MDE Unveils Draft Climate Change Plan

A Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) news release (2019-10-15) unveiled the State's long-awaited draft Greenhouse Reduction Act (GRRA) Plan. The draft plan outlines what the State and local governments will need to do to reduce in-state greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from their 2006 levels by 2030 and prepare for further reductions in the future. The draft plan anticipates achieving a 44% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and will result in a…

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Baltimore City Generates Jobs and Expands Services Through ‘Youth Snow Program’

Baltimore City is once again running a program to provide youths with jobs during the winter. The Youth Snow Program, now in its fifth year of operation, will employ youths to shovel snow for seniors and residents with disabilities when school is not in session or canceled. The kids are paid for their work. From The Baltimore Sun: “As we prepare for the upcoming winter season, this initiative allows us to expand city services for…

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MDTA Releases Report on Toll Modernization Proposal

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) today released a report detailing public feedback on a package of proposals to modernize toll facilities. Governor Larry Hogan in July directed the MDTA to explore new tolling options in order to reduce costs and cut tolls. MDTA's toll modernization proposal includes a new toll payment method (Pay-by-Plate), reduced toll rates for new and expanded vehicle classifications, and discounts for early payment of video tolls (Pay-by-Invoice). According to the report:…

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Hogan “Furious” about Bay Bridge Repair Project Backups

Governor Hogan has demanded the Maryland Department of Transportation to take every single effort to complete the Bay Bridge work project as soon as possible. The project has led to serious traffic backups causing trouble for both commuters and locals. From Maryland Matter's coverage: Under the governor’s order: — contractors will work 24 hours a day on the project; — engineers will search for time-saving changes, such as faster-drying concrete; — Bay Bridge toll booths…

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Submit Your Questions Now for the #MACoCon Smart Growth Subcabinet Meeting

The Smart Growth Subcabinet will be meeting at the 2019 December MACo Winter Conference and answering your questions on land use, environment, transportation, and other important county issues. Let MACo know if you have a topic you want directly addressed at the meeting (see instructions near the end of this post.) A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet Description The Smart Growth Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. Its members (mostly…

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Queen Anne’s Weighs in on Bay Bridge Traffic Woes

The Queen Anne's County Commissioners this week weighed in on the severe traffic backups caused by a $27 million deck rehabilitation construction project on Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The right lane of the westbound span is closed from October to April, with additional closures Monday through Friday in May. In order to reduce traffic congestion during the project, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has authorized two-way operations on the westbound span so traffic can move in both…

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Comptroller to MDOT: “Shut Down” Bay Bridge Construction Project
In 2018, MES scanned more than 700 bridges providing detailed analysis and reporting for the MDOT State Highway Administration. (Photo: coastalpics)
Comptroller to MDOT: “Shut Down” Bay Bridge Construction Project

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is calling on the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to "shut down" a construction project on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The $27 million deck rehabilitation project on the westbound span has led to severe traffic backups in recent weeks. https://twitter.com/peterfranchot/status/1181239905218777088 MDOT Secretary Pete Rahn last week apologized for the delays, reassuring the Board of Public Works that the state is working to mitigate traffic congestion during the long-term construction project. According…

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Coalition Calls for Release of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan

A Chesapeake Climate Change Action Network (CCAN) news release (2019-10-02) announced that a coalition of 26 Maryland-based advocacy groups have sent a letter to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) urging MDE to release its pending Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA) Plan. The Plan will outline what the State and local governments must do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below their 2006 levels by 2030. The Plan is a statutory requirement…

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Prince George’s Launches Road Sign Clean Up As Part of “Beautification Initiative”

A Washington Post article (2019-09-23) reported that Prince George's County will seek to remove 5,000 illegal road signs over two days. The removal is part of County Executive Angela Alsobrooks's "beautification initiative," which targets illegal dumping and bulk trash removal. Litter has been a long-standing problem in the County. The article that the initiative is being carried out by the County's Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement along with the Department of Public Works and Transportation, the Department…

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Be a Good Influence, Wear Your Seat Belt

The 2019 Roadside Observation Seat Belt Survey found that passengers use seat belts 93% of the time when the driver of the vehicle has also fastened their seat belt. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) conducted a survey observing over 32,000 vehicles in 13 jurisdictions. When the driver of a vehicle does not buckle up, passenger use of seat belts falls to 40%. MDOT also released their "Seat Belts Look Good…

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