Transportation infrastructure plays a critical role in economic development, community revitalization and public and environmental health. Forward-thinking land use, in a symbiotic relationship with transportation planning, provides the foundation to support a functional and sustainable transportation system. Integrated transportation and land use planning increases travel efficiency, creates more options for getting around, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and improves returns on infrastructure investment. Effective multimodal transportation systems - including pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular and transit options - add to the vitality and sustainability of Maryland communities.
The Maryland Department of Planning supports land development policies and patterns that protect natural resources and increase options for walking, bicycling, taking transit, or taking more convenient and shorter automobile trips. By linking transportation and land use planning, the department supports transportation investment that promotes investment in designated growth areas and avoids or minimizes adverse land use and environmental impacts. We advocate for walkable, mixed-use communities in a range of settings, from cities to older suburbs to small towns in rural settings, to offer viable transportation choices and minimize household transportation costs. Transit-oriented development is one type of walkable, mixed-use community, but walkability and mixed-use are important factors in transportation choices even without the presence of transit.
As required by law, the Maryland Department of Planning provides policy and technical advice on state, regional and local transportation planning and investment decisions to ensure consistency with the 12 Planning Visions and the Priority Funding Areas Act. Specifically, we review local comprehensive plans, support transportation policy and technical research, and participate in state, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and local transportation planning activities to advocate sound transportation and land use strategies in transportation plans, programs, and projects.
In coordination with the Maryland Department of Transportation and other state and federal agencies, MPOs and local jurisdictions, Planning advocates to improve Maryland's range of access and mobility options. Through intergovernmental coordination efforts, we ensure the development and implementation of multimodal transportation goals, policies, and strategies in state, regional and local transportation plans, programs and projects that support administration goals.