BALTIMORE COUNTY—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski called on the state of Maryland to provide severely needed funding to Baltimore County’s historically underinvested transportation infrastructure during the Maryland Department of Transportation’s annual Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) Meeting in Baltimore County.
“A robust transportation system is critical to Baltimore County’s future. My administration has taken unprecedented efforts to develop a new vision for the future of transportation and we need the state to be a strong partner by making long-overdue investments to support our growing population,” said Olszewski.
“My administration will continue to innovate— and advocate—for our residents so that we can create safer, more vibrant, and more inclusive communities across Baltimore County.” Every year, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) holds meetings in every jurisdiction across the state to discuss updates to the CTP, Maryland’s six-year capital budget for transportation projects. In his April 2020, request to the Maryland Department of Transportation, Olszewski requested 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;
- A full interchange at 1-695 and Broening Highway to maximize redevelopment activities at Trade Point Atlantic;
- Support for the growth of Baltimore County Locally Operated Transit system, including the Towson Circulator;
- State support for Capital funds for bicycle and pedestrian project initiatives for Northeast Trail (Perry Hall) and Osler Drive (Towson) as well as a Safe Routes to School grant in the Sparrows Point area.
- A needed traffic congestion study along the Liberty Road Corridor; and
- A commitment from the state to complete their portion of Kenwood Avenue to enhance pedestrian safety for Overlea High School.
According to the 2020 MDOT financial plan, Baltimore County received $0 in capital funding, and only $416,000 in operational funding for its Locally Operated Transit System—a reduction from 2019 funds despite the County’s requests for additional funding.
During Baltimore County’s 2020 virtual meeting today, Olszewski reiterated the need 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. Additionally, Olszewski highlighted his administration’s efforts to reshape transportation infrastructure. Since taking office in 2018, Baltimore County has:
- Created the County’s first dedicated transportation bureau;
- Worked toward expanding Locally Operated Transit by investing in capital and operational funds for the Towson Circulator Pilot program;
- Dedicated $1.8 million for bike lanes and pedestrian access;
- Invested record funding in road resurfacing and traffic calming funding; and
- Began modernizing Baltimore County’s Bike and Pedestrian Plan —which had not been updated since 2006.
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.