by Steven H. Allan, AICP, Planner with the Office of Planning, Education and Outreach at the Maryland Historical Trust, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training
In mid-December 2020, Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) Director, Elizabeth Hughes, informed me that I had been selected for an interim reassignment to help fill a critical staffing need within the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and/or the Maryland Emergency Management Administration (MEMA). She explained this move was part of a larger effort to tap various personnel from across state government to assist with the COVID-19 response effort as it entered the vaccination phase, moving, hopefully, toward an end of the pandemic.
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.
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!
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.