According to the 2010 Census, Maryland is 19th in population (5.8 million) and by 2035 will grow by 1.0 million people and 0.7 million jobs, straining an aging transportation system and challenging Maryland’s goals for sustainable growth and conservation.
To grow in ways that are fiscally sustainable and support communities, environment, and quality of life, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Act in 1992. This legislation established State Planning Policy Goals that have evolved and been reinforced through a host of state and local programs, policies and laws subsequently implemented.
The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) has recently been refining the Maryland Statewide Transportation Model (MSTM) which, together with similar regional four step travel demand models, have been used to forecast growth in vehicle volumes, test scenarios, make performance measurements, etc. The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) in cooperation with SHA has been using the MSTM and regional models to evaluate progress toward State Planning Policy goals and a specific set of what we call Sustainable Transportation/ Land Use (STLU) objectives.
STLU objectives can be summarized as follows:
• Concentrate residential and commercial origins and destinations in priority funding areas (PFAs) – areas planned for growth with existing infrastructure;
• Integrate land use/ transportation plans and practices to increase travel by walking, biking, transit, and carpooling; and
• Reduce SOV travel, travel times, vehicle miles traveled (VMT), transportation/ land use footprints, and greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources.
Achieving these objectives will help prevent urban sprawl, maximize utilization of the existing transportation system, improve quality of life in developed and developing communities, and maximize return on public investment in development and transportation improvements.
Indicators of progress toward STLU objectives are reviewed, underlying transportation/ land use relationships examined, and potential for integrated transportation/ land use is illustrated. Future analyses and model enhancements will improve our ability to achieve STLU objectives.