Create an Infrastructure Bank
Our roads, bridges, and railway tracks are in desperate need of repair. We need an infrastructure bank so that states and municipalities can fund the projects and repairs they need. I support legislation like Congressman Delaney’ Infrastructure 2.0 Act.
Invest in Transportation
We also need to start investing in transportation again. Maryland has fallen far behind some of our neighboring states in making forward-looking investments in transportation, and as a result, suburban Maryland has some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation. Projects like the Corridor Cities Transitway, fixing I-270, or improving I-81 end up stalled for years. We need action.
Our regional leaders and transportation agencies have been studying this problem for years, and experts agree on the most important investments we need to make. We already have several major projects in our local and regional plans, that would effectively reduce congestion, improve safety, boost our local economy, reduce air pollution and protect our quality of life. Let’s get beyond the pointless debates over “roads vs. transit”, recognize what the studies all show – that we need both – and get to work identifying new funding sources and getting them built. Where do we start?
- Fix I-270 with new express lanes from the American Legion Bridge all the way through Frederick, and regional express-bus service using those new dedicated lanes. Revenue from the new toll lanes will pay for the construction, and the new express-bus service, while keeping the free lanes free so everyone will have a range of better choices;
- Build the Corridor Cities Transitway to connect key job centers along the I-270 corridor; making key communities along the route more transit oriented, walkable and sustainable to support thousands of new jobs;
- Fully fund and complete long-planned improvements to I-81, I-70, MARC rail and other key transportation projects in Western Maryland, to better connect our communities, reduce congestion, improve safety and provide more jobs.
We need a balanced mix of road improvements, expanded transit services, more integrated bike and pedestrian access in our communities, and better land-use planning. We need to use all the tools in our toolbox to ease congestion, not one or the other. A combination approach is what studies show works best. The bottom line is we don’t have to accept the nation’s worst congestion, and I won’t. So let’s stop studying this issue to death and get started on real solutions that we already know will do the most good.