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Keyword: transportation

As Baltimore County Looks to Expand Transit Access, Survey Will Gather Resident Input and Ideas

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today released a transportation survey that will allow County residents to share information about the transportation challenges they face, and solicit input and ideas about how those challenges can be addressed.

The survey is a step in a larger effort to increase transit options for County residents and identify other opportunities to help people get around more easily and efficiently.

"How easily people can get around has a major impact on quality of life, but for too long Baltimore County has been focused on roads alone," Olszewski said. "We're changing the narrative by investing in things like transit and bike lanes and looking for innovations that can better serve County residents."

The Baltimore region is one of the 20 most congested areas in the United States, with the average commute time topping 30 minutes. For residents who travel by MTA bus, commute times are often much longer. However, while some other large jurisdictions in Maryland operate extensive Locally Operated Transit Systems, Baltimore County's CountyRide is limited in service and scope. CountyRide operates on-demand rather than with fixed routes, and it serves only the county's older adults and residents with disabilities.

Investing in the Transportation Infrastructure

In his Fiscal Year 2020 Budget, Olszewski included funds to begin planning a Towson Circulator pilot, with plans to expand to other commercial corridors.

In addition, in his Consolidated Transportation Program request to the Maryland Department of Transportation, Olszewski asked for state support in line with what other counties receive in order to invest in the infrastructure to begin expanding the County's transit system.

The request also included items to address traffic concerns in areas around the County and accommodate past and future planned growth, including a long-needed interchange at Interstate 795 and Dolfield Boulevard—a request the County has made since 2007.

Beyond transit and roads, Olszewski included in his budget the first ever line item for bike and pedestrian features.

In addition, Olszewski has taken steps to add capacity within government to more effectively plan transportation projects and identify opportunities for innovation. He has hired a lead transportation planner within the Department of Public Works and taken steps to build a transportation bureau within the department.

Residents can take the survey online. For more information about transportation in the County, listen to the latest episode of The County podcast.


Says We Must Work Together on Complex Issues for the Good of the Region

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler released the following statement in response to efforts to limit bus and light rail service between Baltimore City and Baltimore County:

"I will inform the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) that I do not support any effort to limit bus and light rail service from Baltimore City to the County. While I understand the frustration that was caused by a recent disruption at White Marsh Mall, stigmatizing and creating hardship for City residents is not an acceptable response. It is 2018. Not 1950. We are neighbors with Baltimore City and stand with them. We cannot and should not put a moat around our City partners. We must continue to work together on complex issues for the good of the Baltimore region."
 


County Executive Calls for $400 Million in Statewide School Construction Funding

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will once again make school construction and transportation funding the linchpins of his legislative agenda for the upcoming General Assembly session.

Education

“There are significant needs for school construction and maintenance in every school district across the state,” said Kamenetz. “Governor Hogan’s current level of funding is simply inadequate. We must increase the statewide funding to at least $400 million, and we must do it now. Counties are unable to keep up with maintenance needs due to the lack of matching state funds. Our students and teachers deserve no less.”

Baltimore County’s request for school construction funding is $122 million.

Transportation

In October, the County Executive presented his transportation priorities to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), which included a $60 million request for projects in every region of the County. First and foremost in the request is the County Executive’s support for the Red Line. “While Governor Hogan continues to deplete the Transportation Trust Fund, people all over the state remain stuck in traffic.”

Paid Sick Leave

County Executive Kamenetz will work closely with members of the Baltimore County delegation and leadership in Annapolis on issues throughout the 90-day session. “I will start by doing whatever I can do to assist legislators in overriding Governor Hogan’s veto of the paid sick leave bill,” Kamenetz stated. “Governor Hogan’s refusal to give working families paid sick leave is outrageous, and I am confident the General Assembly will fight for working families despite the Governor.”

Renewable Energy

The County Executive will join clean energy advocates in their effort to ensure that Maryland reaches a 50 percent renewable energy portfolio by 2030. The current standard calls for a 25 percent use of renewables by 2020. “People all across the state want Maryland to be a leader in increasing its renewable energy commitment. You don’t do this by standing still, and I look forward to working with advocates and legislative leaders to move this initiative forward.”

Build on Last Year’s Success

During the 2017 session, Kamenetz worked closely with legislators to strengthen Maryland’s sexual assault laws, extend the fracking ban, support affordable prescription drug legislation and fight for the Trust Act. “People all across the state care about education, public safety, health care, and quality of life issues like environmental protection and renewable energy,” concluded Kamenetz. “If Governor Hogan won’t lead on these issues, the legislature will, and I will do whatever I can to support those efforts.”


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017