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  Climate Leadership Academy on Low-Carbon Transportation
(June 8-10)
Maryland is excited to be one of 13 States, cities or counties participating in the sixth Climate Leadership Academy in Arlington Virginia.  The Climate Leadership Academy (CLA) will provide a unique platform for local leaders and their key partners in state and regional government, and in the non-governmental sector, who, together, are working to reduce the carbon emissions of motorized transportation, while they boost economic competitiveness and provide greater economic opportunity. Through intensive peer learning and solution-sharing, the CLA will help participants learn about real-world strategies to advance these goals.
Teams of senior officials and key partners from 13 cities, states, and counties will participate in the Boot Camp: Denver, CO; Durham, NC; El Paso, TX;  Eugene, OR; Johnson County, KS; Maryland; Miami-Dade; Minneapolis, MN; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT;  San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO. This diverse mix of regions will provide a unique opportunity for everyone to learn from one another about the most promising practices in low-carbon transportation. 
Here are some program highlights!
  • Great keynote speakers from Reconnecting America and the District of Columbia;
  • A strong faculty of national experts from organizations such as Center for Neighborhood Technology, Center for Transit Oriented Development, Consensus Building Institute, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, OpenPlans Transportation; PolicyLink, and Smart Growth America;
  • A panel discussion with high-level federal officials from the DOE, DOT, EPA and HUD;
  • Panel discussions with fellow practitioners and national experts on subjects, such as making the case for and financing low-carbon transportation;
  • Ample time for your team to huddle and strategize, and for cross-team idea-sharing and networking;
  • A “Collaboration Clinic” led by the Consensus Building Institute, a leading organization in negotiation and dispute resolution;
  • Small working group sessions focused on high-priority challenges that you, yourselves, have identified, including financing, city/state collaboration, and the integration of land use and transportation.

Click here for more information about the Climate Leadership Academy

Background Information:

The Goal of the Carbon Neutral Corridor Concept:
Through a strategic coalition building process, develop a comprehensive corridor vision that results in attaining smart growth, conservation, transportation and climate change goals where the net emissions from the corridor are significantly reduced.
Why Consider a Carbon Neutral Corridor?
  • Creates a real world setting that can serve as a national model to design, implement, measure, and modify new and existing strategies, actions, and off-set programs that significantly reduce carbon emissions.
  • Provides the ability to build broad coalitions of both traditional and non-traditional transportation partners by gauging and measuring the acceptance of strategies and leveraging actions that reduce GHG emissions.
  • Provides the opportunity to understand and document the institutional issues associated with a multiagency and multidisciplinary initiatives.
  • Documents the co-benefits, including sustainable infrastructure investments, increasing energy efficiency and strategic conservation programs.
  • Supports the activities associated with the Maryland.
  • Furthers analysis associated with the Climate Action Plan. 
  • Informs efforts to address the "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009" which has a goal to achieve a 25% reduction (from a 2006 baseline) in GHG emissions by 2020. 
  • Remains consistent with the Governor's emphasis on Smart, Green and Growing and priority initiatives, including sustainability.


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Pilot Corridor Selection Process:

Based on several ongoing initiatives within Maryland, MDOT in partnership with other state agencies has engaged in a unique project that takes a multidisciplinary approach to plan and evaluate policies, programs and actions to address energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions.
The project titled the “Carbon Neutral Corridor” identifies strategies that focus on sustainable transportation, smart growth, land conservation and restoration, and energy efficiency practices that support a long-term goal of achieving significant reductions in carbon emissions.  The project objective is the development of an implementation plan that identifies specific actions and funding needs that would lead to eventual implementation of corridor strategies to reduce carbon emissions.
The selection of the first project corridor in Maryland is viewed as a critical first step in ensuring long-term and wide ranging benefits of the project. The goal of the selection process is to identify a corridor with a diverse transportation system, economy and environment so that the recommendations of the project would have transferability to other areas in Maryland.
MDOT convened a team of MDOT staff and representatives from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), the State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) to support the corridor selection process.  An interagency steering committee was also convened which includes a broadly defined group of state agency representatives that provide overall strategic direction and help build support for the CNC project and the specific project corridor.
The screening of the initial candidate corridors was conducted across four emphasis areas:
  • Modal Mix – Corridors with existing or proposed transit networks reflect potential for reducing carbon emissions from transportation through mode shifts from more carbon intensive modes and associated transit oriented development opportunities.
  • Land Use and Development – Corridors with a greater diversity of land uses and growth opportunities in priority funding areas reflect potential for reducing carbon emissions from transportation through both mode shift to transit or biking and walking, or reduced vehicle trip lengths. Corridors with a higher share of undeveloped or protected lands have a higher potential for implementing strategies to sequester carbon
  • Manageability – Corridors that lend themselves to clear definitions of logical geographic and political boundaries are expected to present less significant challenges to managing resources to complete the project, conduct corridor outreach activities and ultimately implement GHG reduction strategies
  • Transferability – The desire is for the process and the eventual corridor action plan to be transferable to other potential Carbon Neutral Corridor’s within priority growth areas in Maryland

Although all of the corridors have merit for carbon neutral corridors in the future, the initial screening focused on ease of implementing a pilot demonstration carbon neutral corridor. The core team selected five corridors for more detailed screening.
The five corridors were reviewed based on an assessment of four decision factors.  The decision factors ultimately guided the selection of the project corridor:

  • Opportunity – Potential for mode shift, Smart Growth and carbon sequestration from conservation and restoration strategies
  • Need – Impacts of corridor population and employment growth on transportation system level of service, preservation of natural lands and energy consumption
  • Complexity – Interaction of travel and development patterns, cross-jurisdiction relationships, and level of conflict across trip types and modes 
  • Feasibility – Is carbon neutrality an attainable goal for the corridor based on existing sources of GHGs?

The five corridors all meet the goals and objectives of the Carbon Neutral Corridor concept and represent viable options for the project.  The more detailed analysis was conducted to identify the distinguishing characteristics that would set one or more corridors apart in consideration for the Carbon Neutral Corridor project.
The core team and interagency steering committee recommended US 40, from the Baltimore City line to Havre de Grace, as the Carbon Neutral Corridor pilot demonstration project.  
The US 40 corridor provides opportunity for GHG reduction through mode shift to multiple corridor transit services and modes, particularly due to growth associated with BRAC activities at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  The corridor rates high for sequestration opportunities due to a high share of natural land uses, particularly adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay, in addition to aggressive policies for rural and agricultural land preservation in Baltimore and Harford Counties.  Ongoing improvements to I-95 in Baltimore County, combined with planned improvements for the extent of I-95 to Cecil County will improve overall corridor travel conditions and establish an express toll lane system to help address corridor delay.  The potential level and cost of transportation investment in the corridor is less than most other corridors given a likely focus on improving local transit circulation, deploying transportation demand management and commute incentive strategies, and localized roadway capacity improvements. The two primary jurisdictions, Baltimore and Harford County, reflect similar goals for redevelopment and transportation investment in the US 40 corridor in their master plans and ongoing related planning and implementation studies and efforts.  The corridor has parallel on-going planning and economic development efforts including APG BRAC, Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor (CSSC) and the Baltimore County led Pulaski Highway Redevelopment Study.


















US 40 CNC / Pilot Corridor Location Map:
The corridor boundary is designed to incorporate multiple elements that all will be key aspects to developing strategies and scenarios for the US 40 CNC. These elements include: geographical and political boundaries, census tract and traffic analysis zone boundaries, existing and future multimodal transportation infrastructure, existing and planned land uses and development, agricultural and conservation/preservation areas, and major industrial areas or other point source emitters.
The boundary considered an overlay of these multiple layers as well as an investigation of aerial photography and knowledge of corridor conditions and travel characteristics. The attached map presents the draft boundary.
Baltimore County:
South and East of US 40: US 40 intersects I-95 just inside the Baltimore City limits. The south end of the corridor will include this interchange. South of US 40 the boundary will run along the City limits to MD 151 (North Point Blvd.) and then run along MD 150 including the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. East of the Back River, the boundary will incorporate all of Essex including Essex Skypark Airport and Rocky Point Park. This entire area was included due to the presence of conservation opportunities. The boundary will include the remainder of Baltimore County’s shoreline up to the Harford County line, including Martin State Airport and MARC Station, Edgewood Arsenal, Baltimore County Eastern Landfill, Constellation Energy’s C.P. Crane coal fired power plant and Gunpowder Falls State Park.
North and West of US 40: From the US 40 interchange with I-95, the corridor boundary will follow the City limits north to US 1 (3.1 miles north of US 40).The boundary will follow US 1 to the Harford County line. This area includes White Marsh and Perry Hall as well as Resource Preservation Areas and Rural Residential Areas outside of Baltimore County’s Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL).
Harford County:
South and East of US 40:  The boundary will follow Harford County’s shoreline from the Baltimore County line to the Susquehanna River/Cecil County line. This area includes both the CSX freight corridor and Amtrak Northeast Corridor/ MARC Penn line (including Edgewood and Aberdeen stations),  Aberdeen Proving Ground, and the cities of Aberdeen and Havre de Grace. 
North and West of US 40: The boundary from the Baltimore County line can follow census tract/traffic analysis zone (TAZ) boundaries on a line approximately halfway between I 95 and US 1/MD 22. The attached map highlights the corridor area by including the first group of TAZs as created by Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) north and west of I 95. The actual boundary is likely to be less precise in order to have flexibility in including potential conservation and agricultural areas in Harford County. The recommendation is that the boundary stays south of US 1 and MD 22 so as to not include the City of Bel Air.  The corridor boundary then picks up MD 155, including the Harford County Airport and intersects with I-95.

 Click to View Map as a PDF


Last Updated on 04/09/2015