Anand Dholakia 0

More Lanes Don't Work

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We, the residents, taxpayers, and voters of Maryland strongly oppose Governor Hogan's plans to add toll lanes to the Maryland portion of the 495 Beltway.

This misguided proposal only stands to worsen congestion while charging commuters and taxpayers with massive bills for more tolls and more asphalt. The only parties with clear benefits in this scenario are the selected developer(s) and their associated political representatives.

The proposal has numerous issues including but not limited to the following:

  1. More Lanes Just. Don't. Work: From Northern Virginia, to Houston, to Los Angeles, to many other cities notorious for traffic, more lanes have NOT noticeably reduced congestion for more than a few months in even one case.
  2. More Lanes Worsen Congestion: In Maryland, more lanes would just shift bottlenecks to the exits which would become more congested than they already are.
  3. More Lanes Costs Commuters: Virginia's recently opened HOT lanes are widely reported to cost commuters more than $50 in tolls for trips of less than 10 miles.
  4. More Lanes Costs Taxpayers: Having developers "cover" the full cost of toll lanes is a nice idea in theory. However, this scheme has only shown to leave taxpayers with the bill once commuters experience the toll costs and the lanes sit empty.
  5. The Proposal Process Has Been Oddly Secretive: The state has engaged developers at high speed far ahead of public input, with a process that has been used in the past to push through developer-friendly proposals that foot taxpayers with the bill.

We urge our representatives and fellow Maryland residents to vehemently reject this proposal in favor of more effective traffic control measures based on evidence and common sense. These include measures that REDUCE traffic and get cars off the road in the first place, e.g. telecommuting, rapid bus and train transit, etc.

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