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Press Release

Bike to Work Week 2020

Baltimore Region Celebrates Biking With Virtual Bike to Work Week Event and Love To Ride Challenge

BALTIMORE, MD (Tuesday, September 1, 2020) – Registration is now open for Bike to Work Week in central Maryland at BiketoWorkMD.com. To ensure the safety of riders, BMC is gearing up for a COVID-safe virtual Bike to Work 2020 celebration from September 21 to 27. The rallies and pit stop gatherings that participants have come to expect from this annual event will be substituted for online networking and encouragement for all riders, and even more prizes!

Cyclists who register for Bike to Work 2020 and ride during the week of September 21 to 27 can pick up a free t-shirt at one of twenty area bike shops around the greater Baltimore region and have a chance to win prizes. T-shirts are limited to the first 2,500 registrants. Registration for Bike to Work Week 2020 is open through Saturday, September 19th at BiketoWorkMD.com.

For those not commuting to work, the Love to Ride Cycle September Global Challenge is a fun, friendly, and free competition between workplaces, clubs, and individuals to see who can get the most people cycling in September – especially new riders.

Riders can earn points for every mile they ride, every day they ride, and every new person they encourage to ride. Individuals only have to ride for ten minutes anytime, anywhere – for fun, fitness, transportation or even indoors – to be eligible for prizes and help their team climb the leaderboard.

Participants can also join the Cycle September Global Challenge as a member of the Love to Ride Central Maryland community by registering at lovetoride.net/centralmd. From the website, riders can join a company or group, or register a new group for Cycle September. To win prizes users simply log their rides via the Love to Ride website or app, or link to their favorite bicycling app.

About Bike to Work Week

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council organizes an annual Bike to Work Day celebration in the region. The event, which was previously scheduled for May 15th, was postponed, then converted to a virtual event, in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Bike to Work Week is a campaign that celebrates bicycling as a healthy commuting option, while promoting public awareness of its safety and environmental benefits. Bike to Work Week helps raise awareness of the rules of the road for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, and highlights the need to improve bicycle facilities to improve safety.

About Love to Ride Central MD

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council has partnered with Love to Ride to bring more fun, more community, and more inspiration to get more people riding. Love to Ride is a biking encouragement website and app free to anyone who lives or works in the Central MD region.

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The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) works collaboratively with the chief elected officials in the region to create initiatives to improve the quality of life and economic vitality. BMC, as the Baltimore region’s council of governments, hosts the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), the federal metropolitan planning organization (MPO), and supports local government by coordinating efforts in a range of policy areas including emergency preparedness, housing, cooperative purchasing, environmental planning and workforce development.

BMC’s Board of Directors includes the executives of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties, the mayor of the City of Baltimore, a member of the Carroll County and Queen Anne’s County boards of commissioners, a member of the Maryland State Senate, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and a gubernatorial appointee from the private sector.

BMC Newsroom

[Baltimore, MD, August 27, 2020] The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $843,988 to the Baltimore region to conduct emergency housing and shelter planning through the FY 2020 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP) on August 19, 2020.  Through a partnership between the City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), the grant will fund regional housing and shelter planning at BMC in collaboration with a committee of local emergency management agencies in the Baltimore region known as the Baltimore Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). The project will produce individually tailored plans for each jurisdiction as well as one regional plan; and will support training and exercises for emergency management personnel.

The seven jurisdictions of the Baltimore UASI are: Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. Collectively, the population of these counties and municipalities accounts for approximately 2.7 million of the 6.4 million residents of the state of Maryland.

“Access to stable shelter is essential to protecting our health and wellbeing — especially in a time of crisis,” said Johnny Olszewski, Baltimore County Executive and BMC Board Chair.  “I applaud the Baltimore UASI and BMC for working together to secure funding that will expand our region’s ability to provide regional housing and shelter planning.”

In 2019, the Baltimore region received a grant award from the RCPGP to hire two planners at BMC to conduct food and water disaster supply chain planning, training, and exercise activities.

The RCPGP-funded planners have been actively engaged in the COVID-19 response by providing subject matter expertise to the region’s emergency food distribution planning operations. These funds have allowed the Baltimore UASI to collaborate, share best practices, and document procedures and training.

“BMC has been instrumental in the response to COVID-19 in the region,” said Stephen Wantz, Carroll County Commissioner and BMC Board Vice-Chair. “Their work in providing resources, guidance and standards in food and water distribution throughout the pandemic has been extremely valuable.”

The FY 2019 RCPGP provided resources to address mass care operations in relation to food and water supply chain distribution efforts. The new FY 2020 RCPGP award will allow the region to continue to build upon the current mass care work and expand to address sheltering needs as it relates to all hazards. 
 

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BMC Newsroom

BALTIMORE, MD (July 21, 2020) – The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (“BMC”) offically launched its Baltimore Regional Recovery Dashboard to help policymakers understand and track the impacts of COVID-19 on the seven county metropolitan area. Hosted on BMC’s website, the dashboard features data from across the organization’s areas of focus, including unemployment claims, impacted industries and transportation ridership. The dashboard utilizes Tableau, a data visualization tool, to provide information in an interactive format.

“To effectively combat this crisis across our region and state, it’s critical that leaders have the ability to look at the full picture and have the best data available to plan for our ongoing response — as well as our recovery,” said Baltimore County Executive and BMC Board Chair Johnny Olszewski. “This new dashboard will serve as a wide-angle lens, providing a range of data to help inform our long-term strategies so that we can emerge as a stronger, more resilient, and greater Baltimore.”

The dashboard presents unemployment insurance claims for all U.S. states, Maryland counties, and Maryland counties by industry at the 2-digit NAICS code level. Additional charts provide data on the sectors most exposed to economic impacts from COVID-19. “Exposed” sectors include those that have experienced significant reductions in demand, such as restaurants and bars, travel and transportation, entertainment, personal services, as well as certain types of retail and manufacturing. These dashboards compare the most exposed sectors across jobs, gross regional product, payrolled business locations, and median hourly wages.

The data shows, for example, that the Baltimore region is reliant on a larger share of exposed sector employment within its economy than its neighbors to the south in the Capital region. This suggests that the economic impact of the pandemic may be more acute in greater Baltimore than other regions with more diversified economies.

“COVID-19 has taken a toll on our region’s residents and threatens to have a protracted impact on our economy,” said BMC Executive Director Michael B. Kelly. “As a planning organization, our goal is to present the data and bring together the partners to frame our post-pandemic future.”

The dashboard also displays transportation data, including regional transit ridership and the percentage of people staying home by county. As of early July, transit ridership was still down 60% year over year, though it had improved from the low point of nearly -78% in late April. Similarly, Maryland Transportation Institute data shows that Baltimore City and Howard County residents stayed home at significantly higher rates than their counterparts in Queen Anne’s and Carroll Counties in the first week of July. The fewer people traveling has a corresponding impact on economic activity, such as retail and restaurant sales.

In the coming weeks, BMC aims to add additional data points around new building permits, as well as housing delinquencies and homelessness.

 

BMC Newsroom

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) welcomes comments on its draft Budget & Work Program for Fiscal Years 2020-2021 through Thursday, March 12, 2020.

The BRTB is scheduled to vote on the final Budget & Work Program on Friday, May 1, 2020

What is the UPWP?

The BRTB’s Budget & Work Program is known as the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) for Transportation Planning. It is a federal requirement that details projects, studies and other activities to be completed by BRTB members and staff of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC).

The BRTB develops this list of regional transportation planning activities every two fiscal years. This addendum includes an updated budget for FY 2021 of $8,901,750.

UPWP funds support staff for regional planning activities with some consultant assistance. New projects for FY 2021 include:

  • Transportation and Land Use Connection Grants - Provide short-term consultant services to local jurisdictions for small planning projects that either improve access to existing communities and regional generators of economic activity or promote mixed-use, walkable communities and that support a variety of transportation alternatives. This is directly related to several strategies the BRTB adopted in developing the regional long-range transportation plan, Maximize2045.
  • Patapsco Regional Greenway – Funds consultant services to advance the design and planning for a second segment of the Patapsco Regional Greenway, a proposed 30-mile trail from Sykesville in Carroll County to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
  • Baltimore Region Transit Governance and Funding – Study, analyze and recommend alternative governance and funding models for the Baltimore area transit system to the current state-led model. Identify potential approaches that more equitably distribute governing and funding responsibilities, improve performance, accountability and increased ridership on Baltimore’s transit system. This proposed project is an outgrowth of the Regional Transit Plan for Central Maryland.
  • Transit Priority Screening – Evaluate up to three corridors where local transit operates to see if travel time is improved by providing priority to transit vehicles at certain intersections controlled by traffic signals.
  • Infrastructure in a Changing Climate – To address impacts that are already evident, this task will develop the Resource Toolkit for Planning, Operating, and Maintaining Local Infrastructure in a Changing Climate. The Toolkit will provide ways that operations and maintenance departments could consider climate change in their decisions today and in coming years to ensure operations remain as efficient as possible, while considering impacts on resources, staff, and on our community.

View the Addendum to the FY 2020-2021 UPWP or a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Download the Budget & Work Program for FY 2020-2021 or visit BMC to view a printed copy.

B’More Involved

The public is invited to provide feedback on these proposed regional transportation planning activities through Thursday, March 12, 2020.

To learn more about the UPWP and the proposed updated budget and projects, please view the recording below of the virtual public meeting held on Wednesday, February 19 at noon.

Virtual Public Meeting

Please 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

 

The public may also provide feedback during the Public Comment Opportunity at the BRTB monthly meetings at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, February 25, Tuesday, March 24, or before the vote at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, May 1. at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), located at 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230.

View:

The BRTB is the federally recognized metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for transportation in the region. BMC provides the BRTB with staff support.

The BRTB 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.
 

Press Release

census2020_logo

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) board of directors voted to install Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. as its 2020 chair at its meeting on Friday, January 17th. Carroll County Commission President Stephen Wantz was selected to serve as Vice Chair. This meeting also marked the launch of BMC’s regional marketing campaign for the 2020 Census, aimed at reaching hard-to-count populations in greater Baltimore.

BMC worked with participating counties to coordinate a campaign aimed at encouraging residents of greater Baltimore to get counted in the upcoming Census. The campaign targets populations that the U.S. Census Bureau defines as “hard-to-count,” including renters, seniors, low-income, parents of young children, and limited-English speakers.

“The Census plays a significant role in how federal funds are allocated to our counties and our region, which is why it is so important for everyone to be counted,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. “I am proud to serve as 2020 chair of the BMC and I’m proud of Baltimore County for engaging our county partners across the region to bring this campaign together.”

Campaign ads will describe why the Census is important, including its impact on federal funding for education, transportation, economic development, healthcare and other essential programs.

The following six jurisdictions participated in the campaign: Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Harford County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County and Carroll County.

“This marketing campaign is an example of local governments maximizing resources to make a regional impact,” said BMC Executive Director Mike Kelly. “I want to thank our Chair, County Executive Olszewski, for making this a priority.”

The regional 2020 Census radio ads will run on WERQ-FM 92.3, WLIF-HD2 106.1, WOLB-AM 1010, WWIN-FM 95.9, WLIF-FM 101.9, HFS-FM 104.9, WJZ-AM 1300, WCAO-AM 600, WLZL-FM 107.9 and Ke Pachanga radio stations. The campaign will air from Wednesday, January 15th through Sunday, June 14th. Messages will encourage listeners to visit census.maryland.gov for more information.

"As the liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) supports collaboration and partnerships at every level with the goal of counting every person in Maryland in the 2020 Census," said Planning Secretary Robert McCord. "The Census is a family portrait we take every ten years and we need to show what Maryland really looks like by having everyone in the picture."

The campaign is financed in part with State funds from Maryland’s 2020 Census Grant Program.

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The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) works collaboratively with the chief elected officials in the region to create initiatives to improve our quality of life and economic vitality. BMC, as the Baltimore region’s council of governments, hosts the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), the federal metropolitan planning organization (MPO), and supports local government by coordinating efforts in a range of policy areas including emergency preparedness, housing, cooperative purchasing, environmental planning and workforce development.

BMC’s Board of Directors includes the executives of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties, the mayor of the City of Baltimore, a member of the Carroll County and Queen Anne’s County boards of commissioners, a member of the Maryland State Senate, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and a gubernatorial appointee from the private sector.

Baltimore Metropolitan Council Releases Results of Updated Workforce Development Survey

Stakeholders gather to discuss 'Barriers to Employment Opportunity' in the Baltimore Region and 'Scaling Workforce Programming in Baltimore' reports

BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, December, 16th, 2019) - The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) held a workforce policy briefing to announce the results of two critical research projects impacting workforce development in the Baltimore region on Monday, December 16th at 8:00AM. The event took place at BMC’s offices - 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230. The briefing included presentations on the Barriers to Employment Opportunity and Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore reportsSteuart Pittman, Anne Arundel County Executive and BMC board member, kicked off the morning with welcome remarks to a room of approximately 75 guests.
 
BMC’s Barriers to Employment Opportunity report tracks self-identified barriers to employment from job seekers in our local workforce area (Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, and Howard Counties), including current data and an analysis of how challenges have shifted over the last five years.
 
The report showed that some of the barriers identified were:

  • Difficulties using technology and computers
  • A need for new skills
  • Affordability of professional clothes, transit fare, and other job-related costs
  • Childcare costs
  • Housing insecurity

 
“Barriers to employment opportunity continue to impact job seekers in the Baltimore region in complex and interconnected ways,” said Mike Kelly, Executive Director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. “We hope that this report helps our workforce development partners to develop programs that help jobseekers across the region find success.”
 
 Many Workforce Development stakeholders in the Baltimore region attended the briefing to learn more about the latest barriers survey data. Many of the attendees were educators, employers and workforce development professionals dedicated to creating opportunities and solutions in the Baltimore region.

Barriers to Employment Opportunity Report

 Linda Dworak, Director of the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative, also presented an overview of the Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore report recently released by the Abell Foundation. Dworak highighted recommendations on how to achieve scale in local workforce development programming while advancing equity and without compromising quality.
 
The report finds that there is both labor market demand and organizational disposition for the expansion of current workforce development efforts in Baltimore City, which could put more job seekers to work. This finding prompts a call for increased funding for effective industry-sector workforce development approaches, including the expansion of local public-sector resources and investments by employers in target industry sectors. Further, the report emphasizes a focus on equity as both a process and an outcome.
 
“Baltimore City has many successful workforce development programs that need additional investment in order to scale,” said Dworak. “I am confident that this report and the work of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council will help us grow our proven models in order to connect more people with in-demand careers.”

Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore Report

Following the presentations, local workforce development experts discussed the implications of the two reports. The panel included Kirkland Murray, President CEO of Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation; Adrea Turner, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Senior Policy Advisor at the Greater Baltimore Committee; and Tiffani Truss, Director of Training Services at Jane Addams Resource Corporation.

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HOLIDAY SEASON BRINGS INCREASE IN PEDESTRIAN DEATHS AND INJURIES

LESS DAYLIGHT INCREASES RISKS FOR PEOPLE WALKING: HOLIDAY SEASON BRINGS INCREASE IN PEDESTRIAN DEATHS AND INJURIES

BALTIMORE, MD (November 19, 2019) – With the approach of Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season, sponsors of Baltimore’s Look Alive pedestrian safety campaign want pedestrians and drivers to make safety a top priority during this risky time of year.

Regional transportation officials warn that November and December are the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians because of fewer daylight hours. According to the MDOT MVA Maryland Highway Safety Office, nearly 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities in Maryland occur in the dark, with one in three pedestrians killed at times with little to no light.

During the last two months of 2018, there were almost 400 crashes involving people on foot in Baltimore and the surrounding counties, resulting in 52 serious injuries and 13 deaths. Pedestrian crashes that result in fatalities occur most often between 6 p.m. and midnight.

“We know visibility plays an important role in pedestrian safety,” said Michael B. Kelly, BMC’s Executive Director. “That’s why we’re reminding everyone to be alert and on the look-out for one another, especially as it gets dark earlier every day.”

Beginning November 21, residents in the Baltimore metropolitan area can expect stepped up enforcement of traffic laws that protect people who are walking. Violators face fines ranging from $40 to $500.

The Look Alive campaign offers safety tips for drivers and pedestrians (see below). The campaign’s key safety tips include reminders for drivers to obey the speed limit and stop for people crossing the street. Pedestrians are advised to use the crosswalk and wear something light or reflective at night. Learn more about the program at LookAliveMD.org.

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STREET SAFETY TIPS

If you’re driving…

  • Slow down and obey the speed limit.
  • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Be careful when passing buses or stopped vehicles.
  • When turning, yield to people walking and biking.
  • Look for bicyclists before opening your door.
  • Allow at least 3 feet when passing bikes.
  • Avoid using your cell phone and never text while driving.

If you’re walking…

  • Cross the street at crosswalks and intersections.
  • Use the pushbuttons.
  • Wait for the walk signal to cross the street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles.
  • Before crossing look left, right, and left again.
  • Be visible.
  • Wear something light or reflective after dark.
  • Watch out for blind spots around trucks and buses.
  • Avoid using your cell phone when crossing the street.
BMC Co-Hosts 11th Annual Meet the Primes Event

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) was proud to co-host the 11th Annual Meet the Primes event with Baltimore County on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at the Maryland Fairgrounds.

This procurement outreach event connects small and minority owned businesses (MBE/ SBE) to prime contract bidders.

Over 120 prime contractors, bidders and government buyers attended.

With onsite registration welcome, this free event was open to all to showcase their businesses to prime bidders seeking partners and sub-contractors. Attendees were asked to prepare a capability statement to present to exhibiting business representatives looking to meet MBE/SBE sub-contractors in the areas of Professional Services, Construction Trades, Architecture, Engineering and Other Business Services.

Attendees also had the opportunity to speak directly with companies in the “meeting cafe.” These pre-scheduled discussions allowed small business representatives to meet privately for five minutes with select government agencies and prime companies for a one-on-one discussion of their product or service. This undivided exposure to procurement officials, buyers and decision makers opens the door for new and lasting business opportunities.

Located in the section dubbed “Government Row,” BMC’s Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) shared information about contracting opportunities, the interconnected nature of our region, and services offered to BMC members and the public. Other government entities on the Row included Maryland Department of Transportation – State Highway Administration, Maryland Department of Labor, and a host of community colleges, public schools, and government officials from Annapolis, Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, and Prince George’s Counties.

BMC and the BRCPC look forward to continuing this event in 2020. We are proud of the opportunities Meet the Primes creates for small and minority owned businesses in our region to build new partnerships and access the buying capacity of our governments.

BMC Co-Hosts 11th Annual Meet the Primes event

 

RFP Issued for Preliminary Engineering Of Patapsco Regional Greenway Segment

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) is soliciting proposals from a qualified consultant, or consultant team, with extensive experience in all phases of trail development – including concept, design and permitting – with the expertise in environmental, cultural/historic resource management, multi-modal transportation planning and economic/community development to provide preliminary engineering for one segment of the Patapsco Regional Greenway (PRG)

Proposals must be received by BMC no later than  Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 2:00 p.m.

Written questions about this procurement should be sent to Regina Aris at raris@baltometro.org or 410- 732-8248 (fax) no later than Friday, October 25, 2019. Answers to questions will be posted on the BMC website no later than Wednesday, October 30, 2019.

View the Request for Proposals

RFP Issued for Development Review Practices for Changing Mobility

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) seeks qualified firms or organizations to examine how changing mobility options, particularly the introduction of "new mobility" services, are impacting and are expected to impact the Baltimore region's roads, pathways and curb space, and how local government development planning and review processes can and should consider and evaluate these services.
   
Proposals must be received by BMC no later than Friday, November 8, 2019, at 2 p.m. 

Written questions about this procurement should be sent to Don Halligan at dhalligan@baltometro.org  or  (410) 732-8248 (fax) no later than Monday, October 21. Answers to questions will be posted on the BMC website no later than Thursday, October 31.

View the Request for Proposals