.

Other members of the commission include Peter Rosenthal, Vice President at Constellation Energy; Davin Hong, Founder and Principal at Living Design Lab, LLC; Greg Hinchliffe, Executive Director of Bikemore; and Keshia Pollack, Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University. Public sector members include Dan Sparaco, Assistant Deputy Mayor of Operations, and Caitlin Doolin, the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner, along with representatives of the Planning and Police Departments and the Baltimore City Council.


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