Baltimore County residents deserve a reliable network of public transit to get to work, school, shopping centers and to their front doors. Inefficient public transit harms everyone, from the riders who miss work when the bus arrives late to drivers stuck in traffic jams because the light rail was delayed.
Effective public transportation reduces traffic congestion on our roads, helps protect the air we breathe, and saves us money. In cities with effective public transit systems, such as Washington, DC, people spend just 9 percent of their income on transportation, whereas in places without effective public transit, such as Lutherville, residents spend on average 19 percent of their income on transportation.
What Can We Do?
- Support the Complete Streets policy. Baltimore County’s Complete Streets policy, which took effect in the summer of 2018, directs County agencies and developers to consider all types of users and transportation modes when constructing buildings and improving roads, and include facilities that will allow people to walk, bicycle or use transit where appropriate. Colleen is committed to ensuring that the policy is supported and implemented.
- Encourage pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. Multiple studies around the world show that bike-able/walkable streets are safer for everyone. Across New York City, the introduction of protected bike lanes on streets reduced injuries among motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists by 20 percent. In the city of Arlington, VA, injuries on the streets declined by 50 percent between 2006 and 2014, thanks to the implementation of a Complete Streets program. Colleen will encourage new walking paths around Baltimore County neighborhoods, many of which lack pedestrian-friendly access to nearby commercial centers, allowing residents to walk or bike to shops and leave their cars at home.
- Support the Towson Circulator instead of time-consuming, costly construction (and delays) to widen roads. Using energy-efficient busses to carry riders to Towson Town Center, GBMC, TU, Goucher, The Shops at Kenilworth, and Loch Raven Village is an efficient and cost-effective solution to relieving traffic congestion in downtown Towson.
- Implement electronic signs at MTA bus stops. While the MTA has recently implemented GPS tracking of their busses, many MTA riders do not have smartphones and so cannot access it. Adding electronic signs at MTA stops will ensure that riders know when their bus will arrive, that new riders are on the correct route, and that existing GPS tracking is accurate.
Read more about Colleen’s vision for improving our quality of life by tackling the opioid crisis, and the decline in home ownership. And check our her Baltimore Sun op-ed, “Design Baltimore County’s Streets for People, Not Just Vehicles, To Make Everyone Safer.”