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BRTB seeks public comment on $4 Billion in Transportation Projects - June 16 to July 17

BMC Newsroom

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), as the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Baltimore region, seeks public comments through Friday, July 17 on two transportation-related documents – the draft 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the associated Air Quality Conformity Determination.

New this year, is an interactive project map, in which the public can view projects and offer comments, and a Storymap which provides an overview of these documents. 

Draft 2021-2024 TIP | Air Quality Conformity Determination | How to Comment

Draft 2021 – 2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

The draft 2021-2024 TIP is the list of regional transportation projects requesting federal funding in the near term. It includes $4.26 billion in proposed federal, state and local money for highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects during the next four years. The funding goes toward maintaining, operating and expanding the transportation system. These projects support regional goals such as accessibility, safety, and prosperity. Funding identified in the TIP is based on funding reasonably expected to be available from local, state, and federal sources.

The draft 2021-2024 TIP includes 140 projects, 24 of which are new. Highlights include:

  • Anne Arundel County is dedicating $14 million in funding for a multi-modal transportation center in Parole to serve existing local and regional bus service, with possible future connectivity to modes such as bikeshare, carshare, and ridehailing services;
  • In Baltimore City, several new projects focus on increasing bicycle and pedestrian access, including:
    • constructing an on-street cycle track on Bush Street in South Baltimore;  
    • installing an on-street cycle track and/or buffered bike lanes on Eutaw Place near Druid Hill Park;
    • building a 2 mile protected cycle track along either Wolfe or Washington Street in East Baltimore; and
    • constructing a pedestrian and cyclist trail between the Inner Harbor cycle track and the Middle Branch Trail as part of the Baltimore Greenway Loop that connects Baltimore City's major parks.
  • Baltimore County is using $2 million in federal and local funds to purchase vehicles and signage for the Towson Circulator – a new fixed route service in Towson.
  • Carroll County is dedicating federal and local funding to 9 essential bridge improvements. In addition, MDOT SHA plans to complete a project in 2021 focused on improving MD 30 Business in Hampstead by reconstructing the existing roadway with ADA-compliant sidewalks and crosswalks, stormwater management, landscaping, and traffic signals.
  • Howard County is moving forward with a $26 million project that widens Marriottsville Road from two to four lanes between US 40 and MD 99, including replacing the existing two lane bridge over I-70.
  • MDOT SHA is dedicating $281 million in the draft 2021-2024 TIP for the expansion of the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), including conversion of the inside shoulder into a new travel lane from I-70 to MD 43, reconfiguring the interchange of I-695 and I-70, and adding a lane on the outer loop of I-695, from US 40 to MD 144.
  • The Maryland Port Administration is partnering with CSX to leverage federal funding to reconstruct the 125-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in order to create double-stack rail access to and from the Port of Baltimore.
  • The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and Baltimore City are collaborating on changes to seven miles of I-95 and sections of Hanover Street, McComas Street and Key Highway. The project seeks to address traffic needs and support ongoing and planned redevelopment of the Port Covington peninsula in South Baltimore.
  • MDTA continues its expansion of the I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) by dedicating over $774 million in toll revenues towards implementation of the first phase of the I-95 Section 200 Northbound Extension in Baltimore and Harford Counties.

Please view the draft 2021-2024 TIP through the BRTB’s interactive project map. The draft 2021–2024 TIP is also available in PDF format for download:

21-24TIP map

Draft 2021-2024 TIP

Introduction and Background  |  Financial Plan

Projects by jurisdiction: Low-income and Minority Concentration  |  Appendices

Projects in the draft TIP are also available to review in pdf format by project sponsor, either a local jurisdiction or state agency:

Anne Arundel County  |  Baltimore City  |  Baltimore County

Carroll County  |  Harford County  |  Howard County

Maryland Port Administration  |  Maryland Transportation Authority

MDOT MTA  |  MDOT SHA and the Office of the Secretary

Analysis of Air Quality Conformity

The Baltimore region does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and so must review its current transportation plans and programs to ensure conformity with the State Air Quality Implementation Plan (SIP).

The Air Quality Conformity Determination report details a comprehensive analysis of Baltimore region mobile source emissions as a result of implementing the draft 2021-2024 TIP. Highlights of the report include:

  • Staff from BMC and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) used the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) 2014a model, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to analyze the amount of mobile source emissions generated from vehicle travel associated with the implementation of the projects in the draft TIP.
  • The report addresses mobile source emissions of VOC and NOx, which are precursors of ground-level ozone emissions.
  • New Round 9A forecasts for population, housing, and employment in the Baltimore region were used for this conformity analysis.
  • Data about the types and purpose of vehicles, fuel data, and meteorological data from 2017 were used as input into the analysis.
  • This Conformity Determination shows that transit ridership is projected to increase in the horizon years.
  • Projected mobile source emissions for draft 2021-2024 TIP are well below the motor vehicle emission budgets set in the state implementation plan, or SIP.
  • Implementation of the projects proposed in the draft 2021-2024 TIP will not worsen the region’s air quality or delay the timely attainment of national air quality standards.

Why is an air quality analysis needed?

  • The Baltimore region is a "marginal" nonattainment area for the ground-level ozone standard set in 2015. This means that levels of ozone pollution in the air are slightly higher than the federally allowable amount of 70 parts per billion (ppb).
  • The level of ozone that the region experienced in 2019 as a "design value", or the value that the US EPA uses to determine whether a region is reaching the standard, was 75 ppb. As a result, the region is not attaining the standard and the BRTB must conduct a conformity determination.
  • The air quality analysis evaluates whether the transportation projects in a region's TIP and Plan would hinder the progress of that region attaining the air quality standard.

The conformity determination is available in PDF format for download:

Conformity Determination | Appendices

Share Your Thoughts

Public comments are welcome from Tuesday, June 16 through Friday, July 17, 2020. The BRTB will vote on these documents on Tuesday, August 25.

MDOT MTA, in lieu of a separate mandated public comment period, has exercised its option to use the procedures of the BRTB’s public involvement process for the 2021-2024 TIP. The public participation process for the TIP meets the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) public participation requirements for MDOT MTA’s Program of Projects (POP).

View Public Comments Received | View BRTB Response to Comments

Join Us for a Virtual Public Meeting

Those interested in learning more about the draft 2021-2024 TIP and Air Quality Conformity may view our Storymap or join us for a:

Join these meetings by using: Computer, Tablet or Smartphone or dial in by phone 877-309-2073 or 571-317-3129 and enter Access Code: 563-035-189.

View a recording of the public meeting

To share your thoughts and ideas, send all comments in writing to:

ONLINE EMAIL TWITTER MAIL FAX
BRTB Comment Form comments@baltometro.org @BaltoMetroCo
@BmoreInvolved
#BRTBlistens
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board
1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-732-8248

Comments are also welcome during the public comment opportunity at the BRTB meetings at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23, Tuesday, July 28, or Tuesday, August 25 (scheduled vote).

For more information:

Contact Regina Aris, assistant transportation director, by email at raris@baltometro.org, or by phone at 410-732-9572.

Notice

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, or national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable laws. Appropriate services can be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities or those in need of language assistance who submit a request at least seven days prior to a meeting. Call 410-732-0500.