City has list of issues to present to MDOT

August 20, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

When the state comes in September to present its planned transportation improvement projects, the City of Hagerstown will meet representatives with a list of at least eight issues it wants on the state's radar.

Each year, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) tours the state with the Secretary of Transportation presenting planned projects, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said. The tour is when the state listens to issues raised by local jurisdictions, he said.

City staff generated a list of six priorities to discuss with the state and put the list before the city council Tuesday. The council agreed with everything on the staff's list and added two of its own issues.

Councilman Martin Brubaker said he wanted to pursue possibly having the state maintain its roads within city limits. The city currently has full responsibility for maintaining state roads within its limits, he said.


Brubaker said he felt it was unique for a city to bear such responsibility and wanted to find out if it was possible for the state to take over keeping the roads in good repair.

He also said he wanted more information on the state's intent for the area surrounding Washington Street, Franklin Street, Salem Avenue and Burhans Boulevard.

At one time, there was discussion of improvements to expedite traffic, he said, adding that he wanted to know what, if anything, was happening.

Tissue said signal times had been adjusted on Franklin Street and Burhans Boulevard to alleviate congested traffic. Lines on Burhans Boulevard also were repainted, he said.

Topping the city's final list of priorities was highway user revenue. The city has lost most of its highway user revenues or about $1.3 million to the state, Tissue said.

Hagerstown wants the state to provide information regarding the revenue collected in Washington County and future projects. It also wants to know how recent collections were used and diverted, according to city documents.

Also on the priorities list were:

o The overall status of transportation funding and what the state plans to do when federal stimulus money is no longer available

o A summary of plans and active MDOT projects in the county and specifically in the city

o The status of Interstate 70 and Interstate 81 planning studies and long-term improvements

o What the state can do to implement recommendations from the long-range multimodal transportation plan created by the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan

Planning Organization

o The status of the "Retrofit the Sidewalk Program" and "Safe Routes to School" programs that the city has used to install sidewalks

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