Message From Governor Larry Hogan
This month has flown by, and thank goodness fall has finally arrived! We took our administration on the road in October, making exciting announcements and participating in great events – I’ve had many incredible opportunities to get out and meet with Marylanders all across our state.
On October 16, our administration was proud to celebrate our 1,000th day in office. Throughout the day on Facebook, we remembered and reflected on some of the pivotal points that shaped the past 33 months. I am humbled to have been given the opportunity to serve the State of Maryland as your governor, and I want you to know that I’m going to keep giving this job everything I’ve got every day I am given because our journey is to be continued.
We also spent time in Western Maryland, where we announced our legislation to expand the Hometown Heroes Act to cover correctional officers in the upcoming 2018 legislative session. Last year, we enacted legislation to provide tax relief for our retired police, firefighters, and first responders; the Hometown Heroes Act of 2018 will expand that law to include correctional officers, who perform some of the most difficult jobs in the public safety sector. As governor, I have been moved countless times by the selfless service and the dedication of all those who are tasked with ensuring public safety in our state. This legislation is good economic policy, but more importantly, it is the right thing to do.
This past Halloween Weekend, I had a great time at the 92nd annual Alsatia Mummers Parade in Hagerstown, the largest nighttime Halloween parade on the East Coast! Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome.
You can see more photos from the parade and from my time meeting with the incredible men and women of the Hagerstown Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office here and here. Keep reading to learn more about our exciting economic development progress in Western Maryland.
In Baltimore City, we celebrated the removal of over 1,000 blighted properties through our Project C.O.R.E. initiative. Project C.O.R.E., or Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise, is a multi-year, city-state initiative to remove vacant and derelict buildings in Baltimore and replace them with green space or the foundation for redevelopment. Read on below about more of the progress we have been making under Project C.O.R.E. and our investments in Baltimore City.
We were also very proud to announce that 100 soldiers from the Maryland National Guard deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist with ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma. The recovery efforts in the Caribbean will be lengthy due to the level of destruction caused by the recent hurricanes, and Maryland is proud to help our neighbors and friends in their time of need. We are incredibly grateful to the dedicated men and women of the Maryland National Guard for their selfless service – they truly represent the very best of our great state. Remember to follow recovery efforts at governor.maryland.gov/relief-and-recovery.
I leave you this month with an adorable photo of my grandson Cam and grand puppy Arbor, a Rhodesian Ridgeback – the lion and the lion hunter! We hope you and your family had a great Halloween.
Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow me on social media to stay up to date on all our administration is doing to Change Maryland for the Better!
Highlights: Western Maryland
In Downtown Cumberland, Governor Larry Hogan highlighted the administration’s progress in boosting economic development and job creation in Western Maryland through numerous initiatives involving multiple state agencies, totaling over $1 billion in state investments.
“During our campaign, we promised that Western Maryland would no longer be ignored, forgotten, or neglected,” said Governor Hogan. “We said that we were going to pay more attention to your needs and concerns, because there should not be a disconnect between Mountain Maryland and Annapolis. We want everyone across Western Maryland to know that you have a voice in Annapolis, and an administration that is fighting on your behalf each and every day.”
Governor Hogan highlights the administration’s progress in boosting economic development & job creation in Western Maryland
Among the initiatives highlighted by the governor was the administration’s More Jobs for Marylanders Act. Passed during the 2017 legislative session and signed into law by Governor Hogan in April, this landmark legislation incentivizes companies to create new jobs in areas with high unemployment, including Western Maryland. Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Commerce to actively promote the law throughout Western Maryland to encourage further economic development.
He also announced that the administration, in collaboration with Garrett and Allegany Counties and the Tri-County Council of Western Maryland, will launch a new project to bring high-speed broadband connectivity to eight business parks in Western Maryland and to downtown Cumberland to support critical redevelopment projects. The project enhances 66 new miles of lit fiber, creating a network of more than 3,600 miles of fiber. This new broadband initiative follows the governor’s June 2017 executive order establishing an Office of Rural Broadband in the Department of Information Technology and the recent completion of a successful pilot program in Garrett County.
Traffic Relief Plan – Phase Two
Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is investing $50.3 million to deploy cutting-edge Smart Traffic Signals that will improve traffic operation and ease congestion for approximately 700,000 drivers per day on 14 major corridors across the state. The system uses real-time traffic conditions and computer software that adjusts the timing of traffic signals, synchronizes the entire corridor, and effectively deploys artificial intelligence to keep traffic moving.
“Last month, our administration introduced a bold Traffic Relief Plan beginning with three massive, unprecedented projects to widen the Capital Beltway, I-270, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway,” said Governor Hogan. “This next phase will employ the newest technology to further ease congestion in Maryland. By replacing 20-year-old existing controls with Smart Traffic Signals, we will have the ability to respond to changes in traffic flow, as well as traffic conditions immediately – benefiting nearly 700,000 Maryland citizens across the state.”
Smart Signals operate with an adaptive signal control system, which uses enhanced detection to monitor traffic conditions and alter the timing of traffic signals. The smart signals will replace existing controls that are over 20 years old and are unresponsive to the constant changes in traffic flow, operating on programmed timing. Crashes, construction, and special events all contribute to congestion. With this innovative technology, those factors are quickly considered and the software adjusts the timing to the signals accordingly.
North Avenue Rising and Walbrook Mill Redevelopment – Investing in Baltimore City
Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh launched the $27.3 million “North Avenue Rising” project to add key transportation and infrastructure improvements to revitalize the North Avenue Corridor in Baltimore City.
“For far too long, a lack of reliable transit has crippled the North Avenue corridor – that is going to change,” said Governor Hogan. “By working with our federal, state, and city partners, North Avenue Rising will have a transformational effect on this area and will make changes that will have the most direct impact on the services the citizens of Baltimore use and need the most.”
Delivering on the Hogan administration’s commitment to growing Maryland’s economy and creating new jobs, the project will build on the public and private investment and revitalization that has already taken place along North Avenue through targeted improvements in transportation infrastructure. MDOT MTA will revitalize a five-mile stretch of North Avenue with improvements including: dedicated bus lanes; transit signal priority, which allows buses to hold green lights longer and shorten red lights; bike facilities; enhancements to Light RailLink and Metro SubwayLink stations; improvements at major bus stops and sidewalks; streetscaping; and roadway repaving.
Governor Larry also kicked off the redevelopment of Walbrook Mill in West Baltimore through Project C.O.R.E., and celebrated the recent milestone of more than 1,000 units of blight removed through the initiative. Walbrook Mill, a five-acre abandoned lumber yard in close proximity to Coppin State University, will be redeveloped in phases. The plan for the site, at full build out, is to include approximately 140 affordable and market rate rental apartments and townhomes, 9,000 square feet of North Ave commercial and retail space, and includes the rehabilitation and reuse of approximately 32,000 square feet of existing lumber warehouse space to be dedicated to workforce development opportunities.
Governor Hogan was excited to personally start demolition on the project.
“Just a few weeks ago, we surpassed the historic milestone of 1,000 units of blighted properties being removed,” said Governor Hogan. “A total of 1,154 decaying units, many without roofs or walls, have been demolished, and another 32 have been stabilized for reuse. We are continuing that incredible success here at Walbrook Lumberyard, which – thanks to Project C.O.R.E. – will be transformed into a community hub that the residents of West Baltimore, the students, and staff at Coppin State University, and all Marylanders can be proud of.”