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Transportation request focuses on economic growth and quality of life

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz presented his State transportation priorities to Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn this afternoon during the Secretary’s visit to Baltimore County as part of MDOT’s annual Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) tour.

The County Executive’s request letter is below:

Honorable Pete K. Rahn, Secretary
Maryland Department of Transportation
7201 Corporate Center Drive
P.O. Box 548
Hanover, Maryland 21076

Dear Secretary Rahn:

On behalf of the citizens of Baltimore County, I thank the staff of the Maryland Department of Transportation for your continued consideration of our transportation priorities. The Baltimore metropolitan region is now the fifth most congested in the country, and it is inhibiting the growth of our local economy.  Researchers indicate that traffic congestion will only get worse in the next twenty years.  We need a comprehensive regional transit system that will support our local economy and accommodate future growth in a safe and reliable manner.

It is estimated that each State dollar invested in the Baltimore region will reach more than 25% of the State’s population.  In last year’s annual priority letter, I advocated that a cost analysis be undertaken to include the average daily trips (ADT) to be accommodated for each State dollar of investment for transportation improvements.  Since then, the Maryland General Assembly adopted legislation that requires MDOT to rank large transportation projects according to environmental, capacity and economic development factors. This reasoned, non-binding analysis should help guide the Department in making wise investment choices of limited capital dollars.

For these reasons, I am requesting the following transportation priorities be considered as part of the FY 2017 - FY 2022 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), to ensure that Baltimore County and the entire Baltimore region have the transit solutions necessary to promote economic growth and enhance the quality of life for our communities.

Commuter Mass Transit Alternatives - Baltimore Region

The State has begun a much-needed review to upgrade the region’s bus system, and we look forward to learning more details about how this effort might improve on-time performance, reliability and passenger comfort. As suggested last year, the MTA should acquire mobile applications that allow all system riders (bus and rail) a real-time view of the arrival times, as well as on-board wi-fi access.

While potential improvements to the bus system will benefit existing riders, we also believe that a comprehensive mass transit strategy must attract new riders – those choice riders who must be persuaded to give up their use of automobiles - if we truly want to relieve gridlock in our region.

The idea of attracting choice riders to mass transit is not a new concept.  The State accepted responsibility for providing our region with rail mass transit 45 years ago, and Baltimore County has benefitted from construction of terminus stations for both the Metro and Light Rail systems. This shared vision also offered hope that reliable and efficient transit to connect east-west commuters through the region would become a reality, which the Red Line offered as the consensus solution by local, state and federal partners.

Notwithstanding the Governor’s decision to abandon the Red Line, it is imperative that an east/west plan be developed that will address the transit needs of these choice riders. Such discussion should include consideration of a rail or rapid bus transit link starting from Woodlawn, which is home to more than 10,000 employees of the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the FBI.  Woodlawn provides easy access to I-695 and I-70, along with an existing park and ride lot, with right-of-way access already leading into the City.  This line should extend to an expanded Lexington Market transit hub, where it could join the existing Metro and Light Rail systems as transfer points.  This concept represents a major opportunity to increase transit accessibility to a high volume of commuters in search of alternative transportation options.  It could also mitigate the downtown tunnel cost that appeared to impact the State’s decision on the Red Line.

Economic Development Related Traffic Improvements

Owings Mills

  • Funding of the long-planned interchange on Northwest Expressway (I-795) at Dolfield Boulevard remains a top County priority, as it will alleviate traffic congestion due to increased economic development in the area associated with the Metro Center transit-oriented development (TOD) and Foundry Row (Wegmans) retail and office center.  Baltimore County previously has demonstrated its support by providing $1.5M in planning and acquisition money to the State for the interchange, as well as completion of the $6M Dolfield Boulevard improvements.  This priority has the support of the Owings Mills Corporate Roundtable, comprised of the region’s major employers, including CareFirst and T. Rowe Price, as well as the developers of major job producing projects situated on Red Run Boulevard.
  • Recently approved State road improvements at Reisterstown Road (MD 140) and Painters Mill Road has the support of County government and we urge continuation of funding to completion.

Sparrows Point

Baltimore County is excited that its vision for the future of Sparrows Point is being embraced by Trade Point Atlantic.  The plan incorporates the highest and best use of this unique asset:  3,100 acres of industrial zoned land, with access to deep water port channel, two interstate highways and two rail lines.  We once again urge the State to invest in certain infrastructure improvements to facilitate implementation of the plan.  State infrastructure investment to support the Port of Baltimore and Trade Point Atlantic will result in a generation of new jobs for the region.

  • The construction of a full interchange at I-695 and Exit 44 (Broening Highway) would maximize the potential redevelopment activities at Trade Point Atlantic, would allow for truck avoidance of the toll plaza, and would reduce truck traffic that impacts residential communities on Dundalk and Holabird Avenues.
  • Several bridges are in danger of closure due to lack of maintenance, and without rehabilitation present an impediment to the success of the Trade Point Atlantic project:
  • MD 151 over Wharf Road and Industrial Railroad (Bridge No. 0309900)
  • MD 157 over Ramps to I-695 (Bridge No. 0330900)
  • Wharf Road Ramp over Wharf Road
  • Wharf Road over Baltimore Industrial Railroad (Bridge No. 0335100)

White Marsh/Middle River

  • Designation of the AV Williams property and the former federal depot site adjacent to the Middle River MARC Train Station as a transit-oriented development project would stimulate the economy creating retail, residential and transportation opportunities for that area.
  • Funding for street improvements on Philadelphia Road (MD 7) including, widening and raising of the road from Mohrs Lane to Campbell Boulevard is needed. This roadway improvement will increase traffic capacity and roadway safety for the future Campbell Boulevard extension. This future connection would not only provide another important link between MD 43 corridor and White Marsh Town Center, but it would also enhance Pulaski Highway as a location for new employment-related development. Currently, there is no east to west access from Pulaski Highway between Middle River Road and MD 43.

Community Development – Streets, Streetscape and Sidewalk Improvements


There are a number of minor transportation projects that can inject new opportunities for older business communities.

  • Kenwood Avenue Sidewalk from Lillian Holt Road to Hazelwood Avenue

The County portion of Kenwood Avenue has been completed for many years.The State’s portion of Kenwood Avenue near Overlea High School has not been completed. Completion of Kenwood Avenue sidewalk would enhance pedestrian safety for Overlea High School.

  • Frederick Road MD 144 (Frederick Road from Prospect Avenue to Briarwood Road) 

Local residents and property owners have been discussing ways to improve the Paradise Business Community. There have been significant improvements made to the greater Catonsville commercial corridor on Frederick Road outside of the Beltway, but more needs to be done for the vulnerable part of the corridor inside the Beltway.  Specifically, improvements would include sidewalks, landscaping, tree trimming, street lighting, and furniture that would help give Paradise a more cohesive appearance.  The most important improvement would be the removal of the elevated tree planters that impede pedestrian traffic and block signage. The main building behind the planters has been purchased and a new streetscape could leverage/encourage reinvestment into this building and others along this section of the corridor.

  • Eastern Avenue MD 150 (Mace Avenue to MD 702)

The Eastern Avenue Streetscape project in downtown Essex is one of the oldest in the County and in need of significant upgrades. The wooden benches have rotted, trees have died leaving empty wells, sidewalks are in need of repair, etc. The public realm looks downtrodden and it is very difficult to encourage private reinvestment for improvements in buildings. A priority would be the downtown blocks and gateways into the older downtown "main street." Public investment could also jumpstart renewed business activism and involvement.

Thank you for this opportunity to present Baltimore County’s transportation priorities in the FY 2017- FY 2022 CTP.

Note: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz also presented letters with transportation related requests from Councilwoman Cathy Bevins and Councilman Wade Kach.

Residents encouraged to come to Super Saturday clinics

Baltimore County, Maryland—Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services and “Sure Shot,” the Department of Health mascot, announced the County’s Super Saturday, free flu vaccination clinics.

On Saturday, October 22 from 9 a.m. to noon, the Department will hold public flu vaccination clinics at the follow locations in each of the seven councilmanic districts:

Drumcastle Government Center
6401 York Road, First Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21212

Dundalk Middle School
7400 Dunmanway
Baltimore, Maryland 21222

Hereford Middle School
712 Corbett Road
Monkton, Maryland 21111

Lansdowne Middle School
2400 Lansdowne Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21227

Randallstown Community Center
3505 Resource Drive
Randallstown, Maryland 21133

Middle River Middle School
800 Middle River Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21220

Pikesville Middle School
7701 Seven Mile Lane
Pikesville, Maryland 21208

Free flu vaccinations will be available, while supplies last. Vaccines are given on a first come, first serve basis and no appointment is needed. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination will be administered.

“Nobody wants to catch the flu and flu vaccines are a great defense against this common, but potentially dangerous illness,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “By having clinics located across the County, we are making it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get their free, annual flu shot on Saturday.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine - even if they were vaccinated last year - since immunity from vaccination declines over time and strains my change from year to year. The vaccine is safe, effective and readily available this season.

“I am urging all individuals six months and older to stay in the game and get a flu shot this year,” stated Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “As I remind residents every fall, the best defensive move against the flu is knowing the flu FACTS – Frequently wash your hands, Always get an annual flu shot, Cover your coughs, Take time off when you are sick, and Seek medical treatment if symptoms get worse.”

For more information on Super Saturday flu vaccination clinics, call 410-887-BCHD (2243) or visit

Hundreds cheer honorees at awards luncheon

At today’s 26th annual Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Awards Ceremony, an enthusiastic crowd recognized the achievements of ten individuals, employers, advocates and organizations for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

About 200 people attended the ceremony and luncheon hosted by the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities. The Commission provides support and advocacy for County residents with disabilities and works to ensure that County programs, buildings and services are open equally to all persons, regardless of their disabilities.  In addition, the Commission provides resources and referrals on obtaining services not only from the County but through programs offered by the state and federal government. 

“Life is full of challenges, but no matter what those challenges may be, one thing remains true – it’s best not to face them alone,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “That’s why we’re so pleased to recognize the remarkable efforts of people living with disabilities in our communities and the people who help them in their journey.”

This year’s honorees include:

  • Kelli Szczybor and Michelle Strekfus of Angel Park, winners of the Accessibility Award;
  • Julia Stockburger of Perry Hall Middle School, winner of the Student of the Year Award;
  • Pamela Saterlee-Williams of Baltimore County Public Schools, winner of the Teacher of the Year Award;
  • Alban CAT Company in Rosedale, winner of the Employer of the Year Award;
  • Maggie Hutson of the Timonium Edible Arrangements, winner of the Employee of the Year Award;
  • Marty Sweeney, Head of School for the Odyssey School, winner of the Educational Advocate of the Year Award;
  • Ed Pfaff, winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, is an instructional assistant at Parkville High School and football coach at Towson High School who volunteers with the Challenger Softball Program;
  • Gary Madigan, Penn-Mar Organization, winner of the Employee Advocate Award;
  • Kathy Vecchioni of By their Side, winner of the Family Support Award;
  • Paralympics gold medal winner Larry Hughes; the first recipient of the new Community Service – Courage Award.

A few interesting stories…

Kelli Szczybor and Michelle Strekfus are accepting the Accessibility Award on behalf of the four thousand volunteers their group inspired to help raise $1.5 million to build an all-inclusive playground and amphitheater in Perry Hall that is specifically designed to be the largest and most accessible playground in the Baltimore region for children with special needs.

Student of the Year honoree, Julia Stockburger of Perry Hall Middle School, is an outstanding Braille reader who has won national competitions, is an avid piano and trumpet player and computer techie, and she loves attending Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Employee of the Year Award recipient, Maggie Hutson, is known by her co-workers at Edible Arrangements in Timonium as an ace at cutting and skewering fruit, not to mention her chocolate strawberry dipping finesse. They credit her enthusiasm and positive attitude as a daily morale boost.

Larry Hughes, a paralyzed Vietnam veteran and 1996 Paralympics gold medal winner in the discus throw, is the first recipient of the new Community Service – Courage Award. He has translated his love of athletics into a devotion for physical fitness training, coaching, and motivational speaking and is the founder of Maryland Wheelchair Athletic Promotions.

Marianne Bishoff and her colleagues at Alban CAT’s Pulaski Repair Shop in Rosedale take employee mentoring to a whole new level, empowering their Arc Baltimore supported employees, treating them like family, and striving to help them grow, learn and succeed.


Revised September 26, 2016