Contact: Maryland Department of Transportation Public Affairs
David Broughton, 410-865-1029​​

The Updated Department-Wide Policy Supports Rapidly Reducing Traffic Fatalities by Creating a Safe Environment for All Road Users

HANOVER, MD (June 6, 2024) – The Maryland Department of Transportation announced today that Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld has signed a new, department-wide Complete Streets Policy, which will make roads safer for all users by requiring additions of safety features such as bike lanes and pedestrian crossings, thereby prioritizing accessible and sustainable travel across all modes. The new policy supports the Moore-Miller Administration's State Plan to create safer communities and advance infrastructure to better connect Marylanders to jobs, shopping and other opportunities.

 “We must do more to save lives and prevent fatal crashes in Maryland," said Secretary Wiedefeld. “Our roads serve as critical links which connect Marylanders to life's opportunities and communities to each other. Through our updated Complete Streets policy, the Department will design and build projects that accommodate and protect all road users, including those who walk or bike.''

​Updated for the first time in more than a decade, the Complete Streets policy will ensure MDOT's multi-billion-dollar capital program funds safe, complete streets for all Marylanders. It will apply to projects within MDOT's right-of-way in the following cases:

  • When implementing a capital improvement project such as construction or reconstruction of a roadway, intersection or bridge;
  • When permitting new or reconstructed streets to access MDOT right-of-way; and
  • When there is an opportunity to improve safety for all users by applying proactive engineering safety countermeasures to resurfacing projects. 

The policy is applicable to all agencies, including the State Highway Administration, Maryland Transit Administration, Motor Vehicle Administration, Maryland Aviation Administration, Maryland Port Administration and the Maryland Transportation Authority. All administrators joined the Secretary in signing the policy. It went into effect June 1.  The policy applies to new projects and is not retroactive for ones that have achieved 30% or more design and approval pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or that will achieve those milestones by December 1.

A “Complete Streets"​ approach prioritizes infrastructure for all road users including pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit options. It aims to address the needs of all road users when developing and redeveloping transportation corridors. And it is a key strategy to help reverse the upward trend in traffic fatalities while creating a healthier, greener and more equitable transportation system.

MDOT has been working to identify corridors that can benefit from a Complete Streets approach. Some projects are already moving through planning, design and construction phases, including along US 1 and MD 410 in Prince George's County. MDOT in recent years completed a Complete Streets project along a section of Old Georgetown Road (MD 187) notable for fatal crashes involving bicyclists in Montgomery County. The project added a bike lane with green pavement markings and flex posts, improving conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians. No fatal crashes have occurred since the bike lane installation.

Under the policy, each MDOT mode or type of transportation will develop implementation strategies within the next six months and work in collaboration with the Office of Active Transportation and Micromobility at the Secretary's Office with the goal of increasing equitable access to the transportation network -- from better transit connections to safer crossings. The policy will also help build awareness around safer road interactions by promoting driver education and enforcement of traffic laws as well as implementation of educational safety programs and initiatives.

The new policy fulfills Secretary Wiedefeld's commitment to update MDOT's Complete Streets approach and further support Maryland's Vision Zero goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries on Maryland roadways by 2030.

This policy reaffirms and advances MDOT's longstanding commitment to a transportation system that works for all and builds on key initiatives such as the State Highway Administration's Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which seeks to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety statewide.

With the signing of the policy, Secretary Wiedefeld and leaders from all MDOT agencies mark the important step of implementing this policy across the Department.

“Complete Streets is an important tool in our toolbox that enables us to provide safe, accessible and equitable transportation options for all customers, no matter which mode they choose to travel. This policy ensures that MDOT – in collaboration with our partners – is working together to integrate our transportation facilities and connect customers to life's opportunities." 

  • William Pines, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration 

“Each fatality on our roads is a tragedy and unfortunately, Maryland experienced more than 620 fatalities in 2023, which included 165 pedestrians and 15 bicyclists. These deaths are unacceptable and were completely preventable. We are looking forward to working with our partners under this updated policy to ensure the safety of all Marylanders by creating the safest transportation system in our state that will help us reach our goal of zero fatalities and injuries on our roadways."

  • Chrissy Nizer, Administrator, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration  

"Our new Complete Streets Policy acknowledges the vital role of transit within our communities and places a premium on accessibility and safety. By incorporating public transit, bicyclist and pedestrian infrastructure into our transportation projects, we're creating inclusive pathways that connect Marylanders to opportunity and cultivate safer, healthier communities."

  • Holly Arnold, Administrator, Maryland Transit Administration

 “The Maryland Transportation Authority uses engineering, enforcement and education to ensure Maryland's toll facilities support safe use and mobility for all users. This policy emphasizes innovative engagement strategies as seen in MDTA's Bay Crossing Study: Tier 2 NEPA and our efforts to work with local jurisdictions on bridge replacement projects along the I-95 corridor. Together with this new policy, MDTA will help connect more people to opportunity."

  • Bruce Gartner, Executive Director, Maryland Transportation Authority 

“Safety is a core value and an overriding commitment. Mitigating risks during the operation and development of our airports is essential to protect customers and employees. The Maryland Aviation Administration is proud to stand with MDOT in this commitment to support safe access and mobility for all."

  • Ricky Smith, Executive Director/CEO, Maryland Aviation Administration   

“We are proud to join our fellow Maryland Department of Transportation modes in strongly supporting the Complete Streets Policy.   As an avid bicyclist myself, I know this initiative will greatly improve the safety of our roads by adding bike lanes and pedestrian crossings and providing better opportunities for Marylanders to reach their jobs, retail businesses, dining, or entertainment venues.  It also promotes a healthier and more equitable transportation network for all of us." 

  • Jonathan Daniels, Executive Director, Maryland Port Administration