Maryland DOT Tool Helps Locals Plug into EV Funding

The Maryland Department of Transportation is rolling out a new tool to help local governments and agencies dip into $2.5 billion in federal grants to build an electric vehicle or EV charging network.

[Above photo by the Maryland DOT]

The EV Charger Siting Tool is a map-based website that helps the user select those communities and charging sites in Maryland that have the best chance of securing grants under Federal Highway Administration’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure or CFI discretionary grant program, funded by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA enacted in November 2021.

The tool consolidates geographic data on existing chargers, registered EV users, disadvantaged communities, alternative fuel corridors, and “marginalized and underserved communities targeted for investment to address climate change and clean energy needs,” the Maryland DOT noted.

“Helping our partners across the state secure federal funding for EV projects is part of our leadership role and this tool is just one facet of our strategy to share knowledge, expertise and experience to make the most of those opportunities,” added Maryland DOT Secretary Paul Wiedefeld in a statement.

[Editor’s note: A recent American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials video of a knowledge session held at its 2022 Annual Meeting featured panelists from the Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida DOTs discussing their respective plans for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure or NEVI program funds.]

By typing any Maryland address into the tool and selecting from a criteria menu, planners can see which factors in those communities and sites can best help their application. The agency pointed out that June 13 is the deadline for CFI grant applications.

The first round of funding will make $700 million available from fiscal years 2022 and 2023, with a total of $2.5 billion in funding available over the next five years, according to FHWA. The Maryland DOT also has set up a federal grants page on its website to give its partners across the state a good overview of other federal grant opportunities.

Maryland DOT’s Wiedefeld added that his state expects to see “tremendous growth and investment as more and more EVs come into the marketplace.”

Brian Booher, a senior planning specialist at the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, said the Maryland DOT is “always ready to help partners at the local level with grant applications. And the sharing of information – like the data in [the] new Electric Vehicle Charger Siting Tool – is invaluable as we work to benefit our communities and the entire state.”

Maryland has a goal of having 300,000 registered electric vehicles in the state by 2025 and, as of April 2023, there were 70,000 registered EVs in Maryland.

Other state departments of transportation are also working on ways to boost the development of EV charging networks in their respective areas.

For example, from a broad perspective, the North Carolina Department of Transportation recently released the finalized version of its North Carolina Clean Transportation Plan, outlining a roadmap to continue growing the state’s clean energy economy while reducing greenhouse gas or GHG emissions and investing in cleaner and more accessible transportation options for state residents.

The NCDOT said it worked with more than 220 stakeholders for more than a year to develop this draft plan – mandated by Governor Roy Cooper (D) via Executive Order 246 issued January 2022 – which explores strategies to advance clean transportation investments and workforce development statewide.

In a more targeted fashion, the Oregon Department of Transportation recently introduced a rebate plan for state residents living in multifamily homes as well as motorists near public parking areas to spur access to EV charging stations.

The Oregon DOT said the rebate offered by its new Community Charging Rebates Program will range from $4,250 to $5,500 per charging port or up to 75 percent of eligible project costs, whichever is less, to help lower the cost of buying, installing, and maintaining Level 2 and Level 1 EV charging stations.

AASHTO Re:source Podcast: Hawaii DOT & ‘Plastic Roads’

The AASHTO re:source podcast recently interviewed Ed Sniffen (above), director for the Hawaii Department of Transportation, for a two-part episode about how his agency is testing the incorporation of recycled plastics into its road paving processes. To listen to part one of this two-part podcast episode, click here.

[Above image by AASHTO]

AASHTO re:source – which launched this podcast series in September 2020 – is a major technical service program of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. It provides services and tools through three major programs: the Laboratory Assessment Program, the Proficiency Sample Program, and the AASHTO Accreditation Program.

Sniffen – who previously appeared on the AASHTO re:source podcast in February to discuss his agency’s resiliency planning efforts – said using recycling plastics as part of Hawaii DOT’s mix of paving materials is “part our never-ending quest to be greener” in its road construction and maintenance operations.

“When we started looking back at the pavements on our system, [we saw] that every seven to 10 years, we have to rip out that upper layer and process another layer in. So we tried to see how we can do better,” he explained.

“We started using better materials and making sure that we reconstructed roadways rather than just putting in a ‘mill and fill.’ And that’s helped us tremendously in ensuring that we don’t have to do as much work as CO2 [carbon dioxide] intensive as often,” Sniffen noted. “Now we’re starting to use a stone matrix, asphalt, and polymer mix to create ‘modified asphalts.’ It’s going to give us that 20 to 25-year lifespan we’re looking for.”

Appointed to lead Hawaii DOT in December 2022, Sniffen is a recognized state DOT leader on the topic of resilience and “green” construction initiatives.

He serves as the chair of the Committee on Transportation System Security and Resilience for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and has testified on Capitol Hill about a variety of infrastructure resiliency issues as well.

Sniffen also participated in a knowledge session on infrastructure resilience hosted during AASHTO’s 2022 Spring Meeting in New Orleans.

Environmental News Highlights – May 31, 2023


Detailing Rural America’s Mobility and Accessibility Needs – AASHTO Journal

Sen. Carper, Key Transportation Policy Leader, Retiring in 2024 – AASHTO Journal

Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Power to Address Water Pollution – New York Times

EPA under pressure to revive noise pollution program – E&E News Greenwire

FAA Seeks Public Input on Drone Operations – FAA (media release)

Highway Infrastructure: Better Alignment with Leading Practices Would Improve USDOT’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program – GAO



Here’s how far Thurston County, WA Intercity Transit has come since the COVID-19 pandemic – The Olympian


How a Bay Area Community is Fighting Port Pollution – Earthjustice

Can Boston improve pedestrian safety with redesigned streets, intersections? It’s about to find out. – Smart Cities Dive

The Parking Reform That Could Transform Manhattan – CityLab (opinion)


California seeks EPA approval to ban sales of new gasoline-only vehicles by 2035 – Reuters


DC DOT’s Lott Named Vice Chair of Equity in Infrastructure Project – AASHTO Journal


How to Open a National Park for the Summer Season – New York Times

Metro Detroit wetlands: What they are, how they’re shrinking – ClickOnDetroit

Audit finds California water agency not adequately considering climate change in forecasts Los Angeles Times



Travel and Tourism: DOT Should Improve Strategic Planning and Data Collection – GAO

Expanded mountain bike trail creating new kind of tourism in Michigan – WPBN/WGTU-TV

‘Culture Wars’ Have Not Overlooked Public Transit, Urbanist Ideas – Government Technology

NYC DOT Launches Series of Themed Self-Guided Bike Route Maps to Encourage CyclingNYCDOT (media release)

New Route 66 U.S. Bike Route signs unveiled in Tulsa – Oklahoma DOT (media release)


IIHS: Trade-Offs when Mandating Slow E-Scooter Speeds – AASHTO Journal

Philadelphia named “most walkable city” in the U.S. – KYW-TV

Richard Montanez, Deputy Commissioner of Transportation, City of Philadelphia – Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Program – ITE Talks Transportation podcast

Restricting ride-hailing apps makes transportation systems less efficient– University of Florida

E-Bikes Are Putting a Dent in Denver’s Vehicle Miles Traveled – Government Technology

North Little Rock opens portion of Arkansas River Trail for bicycles and foot traffic – KATV-TV

New half-mile Southwest Greenway in Detroit opens – Detroit News

Denver has exceeded its goal of 125 miles of new bike infrastructure, mayor says Denverite

NHTSA Proposes New Crashworthiness Pedestrian Protection Testing Program – NHTSA (media release)


TRB Webinar: New Minimum Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Rule – TRB

TRB Webinar: Electrification and Hydrogen Technologies in Airports – TRB

The Coast Guard’s Next Decade: An Assessment of Emerging Challenges and Statutory Needs – TRB

Program Evaluation Report Card Tool for Wildlife Hazard Management Plans: User Guide – TRB

Resilient Design with Distributed Rainfall-Runoff Modeling – TRB


National Navigation Safety Advisory Committee; June 2023 Virtual Meeting – Coast Guard (Notice)

Community Disaster Resilience Zones and the National Risk Index – FEMA (Notice request for information)