Maximize2040: A Performance-Based Transportation Plan
Investments in the future, especially in transportation planning, require forward thinking that uses resources prudently but to their potential. In short, it maximizes. This concept of making the best use of our region’s resources is the guiding principle of Maximize2040: A Performance-Based Transportation Plan, the next long-range transportation plan developed by the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB).
How the BRTB developed Maximize2040
The eighteen-month planning process for Maximize2040 started with a public launch in March 2014 and continued through November 24, 2015 when the BRTB approved BRTB Resolution #2016-9 in support of Maximize2040 and the corresponding Air Quality Conformity Determination.
Maximize2040 was developed with local, state, and federal agency transportation professionals, area business leaders, community advocates, and many other interested individuals and organizations. Key steps in the planning process included:
Draft and Final Plan
A draft list of projects, commonly referred to as the Preferred Alternative, was developed and released for public comment from September 1 through October 15, 2015. Comments from the public and BRTB advisory groups were reviewed and, when feasible, incorporated into the final plan. The BRTB voted to adopt the final plan at its meeting on Tuesday, November 24, 2015. The plan received federal approval on January 15, 2016.
Call for Projects + Public Project Ideas
Maximize2040 includes a mix of projects that add to or enhance our region’s transportation network and may receive federal funding in the years 2020-2040. These include transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and highway and interchange projects. The BRTB also includes projects that help the system function more efficiently.
The BRTB conducted outreach and invited project ideas from individuals and organizations from September 9 through December 9, 2014. The public shared about 1,150 project ideas as a result of this effort.
Consistent with MAP-21’s emphasis on performance-based planning, the BRTB has established several performance measures and targets for Maximize2040. These will enable the BRTB to monitor and evaluate, over time, the performance of the region’s transportation system relative to the regional goals. During the development of these measures and targets, the BRTB consulted with the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Maryland Department of Transportation, and the BRTB advisory committees, including the Public Advisory Committee.
BRTB Resolution #15-16 on Maximize2040 Performance Measures (December 2014)
One of the goals of Maximze2040 is “Promote Informed Decision Making.” This goal is consistent with MAP‐21’s emphasis on performance‐based planning and programming. That is, monitoring the performance of transportation systems to make sure the region is getting the best “bang for the buck” with its investments. A basic question is “How can the region make informed decisions about the future, especially when there are a lot of uncertainties about the future?”
To reach that goal, the BRTB sought out opinions from the public and regional experts.
More than 200 people throughout the Baltimore region participated in a survey that asked about the social, economic, technological, environmental and political forces that could play a role in long-range transportation planning.
From those results, the BRTB crafted three extreme scenarios, and invited experts from around the Baltimore region to provide insight about how to craft Maximize2040 to reflect possible trends and events.
Project Evaluation Process
The BRTB developed evaluation and scoring criteria for candidate highway and transit projects for Maximize2040, in consultation with federal, state, and local agencies. This project evaluation process is also sometimes referred to as prioritization.
BRTB Resolution #15-13 on Maximize2040 Evaluation Criteria (November 2014)
The projects listed in the draft plan are a carefully selected mix that takes into account the level of resources that can reasonably be expected to be available through 2040.
Financial Forecast (October 2014)
Demographic and Socioeconomic Projections
Planning a transportation system for generations to come is a complex task. How many people will live here? Where will they work? What kind of transportation service will they want and need?
Population, Household, and Employment Forecasts (June 2014)
Goals and Strategies
The first step in looking at the region’s transportation needs and challenges over the next 25 years is to develop an overarching set of guiding goals and strategies. The BRTB welcomed comments on draft goals and strategies for Maximize2040 from Friday, March 14 through Monday, April 14, 2014. The BRTB approved the final Goals for Maximize2040 on April 29, 2014.
Public Outreach and Engagement
Throughout the planning process to develop Maximize2040, the BRTB provided members of the public opportunities to share their project ideas, provide comment on draft plans, attend public meetings, and give the BRTB feedback.
About the BRTB and Maximize2040
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) is the federally recognized metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for transportation in the region. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) provides the BRTB with technical and staff support.
Maximize2040 contains a list of the major transportation projects the region expects to implement between 2020 and 2040 such as major highway reconstruction or a new light rail line. It also will establish the region’s broad transportation goals and strategies, which will serve as the framework for planning and completing projects. Maximize2040 was approved by the BRTB on November 24, 2015. Federal approval is anticipated in early 2016.
Creating a long-range transportation plan is a federal requirement for the BRTB as the region’s MPO. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) is the law that establishes the requirements of, and authorizes the funding for, federal surface transportation programs.
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