Recap - Special Meeting of the MCCC Board of Directors with Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Peter Rahn

Posted Date: 
April 14, 2015

Special Meeting of the MCCC Board of Directors
Guest Speaker: Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Peter Rahn

April 14, 2015 Recap           

MCCC Chair of the Board Lisa Cines opened up the meeting by welcoming Secretary Peter Rahn and MCCC members. The members introduced themselves and shared their top priorities for transportation in the region: congestion, Purple Line, maintenance repairs, and streamlining MDOT processes, were among them. Secretary Rahn thanked the members for being there to express their needs and shared his own priorities for Maryland transportation.

Secretary Rahn began by talking about the overall Maryland Department of Transportation and how it is unique in having all of the modes of transportation within one department. He noted that it is a great opportunity and that he is working on improving it for streamlined processing. He is implementing more consistency in the modes so that they can work as more of a single office and avoid process delays for added efficiency.

He then shared his vision for transportation, beginning with his top priority of congestion. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is ranked second and the Baltimore metropolitan area is ranked fifth as most congested in the nation. There is an economic development imperative to effective transportation.  He is working to make short term solutions as well as long term solutions. One strategy is to put out a procurement for ideas to make congestion better and more effective on I-270, in particular. Also, there are long-term technologies that can improve congestion and I-270 presents an opportunity to be a test bed for them.

A good transportation system that can accommodate the needs of the community is another priority. There are many features in the existing Purple Line model that can be modified to make the Purple Line less expensive and still meet the needs of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Along with the light rail Red Line in Baltimore, they are being considered concurrently in the funding decision process and the modified proposals will be presented to the Governor.  Secretary Rahn anticipates a decision within 30 days. 

He also discussed the WMATA Metro Red Line expansion to full service with 8 car trains.   He appreciated the balance of new rail cars as important improvements for the region’s transportation system with the capital costs involved.

Additionally, there are opportunities to improve the economy through the port and BWI. Maryland will continue to improve efficiency in both areas to be competitive with others and meet its potential.

Secretary Rahn welcomed questions and comments from MCCC members and ended with the request that they continue to express their needs to government officials at all levels to continue to improve transportation in the State. 

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