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Date: Sep 2020

Pleased with Reversal of State Decision

Top officials from Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County joined together to issue the following statement regarding MTA's announcement today to reverse major cuts to the Maryland Transit Administration: 

“We’re pleased that the state has reversed their decision to balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable residents. While we understand the significant budget challenges caused by the pandemic, the proposed cuts would have only caused further harm to our residents who are already bearing the brunt of this crisis. Moving forward, we must continue to fight for more state funding to reverse generations of underinvestment in transportation across our entire region.” 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr.
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, Jr. 
Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young
Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball III


Phase One of 10-Year Capital Plan Includes Recommendations for Equitable Allocation of School Construction Dollars

Baltimore County and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) today released the recommendations from the first phase (PDF) of the Multi-Year Improvement Plan for All Schools (MYIPAS).

MYIPAS is a 10-year capital planning process that will identify and prioritize needed improvements to Baltimore County’s school infrastructure. The first phase focused on high schools. The second phase, focusing on all remaining schools, centers, and programs, is scheduled to be complete in May 2021. A final report is expected by fall 2021.

“Every student in Baltimore County, regardless of their zip code, deserves access to a safe, modern school facility that meets the needs of their community,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “With aging infrastructure and a growing population, we have significant needs at the high school level, and these initial recommendations will serve as a critical resource as we work to ensure equitable allocation of resources throughout the County.”

“We appreciate the efforts of Baltimore County Government in delivering these recommendations. It is incumbent on the Board to carefully evaluate recommendations and next steps given the tremendous facility needs throughout the county and the current economic crisis due to the global pandemic,” said Kathleen Causey, chair of the Board of Education of Baltimore County. “These are challenging times, but it is essential that we continue to move forward with facility improvements.”

“We view the development of this plan as an important step forward on the path toward ensuring that all of our school buildings offer the type of physical environment most conducive for teaching and learning,” said Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams.

Developing Recommendations

The initial recommendations were developed by consultants from CannonDesign, a national architecture and planning company that has led over 1,300 education facility projects across the country, including over 200 education master plans.

CannonDesign took a detailed look at the County’s high school buildings with a focus on educational adequacy and equity, facility conditions, and capacity utilization. In addition, stakeholders were offered an opportunity to provide input in July through an online survey, which received more than 22,000 responses.

Using their findings, CannonDesign developed recommendations for how Baltimore County should prioritize its resources for high school construction, with those facilities and communities with greater need receiving higher prioritization.

Meeting the Needs of Students

The County is projected to have approximately 1,700 more students than seats in its high schools over the next decade, and the consultants found that the County has approximately $1.2 billion worth of capital needs at the high school level. If recent state funding trends continue, it would take 27 years to address all of the County’s high school needs.

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (HB 1), which passed the General Assembly with overwhelming support but was vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan, would have allowed the County to meet the needs of its high school students in an estimated 15 years. County Executive Olszewski has urged the General Assembly to override Governor Hogan’s veto.

More information about MYIPAS is available here.


Work Group Enabled by State Legislation to Develop Recommendations to Improve Quality of Life

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the formation of  the Baltimore County Residential Truck Traffic Work Group to engage in a stakeholder-driven process to alleviate burdensome truck traffic in residential areas and improve quality of life for residents.

“For years, residents have raised concerns about heavy truck traffic on local roads, and they are looking for leadership to address this important quality of life concern,” Olszewski said. “By bringing together community members, county staff, and representatives from the commercial transportation industry, we can begin a thoughtful and collaborative process to make meaningful changes to our neighborhoods.”

During the 2020 legislative session, the Olszewski Administration successfully advocated for legislation from the Maryland General Assembly to enable Baltimore County to implement a vehicle height monitoring system program to address the high volume of commercial truck traffic on local roads in southeastern and southwestern Baltimore County. In accordance with the state legislation, the County must first convene a work group, with representatives from the commercial transportation industry, to study the program and make recommendations prior to implementing.

The work group will evaluate existing truck routes; identify areas for enforcement; and evaluate existing signage and identify locations where signage could be improved.

As the program must limit the number of vehicle height monitoring systems, the work group will suggest limits on the number of cameras. The work group will also make recommendations on whether any specific types of vehicles that should be excluded from the enforcement of height restrictions.

The Baltimore County Residential Truck Traffic Work Group will submit a preliminary report by March 31, 2021, and a final report by August 31, 2021. The final report’s recommendations will inform legislation to go before the County Council.

Members

The work group’s membership includes community members, industry representatives, and County employees. D’Andrea Walker, Deputy Director of Transportation for the Baltimore County Department of Public Works, will chair the work group. Members include:

  • D'Andrea Walker (Chair), Baltimore County Department of Public Works (DPW)
  • Jeff Fraley, Baltimore Industrial Group (BIG)
  • Louis Campion, Maryland Motor Truck Association (MMTA)
  • Major Jay Landsman, Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD)
  • Crystal Patterson, Baltimore County Office of Law
  • Pete Kriscumas, Baltimore County Office of Community Engagement (OCE)
  • Matt Carpenter, Baltimore County Office of Budget and Finance (OBF)
  • John Merson, District 1 Representative
  • Ron Metzger, District 7 Representative

Upcoming Meeting

The first meeting of the Baltimore County Residential Truck Traffic Work Group is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. A link to the Webex meeting is also provided on the work group’s webpage. Meeting minutes will be recorded from each meeting.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017