Maryland Department of Planning Staff Step Up to Support Partner Agencies Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Planning Assistance in Action 

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner  

Those of you who follow Planning Practice Monthly regularly may have noticed my name on the some of the bylines, or spotted my profile in a Meet the Staff piece currently posted on Planning’s Facebook page. (I serve as the principal writer and editor for the newsletter as part of my broader Local Assistance and Training Planner role for the department).  

You might have also noticed that the newsletter was on hiatus for several months and that this is our first issue following that break. The reason for the break was, starting mid-December to early-January, several Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) staff accepted temporary, but indefinite, assignments with various partner agencies to assist with the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. We have been asked to share some of our experiences beginning with this edition. 

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Learn More About Maryland’s COVID-19 Business Response

Planning in Progress

There are numerous resources, including financial assistance, still available for Maryland businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.   

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The 2020 Virtual MPCA Conference Was a Huge Success…

…but the Work for 2021 is Just Beginning

MPCA Corner

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA), like so many other organizations and hardworking Marylanders, had to adjust its routine in 2020 to meet the demand of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MPCA looks forward to the day that we can all once again meet in person to swap citizen planning insights, share good food, and network with our colleagues. However, this year the organization conducted its annual fall conference digitally in an all-day event on November 9, and thanks everyone who joined and contributed to an amazing experience!

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Pandemic-Related Transportation Data Tools:

Assessing How The COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Traffic, Transit Service, and People’s Travel Patterns

Resources and Tools 

by Bihui Xu, AICP, Lead Transportation Planner, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner 

As Maryland navigates through sheltering in place, reopening, pausing, and slowly reopening, we have seen traffic on major highways drop dramatically in March and April, bounce back in May and June, and stay largely flat July through today. In the meantime, although not shut down, public transit has been scaled back in most places and continues to struggle to attract riders; similarly BWI’s passenger traffic is still more than 80% below its normal level.  

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Registration Now Open!

Attend the Planning Directors’ Roundtable Videoconference, September 24, 2020

Please join the Maryland Department of Planning’s fall Planning Directors Roundtable videoconference on September 24 from 10:00 to noon to learn about some of the initiatives the department is working on and share your experiences of local planning during a pandemic.  Join Secretary McCord, Assistant Secretary Lazdins, and other Planning staff to discuss the following topics: 

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