Transportation is one of the top issues affecting all of us in Montgomery County. These days, getting around is exceedingly frustrating. We're stuck in traffic for too long and our Metro system is too unreliable, hurting our quality of life. Our traffic congestion contributes to pollution and global warming, a reality we must address as the effects of climate change are felt every day. Low-income residents of our region struggle to reliably access jobs because of gaps in our transportation system, exacerbating income inequality.
We must work on a multi-modal, comprehensive solution that addresses both roads and transit. The Montgomery County Delegation has been working hard to push the Hogan Administration to work with the County on a better solution than simply building more roads.
Many legislators introduced bills related to Governor Hogan's plan to build 2 toll lanes in either direction on I-495 and I-270, including to safeguard our property against eminent domain; to require an Environmental Impact Statement be done before the P3 project is begun; and to require the County consent to any toll lanes. None of these passed. We will continue to advocate for our communities to protect their property, to ease traffic and to protect our environment.
We Need To:
* Make Smart Investments to Reduce Traffic Congestion. Our state highways need enhancements to reduce congestion and get our region moving again. I support efforts to install adaptive signals on state roads, reducing congestion without adding lanes. I also support targeted improvements to our highway system (for example, at the American Legion Bridge) to move more people (in private cars and in transit) on their way to work.
* Expand Transit Service in Our Community. To help get more people out of cars and to help job seekers access employment opportunities across the region, we simply need better transit. I support expanding Metrobus through the Priority Corridor system and Bus Rapid Transit, making sure that more people have access to high-quality, frequent transit. As part of Metro reform, we need to bring service levels back to an acceptable place, so that no one has to wait 24 minutes for a train, particularly service workers who work late nights. Our state's commuter rail, MARC, should be enhanced to provide stronger alternatives to I-270 and I-495.
* Make Our Roads Safe for All. Across the country, the number of people killed on the roads continues to increase, with 523 people dying in Maryland in 2016 alone. I support Montgomery County's efforts to reach zero traffic deaths by 2030, and will work to install policies in Maryland that reduce crashes and make the roads safer for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. I support investments in protected bike lanes on state roads to reduce conflicts between bicyclists and drivers and promote bike commuting.