Transit

People shouldn’t have to waste their lives sitting in traffic trying to make it home for dinner with the kids.  And a Harvard study in 2015 showed that commuting time is the single strongest factor that predicts whether a family can escape poverty.  We have to invest in public infrastructure that can move people to jobs and cultural institutions as safely, quickly, efficiently, and greenly as possible.  

When I get to Annapolis, I’ll work to...

  • Secure dedicated Metro funding and pursue internal reform.  Governor Hogan has swung illogically between refusing any additional metro funding and making unrealistic proposals that he knows he’ll never have to follow through with.  I’ll push for a dedicated funding source -- perhaps a 1% regional sales tax -- to provide Maryland’s share of the $500 million a year the system needs.  I’ll also join in Maryland’s efforts to reform WMATA’s internal culture and governance so that we can restore Metro for a new generation.

  • Replenish the state transportation trust fund.  Governor Hogan has failed to lead as the fund has withered due to declining gas tax revenues, and now Maryland has lost $1.5 billion in revenues desperately needed to get the state moving again.  I’ll advocate for bolstering those revenue streams so that we can invest in the future.

  • Strengthen the region’s rail and Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure so that we can think about moving people, not cars.  That means all-day, two-way MARC service to help relieve congestion on 270, and BRT on 355.  It also means embracing a White Flint-area MARC station to get commuters from Upcounty onto the Red Line or directly to new jobs coming to the area.  Solutions that get drivers north of Bethesda, Potomac, and White Flint off the roads will help ease traffic near District 16.  

  • Build roads strategically.  The Capital Beltway should never have coincided with I-95, and our region has been paying the price for generations.  I’ll advocate long-term for an eastern bypass of the DC region, clearing 495 of pass-through interstate traffic. Highway expansions in the immediate vicinity should answer a few key questions: Will this actually reduce congestion, or will it induce further demand?  Does this fit into the rest of our transportation fabric, or does it feed more cars into already crowded arterial roads like Wisconsin Ave., Connecticut Ave., and Georgia Ave.?  And does this plan better serve the public or a private concessionaire via a public-private-partnership?

  • Make sure any new dense development is truly transit-oriented.  Land use is the single biggest factor that affects traffic, and I’m committed to the idea that we shouldn’t be adding density in places that don’t have the permanent transit infrastructure to handle it.  Though most of these decisions happen at the county level, I’ll support the restoration of PlanMaryland so that other growing parts of the state get their land use right, and I’ll advocate for density and housing options at a variety of prices in our transit-served urban cores, so that we build up where residents can easily access metro.  

  • Assemble a strong Purple Line Riders’ Advisory Group through the Maryland Transit Administration.  The MTA needs to hear the concerns, and experiences of Montgomery and Prince George’s residents and nearby business owners who will use the Purple Line.  We should make a special effort to ensure that paratransit riders are included in this advisory group.