|The Transportation team is responsible for regional transportation planning, regional transit service coordination, regional transportation plan development and implementation, and commuter assistance. The Southern Maryland Transportation Strategy is the region’s long term transportation plan. Transportation staff has been working closely with Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), and other State agencies in their transportation programs and projects.
As the regional affiliate for the U.S. Census Bureau, the transportation staff assists the Maryland Department of Planning and U.S. Census Bureau in various areas regarding data collection and future forecasting in population, housing units, and employment at different geographic levels for transportation planning.
The Regional Commuter Assistance program helps the Southern Maryland commuters utilize the regional ridesharing services and the MTA-sponsored commuter express bus services between the Region and Washington, D.C.. The commuter buses stop at many Metrorail stations in D.C.
County local public transit services are available in all three Southern Maryland counties. The Council is also responsible for the regional coordination and cooperation among local transit services through the Regional Transportation Coordination Committee (RTCC). The Ozone Action Program warns the public about forecasted high ozone days, and ask for voluntary actions to reduce emissions of ozone-forming pollutants.
Southern Maryland Region is surrounded on three sides by water, with only one connection to Virginia from the west – the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge; Charles and St. Mary”s Counties to the southeast make up the Southern Maryland Peninsula between the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers; two bridges connect Calvert County to the east of this Peninsula. A few major highways, including MD 2, MD 4, MD 5, MD 210 and US 301 connect Southern Maryland to the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas in the north. The natural barriers present a significant transportation challenge for the Region.
Many people have moved into the Region from the Washington metropolitan area for a better living environment. More and more Southern Marylanders commute to the Washington metropolitan region everyday. This daily commute causes congestion and delays along many segments in the MD 4, MD 5, and MD 210 corridors during the peak periods. The peak hour commuting traffic contributes the greatest impact on the Region’s major arterials.
The through vehicular traffic in the Region also grows steadily, especially in Charles County. It is believed that a significant portion of the traffic across Gov. Nice Bridge on US 301 is through traffic. Many commercial truck drivers, especially those traveling between the northeastern States and the southern States, are attempting to avoid the Capital Beltway and congested interstate facilities such as I-95, by using US 301 through Charles County. The mixing of local traffic, commuting traffic and through traffic on the region’s highways is another major challenge to the Region.
White Plains to Branch Avenue Transit Corridor Preservation Study:
The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is about to initiate work on a study designed to identify a transit alignment and corridor for future development into a high capacity transit system, such as Bus Rapid Transit or Light Rail Transit. Working in close coordination with the local jurisdictions, the MTA will identify a corridor for the counties to adopt in local land use planning documents for the purposes of protecting the alignment from development until such time as land use densities and traffic conditions warrant development into a project.
Useful transportation Links:
Air Quality Index
MTA Commuter Bus
2007 Regional Transportation Needs Inventory