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December 25, 2023

Delegation members announce $28.5M to improve road safety across Maryland

Credit: Avenue News

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) announced $28,505,333 to improve road safety in communities across Maryland.

The federal funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program, will help local departments of transportation across the state develop and implement safety action plans and structural improvements to better accommodate and ensure the safety of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians on roadways.

“Investing in our roadways is not just about improving infrastructure, but prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our residents and communities,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said.

“We are grateful to our federal and state partners for supporting these critical planning projects and helping to ensure Baltimore County’s roads are safe for years to come.”

The county will use these newly-announced grant funds to conduct road safety audits for 17 corridors throughout the county, according to a county government release, which also says “these initiatives will play a crucial role in identifying and mitigating potential road safety hazards.”

The Safe Streets and Roads for All program will help to save lives on roadways across the country, supporting many local governments’ existing “Vision Zero” plans, which aim to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries on roadways.

The SS4A program was established and funded at $5 billion over five years by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, legislation the lawmakers worked to pass to support infrastructure initiatives across the country.

“Too often, aging infrastructure contributes to accidents that cause serious injuries and even death for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. These funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which we fought to pass, will upgrade our roads, make them safer for our communities, and shorten commute times for the millions of hardworking Marylanders who depend on public infrastructure every day. They will enable our local partners to improve safety and accessibility on roadways across our state,” said the lawmakers.

The federal funds were awarded as follows:

Greater Baltimore Region

$9,920,000 to the Baltimore City Department of Transportation to pilot a Complete Streets project, which will reduce dangerous accidents by making city roadways more accessible through temporary lane and street closure events for cyclists and pedestrians as well as sensors that will help plan improvements at the city’s most high-volume intersections; $3,648,000 to Baltimore County to conduct planning activities, including road safety audits for corridors throughout the county;

Prince George’s County $9,764,000 to Mount Rainer to implement its Vision Zero plan. $768,000 to the Towns of Riverdale Park and Edmonston to develop a Complete Streets plan; $160,000 to the Town of Brentwood to create a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and to improve bicycle accessibility through road improvements;

Montgomery County $360,000 to the City of Gaithersburg to develop a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan; $320,000 to the City of Rockville to create a Vision Zero plan and to improve bicycle accessibility through road improvements and conduct safety audits; $160,000 to Montgomery County to conduct supplemental planning efforts to review Vision Zero activities and evaluate progress; $120,000 to Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) to conduct planning activities throughout Montgomery County;

Anne Arundel and Howard Counties $683,200 to the City of Annapolis in Anne Arundel County to update its existing Vision Zero Plan; $488,133 to Howard County to test safety approaches on the US 1 corridor, a 12-mile stretch of roadway with safety challenges;

Eastern Shore $320,000 to the City of Cambridge in Dorchester County to create a Vision Zero plan and to improve bicycle accessibility through road improvements; $280,000 to Queen Anne’s County to develop a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan; $64,000 to the Town of Rising Sun in Cecil County to develop a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan;

Western Maryland $1,050,000 to Frederick County to plan road improvements to eliminate traffic fatalities and improve bicycle accessibility; $240,000 to Brunswick to develop a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan; and $160,000 to the Town of Sykesville to develop a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan. The Safer Streets and Roads for All program was established to support regional and local efforts to prevent roadway deaths through planning and demonstration projects that help local governments better understand the safety challenges in their communities and implement solutions to make their streets, roads, and highways safer for all.

“This grant is a vital resource for Baltimore County, specifically geared towards advancing our road safety initiatives through detailed audits and evaluations,” said D’Andrea Walker, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation. “It enables us to undertake in-depth studies, assessing the current state of our roads and identifying key areas for future improvements. Our goal is to lay a solid foundation for safer travel in the county through meticulous planning and analysis.”

In fiscal year 2022, the SS4A program delivered over $1.5 million to safety action plan projects in Maryland.