Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has announced the county has submitted its transportation Priority Letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). The letter, which was endorsed by County Council Chairperson Jon Weinstein, Sen. Guy Guzzone and Del. Vanessa Atterbeary on behalf of the County Council and general assembly delegation, recommends highway and transportation projects to be included in MDOT’s fiscal 2018-23 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP).
The letter prioritizes 20 capital, construction and design projects. In determining its priorities, the county received extensive input from elected officials and the public. More than 1,400 people took part in an online survey and more than 300 unique written comments were received; additionally, input was collected at a public meeting held on Feb. 21. The results of the survey and public meeting materials can be found at www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/County-Administration/Transportation/2018-Priority-Letter.
“This was truly a collaborative effort with our residents, the council and our state delegation,” said Kittleman. “This letter shows a strategic, balanced approach and reaffirms our commitment to creating a more sustainable community by addressing the needs of motorists, those who use public transit, pedestrians and bicyclists. We know we must be innovative and forward-thinking in addressing our present and future transportation challenges. I am grateful for the expertise and guidance provided by our internal staff from the Department of Public Works, Department of Planning and Zoning and Office of Transportation.”
The letter lists five capital and construction projects. Top priorities include the following.
U.S. Route 29. Middle Patuxent River to Seneca Drive widening, including access improvements to the Rivers Edge community and accommodations for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Transit Capital Improvements. To purchase new buses to replace those that have exhausted their useful life to maintain a fleet in good repair and to expand service on a number of the most traveled routes. The county also requested buses, road and signal improvements and the development of high quality BRT stations in Downtown Columbia and future stations for the U.S. 29 BRT system.
U.S. 1 Sidewalk. To construct sidewalks along U.S. 1 southbound in the median between North Laurel Road and the Prince George’s County line.
Route 108. For intersection improvements along Route 108 at Ten Mills Road.
Route 100 and Route 103. To replace the existing interchange.
Additionally, the county ranked design and engineering projects. Those receiving the highest priority include the following.
U.S. 29 to U.S. 40; widen one lane in each direction
Upgrade/reconstruct the I-70/Marriottsville Road interchange
Design and implement I-70/U.S. 29 interchange capacity enhancements
• Route 175. Evaluate the improvement of existing access points into Columbia Gateway Drive, including a third access point through the potential extension of MD 108 across MD 175 into Columbia Gateway Drive and direct access to Columbia Gateway Drive from I-95.
• Route 175-U.S. 1 to Snowden River Parkway. Continued comprehensive traffic modeling leading to design alternatives including the U.S. 1/Route 175 and U.S.1/I-95 interchanges.
• Pedestrian, Bicycle and ADA Access and Safety Improvements. Design and construct sidewalks, pedestrian safety improvement, bicycle safety improvements, and final design and construction of short-term network projects in Howard County’s Bicycle Master Plan.
Specifically, the county is requesting state grant funding for the following projects.
• Conduct planning for pedestrian and bicycle access into Columbia Gateway
• Finalize design of the Downtown Columbia to Stevens Forest Road connector
• Finalize design of pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Dobbin and McGaw roads
• Finalize design of the North Laurel Connections project to join Savage and Laurel in a connected bicycle and pedestrian network.
The Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) is Maryland’s six-year capital budget for transportation projects. The CTP contains projects and programs of the Maryland Aviation Administration, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the Maryland Transit Administration, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the Maryland State Highway Administration, the Maryland Port Administration and the Maryland Transportation Authority.
The CTP includes capital projects that will provide new, expanded or significantly improved facilities or services that may involve planning, environmental studies, design, right-of-way acquisition, construction or the purchase of essential equipment related to the facility or service.