2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Transportation and Public Works

MACo is committed to securing funding and resources that help maintain county roads and ensure the safety of county residents. The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of transportation policy in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.

Rebuilding Roads Through Complete Streets

Push Icons-WONMACo supported legislation that creates a competitive grant program that makes Transportation Trust Fund dollars available to local governments for the planning and design of Complete Streets projects.House Bill 535 and Senate Bill 407 provide additional local transportation aid to local governments and continues a commitment to local roads specifically to transform the transportation network into one which prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists, and transit passengers as highly as it prioritizes cars. The bill passed through both houses and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Safety in Special Event Zones

Push Icons-NOT IDEALHouse Bill 1406 and Senate Bill 872 would have authorized counties to designate certain areas as “special event zones” on their roads, set lower speed limits within those zones, and enforce those lower speed limits in an effort to protect pedestrians in the vicinity of an event taking place. MACo supported this legislation as it is a tool in counties’ toolboxes to keep their residents and visitors safe during special events. Unfortunately, while House Bill 1406 did pass the House, it failed to receive a hearing in the Senate. Senate Bill 872, which was amended to be Worcester County-specific, did pass and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

The Light Was Still Yellow!

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo originally opposed legislation which required a traffic control signal at an intersection to display a yellow light for at least four seconds if the signal is monitored by a red light camera. However, the bill was amended in the House to require conformance with federal and state law and engineering standards, allowing MACo to drop its opposition. The bill passed both the House and the Senate, and awaits the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Water Affordability Programs

Push Icons-WONMACo supported legislation that would authorize counties to implement and bolster water affordability programs in their communities. This bill helps homeowners avoid going to tax sale over unpaid water bills by addressing the problem long before those bills become overdue. In addition, enabling water shut off to vacant and abandoned properties helps keep water bills at bay at properties where the service is not being used or may even cause harm by flooding or otherwise deteriorating a vacant structure. Senate Bill 709 and House Bill 923 passed through both chambers and they await the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo originally opposed House Bill 598, which would have created a statewide scheme for enforcing parking spaces set aside for plug-in electric drive vehicles. Counties had concerns that the bill would unwisely limit enforcement options. However, the sponsor offered amendments that addressed county concerns, and allowed MACo to drop its opposition to the bill. Nevertheless, the bill received an unfavorable report from the House Environment and Transportation Committee and did not advance. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

For more on transportation and public works-related legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.