MDP Highlights Pending Land Use Challenges for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

MDP logoA Maryland Planning Blog article (2018-10-03) discussed how Maryland is preparing for connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and the land use challenges this emergent technology may pose. The article noted that many vehicles already on the road have some level of autonomous control (such as traction control, lane changing, maintaining distance from other vehicles, and parking), full self-driving vehicles are likely to appear in the near future. The article noted the work that the Maryland Department of Transportation has done through its CAV Working Group and CAV Strategic Action Plan.

The article focused on the potential land use implications, noting that the full effects of CAVs are not yet known. From the article:

The land use impacts of CAVs are not yet known or understood. As the technology draws nearer, local comprehensive plans will need to address the changes CAVs may have on street design and parking, zoning codes, as well as on other modes of transportation, including transit, bicycles, and pedestrian facilities.  Several metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), states and local governments are considering these changes in their comprehensive or transportation plans.

The article noted that the Wilmington Area Planning Council for Cecil County, Maryland and New Castle County, Delaware has included CAV language in its Long-Range Transportation Plan and that the District of Columbia is also considering CAV language in its comprehensive plan. The article also referenced several American Planning Association reports:


  • The American Planning Association has completed several recent reports on the topic.  These include:
  • “Autonomous Vehicles: Planning for Impacts on Cities and Regions,” a general overview on how CAVs may affect cities and regions;
  • “Preparing Communities for Autonomous Vehicles,” a detailed review of CAV effects including design;
  • “Principles for Autonomous Vehicle Policy,” an overview of CAV policy principles; and
  • “Planning for Autonomous Mobility (PAS 592), Executive Summary,” a new report that provides basic knowledge and policy recommendations in planning for CAVs.

The article also stated that CAVs were frequently raised during the first round of the Maryland Department of Planning’s listening sessions for the new State Development Plan, A Better Maryland.

Useful Links

CAV News Webpage (through Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration)

Wilmington Area Planning Council Website

American Planning Association Website