The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is authorized under state legislation to use resources to support Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects as this approach to growth allows the State to maximize use of existing highway, transit, and non-motorized transportation infrastructure. Through support of public and private efforts to create TOD sites, MDOT and its modal administrations support the Governor’s Smart, Green, and Growing Initiatives by encouraging sustainable development and the use of transit, bicycling, and walking modes. This will assist the State in maintaining quality of life while also accommodating the expected 1.1 million residents and 0.4 million jobs anticipated by 2040.
MDOT’s highway modal branch, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), has been participating by developing processes and tools for its role in authorizing access to the State’s highway system from TOD sites. Through these methodologies, SHA provides information to decision makers regarding how roadway, transit, bicycling, and pedestrian facilities accessing TOD sites integrate with the regional highway network in a safe and efficient manner. SHA worked with MDOT offices to develop guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of development proposals in meeting TOD transportation goals, identified standards of performance for roadways within TOD sites, and specified tools for quantifying impacts to the local and state highway system.
The guidelines for determining TOD transportation effectiveness incorporate key factors such as forecasted mode shares, transit availability, land use diversity, and the safety of pedestrian and bicycle facilities. By calculating values for these items, SHA and MDOT provide input to local governments and developers regarding how well proposed site plans are likely to meet operational and safety goals, and provide a basis for tracking performance after the TOD sites are constructed. In identifying performance standards that facilities must meet, SHA considered that traditional measures used in development review are intended for suburban neighborhood streets and highways, and are not effective for projects that create urban settings. Thus, performance standards are being adjusted to balance accessibility needs for all modes of travel. Tools being used for identifying impacts include travel demand and operational modeling packages that facilitate reviews of micro- and macro-scale issues.