We've been telling you about the McDonnell Administration's push for the Outer Beltway over the past two years, making the case that the project is a waste of money and will make traffic worse.
Last Tuesday, our opposition gained a major champion when Congressman Wolf sent a scathing letter to Governor McDonnell expressing “serious reservations” about the project.
Congressman Wolf's opposition is just the latest in a string of objections: At the end of April, six legislators from Northern Virginia announced their opposition to the project (including the Tri-County/Bi-County Parkway segment between I-66 and Route 50).
Citizens like you are mounting opposition to the project, too. Over 400 people attended one recent town hall alone.
Add your own voice to the opposition - send an email to Senators Kaine and Warner, and your State Senator and Delegate now!
To make sure our city stays on track to be a walkable, sustainable, and affordable place for all of us, we need to do a better job managing the parking we have, so that there are spaces available for the people who need them, and let the market provide the additional parking based on demand.
But in the debate over the upcoming D.C. zoning update, many people are afraid of letting go of parking minimums. They think that more parking spaces must mean more parking availability. Yet that's not the case.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, parking minimums do more harm than good and don't really help us in achieving our parking availability goals. The right tool for the job isn't parking minimums, but rather real performance parking.
Skip to 00:20:58 of the video to hear it from parking guru Jeff Tumlin.
While the Office of Planning is responsible for the zoning update, it's DDOT we need to see better leadership from to address our parking problems. We've seen DDOT experimenting with a few pilot programs over the last few years. It's time to encourage DDOT to be bold in working with residents to create the performance parking policies we need. Together, we can find the parking solutions that are so important to the future success of our city.
Now, tell the Council to make sure DDOT moves forward with the performance parking policies we need:
Your recent emails to the Planning Board worked to win its support for prioritizing Rapid Transit and creating dedicated lanes on roads for rapid transit vehicles in places where they can move the most people through.
But at the same time, the County Council is hearing from a lot of rapid transit skeptics – and we need to balance those voices.
With growth coming to the county, we face a choice. We can go the old way -- widening roads through communities to try to squeeze through more cars. Or we can go a better way --dedicating lanes to rapid transit to offer more and more people a better option.
But a few neighborhoods have expressed alarm about dedicating lanes to transit. They are raising their concerns with the Council.
There will be a lot of robust debate about this issue, and every neighborhood and individual needs to be heard from. Overall we face a stark choice – continue doing things the same way while we sit in traffic and see the quality of life in our neighborhoods whittled away in the coming years... or create a new approach.
The old car-only approach leads to road widening, extra turn lanes, ever-wider intersections, and costly interchanges. In contrast, the Rapid Transit System is being designed in concert with neighborhood conditions. Depending on the number of existing lanes, the system will convert existing lanes in some cases, or stay within the right-of-way where new lanes are provided. With effective transit options, more and more people will have a reliable alternative to driving in traffic, helping those who have no choice but to drive.
Given the choice, we believe the best alternative for the county is the one that the Rapid Transit System offers.
But our leaders at the County Council need to hear from us: they need to know there is a growing voice for transit in Montgomery County. Let's give them the confidence to take the bold steps forward to provide effective alternatives to sitting in traffic.
A key part of the Rapid Transit System's recipe for traffic relief is giving priority to rapid transit vehicles over cars where it's the most efficient use of our roads. It's also a principle that has been part of Montgomery's general plan since 1993. Priority lanes for transit aren't a new idea. But in hearings last week, some members of the Planning Board appeared to waver in their commitment to this key principle.
20 years ago, the 1993 Master Plan's transportation section stated we should, "Give priority to establishing exclusive travelways for transit and high occupancy vehicles serving the Urban Ring and Corridor."
As the hearings pick up again, we need to make sure that Montgomery residents are voicing their support for lane priority so that we don't end up with a watered-down system that makes no impact on reducing traffic.
Communities committed to prioritizing transit, like Arlington, Bethesda, and many others have seen success in relieving traffics, providing better options for people to get around, and improving quality of life. But last week's Planning Board discussions indicate that they may be wavering on that fundamental point, and that they may need some convincing that prioritizing transit where it's most efficient is the right decision for the county.
Without a commitment to that concept, building a high quality Rapid Transit System could be very difficult. The debate really comes down to this: How will we share the road? Will we continue to place cars above all else in the decisions we make, or will we begin to make a shift towards providing better options for people than sitting in traffic?
We don't have to tell you - Maryland's roads are congested, pollution is rising, and our infrastructure needs repairs. Your leaders in Annapolis need you hear that you care about transportation, and why.
We know you support the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 to Get Maryland Moving! The bill (HB1515) passed the Maryland House last week, and now it's headed to the Senate. Key votes in the Senate begin today with a final vote expected this week.
Get Maryland Moving only has a few hurdles left to winning transportation funding this year!
Our campaign to email your legislators time and again over the past weeks is really making a difference in Annapolis!
The Senate is the last - but toughest - hurdle to getting a transportation funding deal for Maryland this year - saving critical transit projects like the Purple Line and Baltimore's Red Line.
Take a moment NOW to write to your Senators, letting them know why you support the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 to Get Maryland Moving! We've got a template to get you started.
Help the environment and the economy! Tell Prince George’s County –the new medical center should be Metro-accessible for everyone
Prince George’s County is about to make a decision on where to put a new state-of-the-art Regional Medical Center.
Building a new regional medical center with convenient access to Metro means less traffic, less global warming air pollution from cars, and more convenient access to quality healthcare for everyone, including individuals who must rely exclusively on transit.
Most importantly, putting a new hospital near transit can jumpstart other quality development, meaning a big economic boost for Prince George’s and potentially thousands of new jobs for county residents.
Please let County Executive Rushern Baker know that you want a convenient, environmentally-friendly regional medical center that will help to invigorate existing neighborhoods, improve our economy, and not worsen the sprawl that drains our finances every day. Sign our petition!
Maryland is facing a transportation crisis. Our roads are congested, pollution is rising, and our infrastructure needs repairs. To cut time spent in traffic, boost our economy, and improve our air quality, we need to invest in transportation. Our neighbors are aggressively investing in projects like the Silver Line to Dulles Airport, yet we aren't moving on our own priorities.
We have great plans for transit projects like the Red Line and the Purple Line, as well as expanding MARC, and upgrading Metro, but we haven't raised the money to make them a reality. Without a state funding solution this year, we'll miss out in the race for federal matching funds.
The Get Maryland Moving Coalition members will deliver these petitions in person to leaders in Annapolis in March - stay tuned if you'd like to join us there.
The new regional medical center proposed for Prince George’s County in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System is not only a step forward for healthcare in Prince George’s and southern Maryland, but can be a boon to economic development, too – if it’s done right.
To fully realize its potential to bring much-needed investment to Prince George’s, the new regional medical center must be truly accessible - not only via car, but by the best transit links available. Top-tier transit access will help ensure all patients and visitors can reach the medical center. But more than that, it will also help attract and retain the best possible medical talent to work at the new facility.
Unless we speak up for the medical center to be placed at a Metro station, chances are policymakers will default to the type of site that will lead to a sprawling, low-density, car-oriented campus with sparse transit service – if you can reach it at all without a car.
Tell County Executive Baker and the County Council: we want to see the new facility at a Metro station!
The D.C. Zoning code shapes the form of our city and influences how walkable, inclusive and transit-oriented it is. Yet the code hasn’t been comprehensively updated since 1958! Priorities have changed a lot since 1958 – and that’s why it’s so important to get involved in this effort to create the framework to help us ensure the gains we’ve made in recent years continue far into the future.
Do you agree? Join with us and sign the petition below:
The "zombie road" is back with a vengeance! Once again, lobbyists are pushing for an unneeded and wasteful Outer Beltway, seeking to divert scarce tax dollars from the needs of existing commuter roads that are choked with traffic. The Outer Beltway would do nothing to solve our current traffic problems, but instead would open new land to sprawling development, adding yet more traffic to existing commuter routes.
The Wall Street Journal reported on this oft-overlooked fact in their recent article, "More Roads, More Traffic."
Moreover, the Outer Beltway would run through historic land on the western boundary of Manassas National Battlefield, destroying this hallowed landscape, even as our nation honors the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.
Please sign our petition calling on Governor McDonnell and Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton to protect Manassas Battlefield and stop this unneeded and fiscally irresponsible highway.