How the Department of Transportation Supports Military and Community Compatible Use

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) comprises five business units and one authority that oversees all facets of transportation in Maryland, including​ ports, transit, aviation, tolls, highways, and driver services. As the DoD makes extensive use of defense communities' multimodal transportation infrastructure for base personnel commuting to and from installations as well as to move materials and provide resources to installations, MDOT (and localities) plays a critical role in supporting defense infrastructure. MDOT uses a variety of tools, plans, and programs to coordinate with federal, state, regional, and local agencies to plan and develop a transportation system that meets the needs of all users, including Maryland's defense communities. MDOT partners in transportation planning include Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), regional planning councils, county planning agencies, regional transit agencies, and transportation management associations.

MDOT is one of the five state agencies that is a statutory member of the Maryland Military Installation Council (MMIC) and plays a key supporting role in implementing the recommendations of the 2019 Statewide Joint Land Use Response Implementation Strategy to support military and community compatibility.

In addition, MDOT is one of seven state agencies that take part in the review of Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) applications for permitting approval of utility-scale renewable energy projects (along with the Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Energy Administration, Department of the Environment, Department of Planning, and the Department of Commerce). MDOT is also a part of the Federal Offshore Siting Process for Renewable Energy projects. Compatible permitting and siting of renewable energy projects are key to maintaining and protecting the military mission and operational areas in the state.

Compatibility Factors relevant to the Department of Transporation: Roadway Capacity/Congestion, Infrastructure Extensions and Capacity

Relevant Programs and Plans

Consolidated Transportation Program


Comparable to a local capital improvement plan, MDOT annually completes and publishes a 6-year capital budget for transportation projects in the state named the Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP). The CTP is one component of the legislatively mandated State Report on Transportation, which in addition to the CTP, includes the Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP) and Annual Attainment Report (AR). MDOT updates the MTP and AR every 5 years. The CTP outlines state transportation projects and programs across all of MDOT's business units, which include State Highway Administration, Maryland Transit Administration, the MDOT Secretary's Office, Motor Vehicle Administration, Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Aviation Administration, and Maryland Transportation Authority.

CTP priorities are developed in accordance with the goals of the MTP, and include concerns for safety, resiliency, economic development, environmental sustainability, efficiency, improved choices and connections, and fiscal responsibility. The Maryland Open Transportation Investment Act of 2016 required the state to develop a project-based scoring system to rank major (defined as exceeding $5 million in cost) state highway or transit capacity projects proposed for funding in the CTP, referred to as Chapter 30. Chapter 30 includes nine goals and 23 measures used to evaluate major projects. Chapter 30 is one tool used by MDOT in the CTP decision making process but is not the sole determinant of which projects will be funded. Entities, which include local governments and state government agencies, proposing a major project must submit an application through the Maryland OneStop portal by March 1 of each year. Any project listed in a county Priority Letter (learn more below) must also have a Chapter 30 application submitted by March 1.

The FY22-27 CTP includes, but is not limited to, the following transportation projects that support civilian-military compatible use in defense communities. The purpose and need statements for these projects note that they are in response to BRAC expansion and BRAC initiatives.

  • Fort Meade
    • Widen MD Route 175 to improve safety and decrease congestion related to expansion at the fort (pg. SHA-AA-1)
    • Study identifying traffic flow improvements on the same road (pg. SHA-AA-7)
    • Provide bicycle and pedestrian access on MD 198 from MD 295 to MD 32 (pg. SHA-AA-8)
  • Naval Support Activity Bethesda
    • Construct intersection improvements on MD 185 at Jones Bridge Rd (pg. SHA-M-3)
  • Joint Base Andrews
    • Construct a new interchange at MD 4 and Suitland Parkway which accommodating bicycles and pedestrians where appropriate (SHA-PG-4)
    • Upgrade MD 4 from MD 223 to I-95/I-495 to a multilane highway accommodating bicycles and pedestrians where appropriate (SHA-PG-16)

Military installations and local governments (Chapter 30 entities) are encouraged to collaborate on Maryland OneStop applications and priority letters to seek and secure CTP funding for transportation studies, programs, and projects that support civilian-military compatible use.

Priority Letters


Chapter 725 of the 2010 Laws of Maryland clarifies standards for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) evaluation and selection of projects for its annual Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP). Transportation Article § 8-612 governs the method by which local governments communicate their capital project priorities to the state by noting that “the local governing body and a majority of the local legislative delegation shall establish a list of priorities from among those secondary system projects listed in the needs inventory and the Administration shall engage in initial project planning upon the request of the local governing body and a majority of the local legislative delegation in the order established in the list of priorities. MDOT's Highway Needs Inventory (HNI) Overview defines the secondary system as a "network of state routes which serve inter-regional and localized traffic. This network consists of 3,955 miles (75.45%) of the total state maintained roadways and provides feeder and support functions to the Primary System. It also complements county highway systems."

Chapter 725 also establishes the connection between prioritized projects, the Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP), and a jurisdiction's comprehensive plan. Requests for the inclusion of a capital project in the CTP must include the location of the project, the need for the project, a discussion of how the project addresses state transportation goals, and a description of how the project supports local government land use goals. As part of the annual CTP process, MDOT accepts the requests, in the form of Priority Letters, on or around April 1 of each year. Counties are required to submit Priority Letters that detail how proposed projects advance the six goals of the MTP. MDOT encourages municipalities and regional planning organizations to coordinate with counties if they wish for a project to be included in a Priority Letter, as county letters most impact MDOT's CTP decision making process. Counties should engage the public, municipalities, major employers, and other stakeholders, including military installations, in the Priority Letter development process. As a means of supporting mutually beneficial transportation infrastructure (roads, transit, multimodal), jurisdictions and their neighboring military installations should discuss desired transportation projects each year during the priority letter drafting process, ideally as part of a regularly scheduled and coordinated process. MDOT reports and maintains annual Priority Letters on its Maryland Priority Letter Map. Planning recommends that counties and municipalities also work with military installations to ensure projects are consistent with local comprehensive plans, as that is one measure by which MDOT measures proposals during the CTP process. If a project is not included in a jurisdiction's comprehensive plan, or if the land use plan does not support a proposed project, such as transit connecting growth areas with major employers or other high trip generating destinations, then a jurisdiction and military installation should consider how the comprehensive plan might best be updated our amended to demonstrate consistency with the proposed project. Another option is for installations to articulate their priority transportation projects through the MMIC.

MPO Transportation Improvement Programs


In addition to coordinating on the Consolidated Transportation Plan (CTP) and Priority Letters, military installations should work with Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) on their Long-Range Transportation Plans (LRTP) and MPO Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs). Maryland has seven MPOs serving the state's urbanized areas with a population greater than 50,000. MPOs are required to develop 20-year LRTPs and two to six-year TIPs for the regions they represent. The LRTPs are similar in form and purpose as the Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP), but at the regional, rather than the state level. LRTPs include regional goals, and, along with the MTP, serve as the foundation of the state's project-focused Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan. MDOT describes the STIP as "a listing of transportation projects requesting funding that includes proposed federal, state, and local money for highway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects throughout the state during the next four years."

Refer to the STIP Development Process Diagram from Maryland's 2022 STIP to learn more about the various plans and programs are related.

Following General Assembly approval of the CTP, projects are then incorporated into the respective MPO TIPs. A new CTP is developed each year, while TIPs and the STIP may not be updated annually.

Transportation Alternatives Program


The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a state directed, federally funded, and reimbursable program. TAP supports community-oriented transportation programs or projects that enhance Maryland's intermodal connections. Eligible sponsors include regional transportation authorities, local and tribal governments, school districts, natural resource and public land agencies, transit agencies, and local government entities overseeing trail development. TAP funding could be used to support intermodal connections to military installations, develop recreational trails on publicly owned easements, on land adjacent to an installation, or to restore historic transportation buildings that serve or once served as military installations or facilities.

Maryland Jobs Access Reverse Commute Grant


The Maryland Jobs Access Reverse Commute (MD-JARC) Grant Program is intended to connect potential workers to employment areas experiencing rapid growth, such as those supporting, or supported by, military installations. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, local transit systems, and one or more employers are eligible grant recipients. MD-JARC can fund transit corridor and feasibility studies, bus infrastructure, connected and automated vehicle pilot programs, and other transit supportive initiatives. Local transit agencies, military installations, and military dependent employers could partner on a MD-JARC funded program to improve accessibility and mobility of their co-dependent workforces.


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