National Maryland Day: Progress in Electric Vehicles and Pedestrian Safety
Maryland’s Department of Transportation (MDOT) had been working towards a safer and more technologically advanced state. Through programs to increase pedestrian safety and implementation of an electric vehicle network, MDOT shows their initiatives for innovations and safety, and addressing climate change.
National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula
Through submission of their National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Funding Deployment plan Maryland is hoping to secure up to $63 million through 2026 to advance their network for charging vehicles.
While working towards a zero-emission state through a variety of initiatives and programs, Maryland has created a Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Plan outlining the goals and plans for the funding from NEVI as well as other plans and goals for the initiative. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program from the Federal Highway provides significant funding to states to create electric vehicle charging plans and networks. Through coordination with stakeholders, partners and communities, MDOT began the planning for NEVI in March of 2022. While this is their first electric vehicle plan, as required by the NEVI Formula Program, it is not the state’s first initiative towards a ‘cleaner’, electric-focused state. Maylands Transportation Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. Stated “Maryland has been at the forefront of electrifying the transportation sector since 2007 with the passage of the Maryland Clean Cars Act and the creation and expansion of the Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (ZEEVIC) in 2011 and 2019, respectively.”
The plan was submitted to the Joint Office on July 15, 2022 and will await approval before receiving initial funding for this fiscal year. In November of 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) was enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to provide long term funding and plans for our nation’s infrastructure. To reduce carbon emissions and address climate change, the NEVI Formula Program was set out to provide states with funding to strategically deploy Electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with $5 billion dedicated to this endeavor. The program would support Maryland during the fiscal years of 2022-2026 with $63 Million total, and approximately 9.3 mil allocated for 2022.
Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP)
Mayland has seen a 46 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2009 and 2018. In 2020, they created a guide utilizing the Federal Highway Administrations (FHWA) Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian guidance.
Maryland’s guidelines on establishing a safe, accessible and effective multimodal transportation system were released from MDOTs State Highway Administration. These guidelines, “Context Driven Access & Mobility for All Users,” are aimed at providing information on the rise in pedestrian fatalities and how to address the issue. The guide describes six new context zones and their relation to multimodal travel, including pedestrian safety. “Addressing pedestrian safety through the lens of context provides a means to proactively implement treatments in areas that have traditionally shown a higher propensity for pedestrian crashes,” stated Jeff Davis, a design engineer-cost estimator for the Maryland agency “This allows us to get out ahead of the problems, rather than solely react to issues as they arise.”
The guide shows how the Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative for STEP countermeasures can be integrated into the context of the plan’s states create. The EDC’s case study on the Maryland MDOT guide discusses the background of the plan, as well as effectiveness of STEP in its ability to provide states with direction towards greater pedestrian safety. STEP began as a way for FHWA to address the growing issue of pedestrian fatalities and encourage states to take action. Benefits of the STEP countermeasures include improved safety through proven solutions to reduce fatalities, targeted investment for pedestrian crossing and access, and enhancing the quality of life by improving crossing opportunities.
Sources: FHWA, MDOT