Monthly Archives: May 2017

Alexis Williams Named a Top TDM Professional Under 40

John Mullen, AICP, PP; Alexis Williams, AICP, PP; Bert Cossaboon, AICP, PP

We’re proud to announce that GVF named Alexis Williams, AICP, PP, a senior planner in our Philadelphia, PA office, a Top Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Professional under 40 years old! Per GVF, these awards are presented to “ambitious leaders in our industry that are working to find creative solutions to improve our quality of life through engineering, planning, marketing campaigns and the development of commuting alternative programs that are shifting behavioral change.”

“It’s exciting to be recognized as one of the region’s top TDM professionals under 40,” Alexis said. “As a planner, transportation demand management is important to my work as it encourages people to consider all transportation options and helps create stronger communities.”

The awards were presented at GVF’s 27th Annual Meeting, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia – King of Prussia Hotel on May 8, 2017.

McCormick Taylor Baltimore Named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business

On May 17, the League of American Bicyclists recognized McCormick Taylor with a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award.

The firm joins nearly 1,350 local businesses, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

“This recognition will help us encourage more employees and visitors to consider biking to work,” said Anikwenze Ogbue, EIT, a Traffic Designer in our Baltimore office. “We have a lot of amenities at or near the Baltimore office, such as bike parking, showers, bike share, and transit. If we show how it’s possible to integrate them, I think more staff and future talent will see the benefits.”

Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program at

Bicycle Friendly Business is a Service Mark of the League of American Bicyclists; used with permission.

Chris Brooks to Present on Lot E at CWEA Spring Stormwater Seminar

Chris Brooks

Senior Water Resources Engineer Chris Brooks will be presenting on McCormick Taylor’s Parking Lot E project at the Chesapeake Water Environment Association’s (CWEA) Spring Stormwater Seminar on May 18.

Held at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Study in Linthicum Heights, MD, this year’s CWEA Spring Stormwater Seminar will provide attendees the opportunity for peer-to-peer information exchange with representatives of regulated stormwater programs.

Read the presentation’s abstract below:


Ellicott City’s Historic District is a Main Street community located between steep slopes in Maryland’s Patapsco River Valley. Inspections of the town’s infrastructure following the August 2011 mid-Atlantic-shaking earthquake revealed that Parking Lot E’s retaining wall needed repairs. A month later, Tropical Storm Lee flooded Ellicott City damaging homes, stores, and county infrastructure, including additional damage to the Lot E retaining wall.


Howard County hired McCormick Taylor to design and construct a solution to Lot E’s failing retaining wall with the additional objectives of improving access to parking, increasing pedestrian safety, and beautifying Parking Lot E, all while incorporating the treatment of nearly two acres of previously unmanaged upland impervious surface draining from the Circuit Court complex.


Stormwater is now managed through a series of BMPs. Treatment begins with the majority of water from the courthouse area entering a flume leading to a multi-tiered bioretention treatment train. Water enters into the flume and is conveyed down a step pool feature to a forebay, where it is carried beneath the stairway into the first bioretention cell. When full, the first cell flows over into a second bioretention cell via a weir waterfall that doubles as an aesthetic feature. The second cell also utilizes an aesthetic waterfall feature as an overflow. A tree box filter placed along the edge of the parking lot catches water off of Lot E itself. An additional bioretention located at the north end of the lot catches runoff that bypasses the staircase treatment facilities. Densely planted native species uptake nutrients in the runoff while providing year round aesthetic value and supporting native wildlife.


The Lot E Staircase and Water Quality Project utilizes a unique combination of LID practices in a treatment train, beautifies an adjacent parking lot, and overcomes urban infrastructure challenges while treating stormwater and improving walkability. The design allows pedestrians a safe and well-lit path not only to the vast parking lot located less than 0.2 walking miles from Main Street, but also to resources and infrastructure such as the Howard County Historic Society Museum, the Ellicott City Wellness Center, the Circuit Courthouse, and several small business. This staircase and parking lot improvements that incorporate bioretention in the design not only provides improved human access but also creates an opportunity to educate both visitors and locals that managing stormwater is a fundamental part of urban infrastructure that can be both functional and aesthetic.

Mentorship Comes Full Circle for Charles Penny

Charles Penny

Consider your mentor.

Whether it’s someone who helped with your career, education, or hobby, there’s probably a friend, relative, or professor who aided you in getting to where you are now.

Take Charles Penny, a Transportation Planner in our Baltimore office, for example. On March 8, Charles visited Patterson High School as part of Women in Transportation (WTS) Transportation YOU’s mentoring program. He and four other mentors taught professional development skills to 12 high school girls through confidence-building exercises, mock interviews, and offering helpful tips on composing oneself during introductions.

For nearly three years, Charles mainly focused on program coordination and support for the committee, but as the only male he had never interacted with the students as a mentor before. This was the committee’s first professional development workshop, as well as the first time a male was incorporated into the mentoring program for young women.

Charles said that he enjoyed working with the minority youth and that it was a great opportunity for the students to connect with someone they can relate to. He and the other mentors shared their experiences and vulnerabilities with regard to professional development, allowing the students to address and express their own career hopes and dreams.

Charles had his own mentors growing up, and he viewed this as a great opportunity to pay it forward by sharing some of the advice he was given, as well as what he’s learned through his career.

“I remember being their age and being grateful for people giving their time to me,” Charles said. “It showed me that even if you don’t know someone personally, they can still care about you and want to help you.”