Kudos to MDSHA for this improvement in focus on multi-modal transit.

Kudos to MDSHA for this improvement in focus on multi-modal transit.

Context Driven – Access and Mobility for all Users

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) Context Guide is a planning and design resource offering practitioners guidelines focused on creating safe, accessible, and effective multi-modal transportation systems.  MDOT SHA developed a unique set of six context zones based on the distinctive land use characteristics of Maryland communities.  The White Flint area appears to be considered a Suburban Activity Area/Traditional Town Center. Making use of these zones, this context guide will maintain flexibility and encourage innovation in developing design solutions that address the major issues of safety and accessibility while still considering the transportation needs of the motoring public.  

This Context Guide

  • establishes six context zones in the state of Maryland and is a framework for identifying and understanding the needs of communities across the state in each of these context zones.
  • explores the role that access and mobility play in each of Maryland’s six context zones.
  • establishes processes for implementation of standard, proactive and innovative treatments in transportation projects along state routes.
  • challenges practitioners to think critically and better respond to the unique needs of communities in Maryland.
  • refers to national and international practices, standards, guidelines and policies that have already been established in Maryland and in the overall transportation industry.

Amy Ginsburg


One comment

David Helms

Encourage advocates to email MDSHA with their feedback; here’s mine: (the target audience is our State Delegates and Senators as funding allocation is the issue, but Gov. Hogan, through MDOT/SHA, needs to here this too): Presumably, these guidelines will inform future infrastructure decisions, but we can do better. Why not use the guidelines to 1) assess compatibility between current streetscape built environment and what the streetscape SHOULD BE given the character of the communities adjacent the SHA roads, then 2) request funds to resolve context mis-matches which are the root cause of crashes and deaths. 3) SHA funding should be allocated as a ratio of urban/rural context. If a SHA District is more rural, funds should be predominantly for traffic; if a District is mostly urban, then funding should be allocated to include a pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

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