Planning in Progress
by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
Despite the extraordinary circumstances of the global coronavirus pandemic, Maryland’s Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Working Group led and collaborated on numerous CAV-related research, education, and planning efforts in 2021. The team produced a variety of content ranging from a myth-busting social media campaign to a webinar series with partners across the state, including the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the Maryland Highway Safety Office.
Most notably, the team worked to incorporate CAV into several statewide plans including the State Freight Plan, Transit Plan, Consolidated Transportation Program, and the Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The team also developed a toolkit for local jurisdictions to use when developing their own CAV plans and policies. Incorporating CAV in state and local plans is an important first step to exploring policy scenarios, detailing potential-use cases, and providing future funding.
With representatives from state, regional and local agencies, non-profits, businesses, and educational institutions, the group places tremendous effort on educating Marylanders about CAV technologies and how they may influence or impact commercial and personal transportation choices, as well the needs of government at all levels to assess the effects on safety, infrastructure, land use, natural resources, and more.
Public education, however, is just one of five focus areas in which the working group’s members have engaged during the past year. The other four areas include: early deployment and testing; planning and policy; digital and physical infrastructure; and workforce issues. Many exciting endeavors have been launched and accomplishments realized.
The group is taking on just as many challenging tasks to fulfill their ambitious goals for 2022, which include organizing and participating in events to increase public awareness and education of CAV technologies (e.g., activities with partners at Fleet Week), evaluating equity in CAV technology deployments and infrastructure, and evaluating feasible infrastructure projects to support automated freight vehicles. Be sure to check further editions of Planning Practice Monthly for more information, including case studies of local Maryland CAV planning efforts coming this summer.
For more information, please visit MDOT’s CAV website. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for future meetings of the Maryland CAV Working Group, please emailCAVMaryland@mdot.maryland.gov.