The transportation problems that plague Montgomery County are legendary. These problems did not happen overnight so there is no quick fix and any solution must be approached from an intermodal perspective. Yes, this means including roads, bridges, public transportation, and bikes. But first attention must be paid to the ever increasing burden that is placed on our day to day lives as a result of inadequate transportation and infrastructure spending by the State right here in Montgomery County. For too long we have not gotten a fair return for the dollars that we contribute by virtue of the “gas tax”. As your next Delegate I will fight to see that Montgomery County receives its fair share of transportation infrastructure dollars. If tax dollars are generated here than they should stay here! These transportation dollars should be spent to include - but not limited to - the following:
* I will work with the State to reduce tolls on the ICC so that more can afford to use it. This will allow the ICC to reach its full potential and thus relieve some of the burden on local roads. The ICC must remain affordable and accessible.
* I will work to secure funds for Smart Technology solutions to traffic problems. Our problems cannot be solved with just more concrete and asphalt. We must utilize the technologies available in the market today and deploy them here in Montgomery County. I will work with local government to secure grants and other funding so that we may utilize evolving technologies to create “smarter” roads.
* I will Fix METRO. I don’t mean a temporary approach. The “band aid” approach has occurred throughout the years. It is why we find ourselves with a mass transit system that once was the envy of the nation but is now considered an unreliable and unsalable. METRO must not fail. We must re-structure the WMATA Board so that local governments have a greater say and that tax dollars are spent wisely. The answer is not simply more money. As your Delegate I will ask Governor Hogan to appoint me to a task force that will seek ongoing long term solutions to METRO.
* I will work to make sure that the widening of I-270 and the Capitol Beltway (495) remain top priorities. Governor Hogan’s approach is to form Public Private Partnerships to provide maximum results for minimum taxpayer dollars. The Private Sector must be our ally as we seek solutions. This is an approach whose time has come. I applaud the Governor’ innovative ideas and will work with him so that we may enjoy the results sooner rather than latter.
* I will work to preserve and enhance our intermodal transportation system. As one who often bikes to work, I am keenly aware of the deficiencies that we have with our intermodal transportation systems. We must include those who bike in any discussion of the process. I will also work to maintain our existing paths so that they may be further utilized. While it may be forward thinking to install bike paths and lanes it is unconscionable for them to not be adequately maintained on a continuing basis.
Transportation is a key “quality of life” issue. It is one that has a tremendous bearing on not just our productivity but also how we allocate our time. I applaud Governor Hogan for his recent initiatives but I will not remain quiet if I believe that Montgomery County is not receiving its fair share of infrastructure spending. I will strongly advocate that the transportation promises that are made today the same promises that will be kept in the future.