Counties Strive for the Expansion of Beneficial Incentive Program

On February 13th, Michael Sanderson testified alongside a representative from the Maryland Municipal League in support of SB 116 Transportation – Complete Streets – Access to Healthy Food.

This bill would sensibly expand and strengthen the existing Complete Streets Grant Program, encouraging local governments to consider broad-based approaches when implementing new roadways.

From the MACo Testimony:

“Complete Streets” is a multi-faceted approach to roadway design and development, where non-vehicle traffic, conduits, and stormwater infrastructure are all meaningfully integrated. Maryland created a Complete Streets Program through 2018 legislation to offer grants to local jurisdictions seeking to develop and implement such policies for their own locally-managed roadways. This centralized system was an effective means to develop in-house expertise and guidance for local jurisdictions, and to offer the incentives to help overcome potential administrative hurdles to seeing these productive policies adopted locally.

SB 116 would ensure that the program receives resources to back up that promise, through a modest $1 million annual appropriation from transportation funds. It further clarifies that the elements of such a Complete Streets program could include access to healthy foods, as yet another community challenge where well-designed roadways may serve as a remedy.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.