“Complete Streets” Grant Funding Urged By Local Governments

On February 7, MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified in support of HB 82, a bill to strengthen the state's "Complete Streets" program and ensure funding for a local grant component of that effort. From MACo's testimony: 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…

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Counties: Leave Bay Bridge Out of Today’s Toll Debate

As the House Environment and Transportation heard debate on HB 102, MACo urged the Committee to avoid upending a tenuous law regarding bay crossings. While MACo did not take a position either in favor of or in opposition to the bill (which seeks to grant a county "approval" for new toll facilities), MACo did submit a letter suggesting that any new law should be placed alongside, rather than in place of, the current privilege afforded…

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Prince George’s Begins Pothole Blitz on County Roadways

The Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) is taking advantage of mild temperatures and sunny skies in order to focus on filling potholes caused by frigid temperatures, snow, and salt. DPW&T crews are resuming pothole repairs, on County-maintained primary and major collector roadways, after last week’s snow. According to a press release: “As safety is our top priority we want to do what we can, when we can, to improve Prince…

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President Trump Calls for Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, Details Unclear

President Trump in his State of the Union address Tuesday called on Republicans and Democrats to work together on an infrastructure package, but offered no details on what his administration is willing to support. According to Route Fifty: Infrastructure played a much larger role during Trump’s first State of the Union last year. But the administration’s eventual $1.5 trillion proposal, which relied on state and local governments putting up much of the dollars, along with…

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Taking the Longer Look at Transportation Funding

In this year’s summary of Aid to Local Governments, the Department of Legislative Services prepared its typical ten-year trend on Highway User Revenues. Here’s why it’s essential to peek back just one more year – to put this important fiscal issue in some real context. Spoiler alert: the story really, really changes. What are Highway User Revenues, Anyway? Highway User Revenues (HUR) are the share of gas tax and vehicle titling tax dedicated for local…

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MACo Talks Initiatives, Solar Siting, & Recycling With E&T Committee

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp briefed the House Environment and Transportation Committee on MACo and its legislative initiatives, county demographics and responsibilities, solar siting, and recycling challenges. Knapp provided this update on January 22, 2019. Maryland Counties Knapp discussed the diverse needs and demographics of Maryland's counties and urged that "one size does not fit all." Knapp also described the broad range of services counties provide (many either mandated or governed under state…

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Time to Engage! Dogfight Between Drones and the Law

The report of a statewide work group on drone use in Maryland describes the challenges drones create for local law enforcement and the need for clarification of rules and authorities. There are rules about flying drones. But enforcement of those rules is a bit. . . up in the air. Not every hobbyist who received a drone for Christmas will be well-versed in FAA regulations before they set their new gift airborne. And, aerial rules…

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538 Breaks Down Modern Recycling… and It’s Frustrating

A 538.com analysis of modern recycling trends pits ease-of-use against best outcomes, a frustrating quandary. The analytically-driven website recently published an analysis of contemporary issues with publicly operated recycling programs. Their analysis: an age of "easy" recycling may be at an end. From the article: Americans love convenient recycling, but convenient recycling increasingly does not love us. Waste experts call the system of dumping all the recyclables into one bin “single-stream recycling.” It’s popular. But…

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2040 Maryland Transportation Plan Released

The Maryland Department of transportation Has Released Its Latest Multi-Year Plan The Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP) is updated every five years through extensive consultation and coordination with state, regional and local government partners and outreach to Maryland’s citizens. The perspective of our transportation customers has been critical in shaping the final 2040 MTP: Connecting You to Life’s Opportunities, along with the companion 2040 Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, or you can visit the Maryland Transportation…

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2019 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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