‘Refresh’ Of Frederick County Rural Roads Program Underway

County Executive has formed a rural & scenic roads advisory board.

Frederick, Md. (KM) Efforts to give Frederick County’s Rural Roads Program a “refresh” are on again. County Executive Jan Gardner said she held a roundtable discussion in February, 2020 on this issue.

“When I held that rural roads roundtable again on February, 2020, the people that were there and the stakeholders that were there thought that what we should do next is launch a new scenic and rural roads advisory committee that would look we would address safety issues, and maintenance issues, and also preservation of these treasures,” she said.,

But those plans were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and demands it placed on Frederick County Government, the County Executive says..

Gardner has formed a rural and scenic roads advisory which is tasked with reviewing the current rural roads program, looking at what should be revised or kept. The panel will also establish criteria to includes roads in the rural roads program. She says the panel will create a list of roads for the program, and whether  there should be a standing advisory commission. It will also look at how to educate and promote tourism in Frederick County through these roads.

The committee has been asked to have a written report of its recommendations within 12-months.

Gardner says Frederick County’s rural roads are a draw for both tourists and residents. “Our rural roads offer outstanding views of rolling farmland and natural features, and they provide access to many of our rural historic structures and resources,” she says.

Since the Rural Roads Program began in 2002, Frederick County has over 80-miles of roadways which have been made part of the plan. More than half of these roads, 46-miles, are gravel roads, and 30-miles are tar-and-chip covered. And there are six miles of asphalt roads in the program.

“So we do have a few surrounding counties that have rural road programs. Some mark these roads with special types of signage,” says Gardner. “But the focus is not really on the road surface. It’s really on connecting what’s out there in rural areas and to make them a little bit more marketable and a way to educate and promote our rural areas and the tourism that can be there.”

By Kevin McManus