|Beltway craziness: I-495 Springfield Interchange|
The people in the Los Angeles area stuck on their endlessly widened freeways in the nation's worst congestion have resolved for a decade now to abdicate the viscous cycle of ever more freeway lanes and build solid transit instead. They will be laughing at tiny Maryland trying to be more Californian than California itself. Their 405 widening has not made them happy.
|Killing the scenic B-W Parkway|
“These three massive, unprecedented projects to widen I-495, I-270 and MD 295 will be absolutely transformative, and they will help Maryland citizens go about their daily lives in a more efficient and safer manner” (Hogan)
|I-270, every few years a few more lanes|
“I don’t know how you fit four more lanes from Silver Spring to Bethesda without an enormous dislocation of homes and parks” State Senator R. Madaleno, Montg. Cty)
|I 695 craziness: I-95 interchange|
Adding four toll lanes to the Beltway would be enormously expensive, Ross pointed out. When the State Highway Administration last studied this idea in 2004, it determined that some or all of the new lanes would have to be elevated above the existing highway.For equitable and sustainable transit the twin-region needs massive infusions so the existing transit systems can be maintained, expanded, and integrated with each other. "The MTOC plan for transit would serve more travelers and create far more jobs and economic growth," said Gary Hodge, a former Charles County Commissioner now heading the Southern Maryland Alliance for Rail Transit. TheMTOC plan includes the Baltimore Red Line, light rail from Branch Avenue to Waldorf, and massive upgrades of all three MARC rail lines stretching from Frederick to Elkton.
To his credit, Hogan did suggest this week that he is open to funding WMATA at the tune of $500 million if the other states do the same. DC Mayor Bowser, and Governors Hogan, and McAuliffe remain divided still on how much each should contribute to the $25 billion unfunded Metro needs and how to pay for the upgrades. Bowser favors a regional sales tax, while Hogan and McAuliffe have pushed back against taxes as a funding source.
Luckily the shovel for the roadway super boondoggle won't go in the ground soon. There are many hurdles, environmental studies and federal approvals needed. So far this is nothing but a bad idea and one that must be stopped in its tracks. Not because there aren't substantial transportation problems in the Baltimore-DC Metro area but because these 100 miles of new lanes won't solve the problem, just as the toll lanes on I-95, the ICC and current widening project on the westside of the Baltimore Beltway doesn't solve them.
Klaus Philipsen, FAIA
Washington Post about the Hogan Plan
Greater greater Washington https://ggwash.org/view/64881/hogans-toll-lanes-across-maryland-wont-make-traffic-go-away
Now available in bookstores and online and at the Baltimore Bookfair (BAF and BOPA booth across from the Visitor Center)
Klaus Philipsen, Baltimore: Reinventing an Industrial Legacy City
Cat # / ISBN: Y308725 / 9781138230361