Two items that may be of interest:
Board of Public Works
We mentioned in Wednesday's newsletter that the contract for the new builder was to go before the Board of Public Works at the January 26 meeting for approval by Maryland’s governor, treasurer, and comptroller. We can now confirm that the Purple Line is indeed on the agenda and you can listen to the proceedings here if interested. We will bring details regarding the outcome of the meeting in our next newsletter.
Purple Line NOW to Support Traffic Safety Legislation
We also wanted to let you know about an endorsement Purple Line NOW has agreed to regarding a pedestrian safety measure that relates to trail safety.
From time to time, Purple Line NOW is asked to support a bill or an initiative that is Purple Line adjacent in concept (or sometimes, in proximity!) While many of us acting as individuals (not on behalf of Purple Line NOW) who live and work along the Purple Line corridor, support many such initiatives, we cannot formally, as an organization, support all of them. Most of the time, it is due to the initiative or bill being outside of our mission’s scope, or sometimes because other organizations are already pushing the measure. Before we agree to support such an endeavor, we ask for input from our Board of Directors, most specifically, our Executive Committee (the group of volunteers who drive our Purple Line NOW train!)
One such initiative came to our attention last week, and we agreed that the measure under consideration dovetailed with PLN’s mission of ensuring a safe trail for all of us to use. We have agreed to support life-saving traffic safety legislation which is currently being considered during the Maryland GA session.
What is the problem?
The number of traffic-related pedestrian deaths is growing each year in Maryland, despite the efforts of State Highway Administration traffic engineers. In fact, traffic fatalities have been growing since 2008, particularly for pedestrians. The situation worsened in 2020, despite fewer cars on the road due to Covid-19 restrictions, pedestrian and cyclist deaths continued to climb. Last year alone, 130 Marylanders lost their lives while attempting to cross our streets, with an additional 3,022 pedestrian involved in accidents that caused injury or property damage.
What actions are being considered?
Enact legislation to provide Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) the tools and resources it needs to identify, assess, and systematically address specific and regional traffic threats. The following two bills are being considered to change the status quo of traffic fatalities:
- Safe Access for All (SAFE) Roads Act of 2022. Sponsor: Delegate Lorig Charkoudian
- Vision Zero Implementation Act of 2022 (HB0254). Sponsor: Delegate Julie Palakovitch Carr
Purple Line NOW has agreed to send an endorsement for these two proposed pieces of legislation. We will let you know the outcome in a future newsletter.