MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of House Bill 535, “Transportation – Complete Streets Program – Establishment”, on February 22, 2018. This bill creates a competitive grant program making Transportation Trust Fund dollars available to local governments for the planning and design of Complete Streets projects.
Complete Streets strives to establish roads and through-ways that accommodate many forms of transportation and continue working to innovate and rebuild many of our State’s roads. Because local governments maintain 83% of the State’s roadways, allowing counties to drive the changes and upgrades is critically important. This grant funding would aid an issue area that experienced significant losses in revenue through the loss of highway user funding.
From MACo Testimony:
Local governments own and maintain 83 percent of the roads in the State of Maryland, making them the best catalyst for incorporating Complete Streets principles into Maryland’s transportation network. However, with the decimation of highway user revenues resulting in over $3 billion diverted from local roads funding, counties struggle to accomplish meaningful preventive maintenance on their roads, much less dedicate resources to redesigning streets with all users in mind.
Given this reality, it will take a significant dedication of funding to local roads to transform our state’s transportation network into one which prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists, and transit passengers as highly as it prioritizes cars. MACo supports this bill because it provides a step in the right direction toward that end.”
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.