The Maryland Department of Planning Teams up with the Appalachian Regional Commission

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Planning Assistance in Action

ARCFor most Maryland residents, access to a reliable broadband network is a given; a bill we pay every month, but a readily available service when we need to connect to our work email, search for a new restaurant, or find driving directions. For some parts of Western Maryland though, this is not always so certain, as the secluded location and rugged geography make the extension of network infrastructure expensive and difficult. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and the Allegany Board of Commissioners, helped overcome this barrier in Allegany County by providing the funding to strengthen the area’s broadband network and improve services to residents, businesses, and emergency services. More

James T. (Jim) Noonan, AICP: 1950-2017

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Planning Assistance in Memoriam

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The State of Maryland has lost one of its best planners in Jim Noonan, who passed away peacefully in hospice on April 17, 2017.  Many of you know Jim not only from his long tenure at the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) stretching back to the Nixon era, but more recently in the private sector and in various roles with the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Born in Altoona, Pa in 1950, Jim graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Geography and started at what was then called the Department of State Planning. More

A Community Effort for Placemaking on Smith Island

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Planning Assistance in Action

Smith Island, home to the official dessert of Maryland, the aptly named Smith Island Cake, inhabits a unique position in Maryland’s physical and cultural geography. The only inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay accessible solely by boat, Smith Island is a waterman community (fishing, crabbing, oystering) rich in history and identity. The community recently concluded a year-long visioning process that resulted in the adoption of the 2016 Smith Island Vision Plan. As part of this effort, one issue repeatedly came up; the desire for an outdoor gathering space on the Island. This vision is about to become reality, as a collaboration between community, business, and governmental organizations successfully applied for and received a $5,000 Placemaking Grant award from the National Association of REALTORS® to construct a pocket park on a currently vacant lot adjacent to a picturesque marsh in the Village of Ewell. More

Planning Supports the Analysis of Transportation Improvements along North Avenue in Baltimore

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Planning Assistance in Action

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is partnering with the City of Baltimore (City) and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) on the North Avenue Rising Project. The City and communities making up North Avenue have come together and expressed the shared vision of revitalizing the corridor to its full potential. Already, significant investments in the corridor have been and are being made in redevelopment and quality of life by institutions, NGOs, and private sector parties. The $27.3 million of improvements under North Avenue Rising includes $10 million from the U.S. DOT Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. This funding is supporting the realization of the locally generated vision, and will go towards transportation improvements along the corridor; including dedicated bus lanes, new bike facilities, renovations to the MTA Metro Station, access improvements to the Light Rail Station, improvements to major bus stops, streetscaping, and targeted re-paving..

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