Preview the 2020 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2020 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), the 2020 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population. They are also…

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Battling Icy Boulevards with Beet Juice

A new proposal in the Michigan legislature would launch a pilot program studying the use of organic additives such as juice from sugar beets in order to better control ice on public roads. The legislation would not require the beet-juice solution to replace traditional road salt, but mix with it in order to create a sticky substance that more effectively adheres to the roads for a longer period of time. Supporters say this would also…

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Autonomous Shuttle Research Expanding Onto Public Roads

After extensive review, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) granted Robotic Research a Highly-Automated Vehicle (HAV) permit for Olli, an autonomous electric shuttle that is driven by Robotic Research's AutoDrive technology. The HAV permit for Olli will allow for continuation of research and testing of autonomous vehicle capabilities and technology on a half-mile stretch of public roadway between two office locations in Montgomery County. This will be the second deployment of Olli in Maryland, but…

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Clean and Green: Charting Maryland’s Energy Future

A general session at MACo's upcoming Winter Conference will focus on clean energy, and all the opportunities and challenges that come with our commitment to embrace and harness it. Title: Clean and Green: Charting Maryland’s Energy Future Time: Wednesday, December 5, 9:00 - 10:15 am Description: Maryland’s energy paradigm is shifting away from reliance on fossil fuels and towards renewable (solar and wind) and zero-carbon (nuclear and hydro) power sources. This transformation will require changes…

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Interactive Map Lets Harford Residents Track Transportation Projects

It is unquestionable that local governments – and, specifically, counties – maintain the lion’s share of the state’s roads and bridges. Unlike most other states, in Maryland, local governments own and maintain 83% of the roads. Harford County maintains more than 1,000 miles of roadways - the equivalent distance from Bel Air to Florida - and 223 bridges requiring dozens of major repair projects each year. In order to keep residents up-to-date on the latest…

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Carroll Planning and Zoning Commission Approves 2019 Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan

The Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission (P&ZC) last week approved a resolution for the 2019 Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan. The multimodal transportation plan focuses on bicycle and pedestrian movement as well as recreational and tourism opportunities throughout the County. According to a press release: Planning staff worked extensively with the Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission, municipal staff, municipal planning and zoning commissions, and Carroll County citizens throughout the planning process. An interactive map featuring…

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Baltimore County Wins $1.65 Million Grant for Towson Circulator

Baltimore County has won a federal grant award to support the launch of a Towson Circulator pilot. The $1.65 million grant, announced today by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes, was requested by County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s administration as it seeks to create innovative transportation options for Baltimore County residents. “The Towson Circulator will be a critical project that will better connect residents between where they…

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New Joint Plan for the American Legion Bridge

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam made an announcement in a surprise joint appearance this morning. Maryland and Virginia will partner to widen and rebuild the American Legion bridge in order to relieve congestion in a multibillion-dollar project. The new bridge is planned to have four express toll lanes, in addition to eight free lanes as on the current span with tolls fluctuating based on congestion. From Washington Post's coverage: “A new…

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Contemplating Our Congestion Crisis at #MACoCon

Marylanders are starting to think about the future and how to expand options for getting around. Congestion is a huge problem in Maryland, but what should be done to move forward? Join MACo's Winter Conference session, Contemplating Our Congestion Crisis, to hear more about possibilities of the future. Details follow: Title: Contemplating Our Congestion Crisis Description: Everyone can agree that there is an issue with traffic congestion in Maryland. With new plans and projects being…

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NACo’s CAV Toolkit for Counties

The National Association of Counties (NACo) created the Connected and Automated Vehicles Toolkit in order to provide county officials with an overview of the rapidly-growing connected and automated vehicles (CAV) sector. The toolkit proves insight into how all levels of government are adapting to this revelutionary technology. The four sections, (1) technology, (2) policy, (3) deployment, and (4) next steps all provide high levels of information and resources for each topic. From NACo's policy section…

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