Congressman Anthony Brown Joins Local Mayors to Discuss Maryland’s Transportation Future
“We can’t build for the future with old ideas and reject old ways of thinking that simply building more roads will solve our transportation problems.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) joined mayors from Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties to discuss Maryland’s transportation future and local opposition to Governor Larry Hogan’s planned Beltway/I-270 toll lane project. In April, Congressman Brown wrote Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg detailing concerns with Maryland’s I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study (MLS) which would add new toll lanes to the Capital Beltway.
Congressman Brown and localities have raised issues with the lack of transit alternatives and investment, the outdated approach in conflict with the Biden Administration’s priorities, the unknowns of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel, phasing inconsistencies between the procurement process and the planned Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and significant local opposition.
“We can’t build for the future with old ideas and reject old ways of thinking that simply building more roads will solve our transportation problems. One person in one car, burning gas on congested roads in rush hour — is no longer sustainable. The best way to address the Capital area’s traffic problems is to create options to take cars off the road, with safe, reliable and efficient public transit and other solutions,” said Congressman Brown. “We have an opportunity to invest in a modern, equitable transportation network for Maryland. We need investment from the federal, state and local levels to make this vision a reality.”
Congressman Brown encouraged the Department of Transportation to pause and reconsider the implications of the project on the region. He also requested a meeting to discuss next steps, which could include pausing the NEPA process or restarting it.
President Biden has unveiled the American Jobs Plan which will invest $620 billion in transportation infrastructure and double federal funding for transit..
“Every transportation project must advance our climate and racial equity goals,” said Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker. “I'm pleased to be collaborating with our mayors and Congressman Anthony Brown to meet our collective goals.”
“I am so appreciative of Congressman Brown’s support of the City of Rockville’s concerns with the current MDOT/SHA plan for I-270/495,” said Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton. “At our core should be a strong desire for equity for all and reducing negative impacts to our climate.”
“I always greatly value the opportunity to meet with, and to exchange ideas and experiences with my colleagues across the region. It was particularly gratifying to hear Congressman Brown offer his perspective on the Beltway widening project,” said Bowie Mayor Tim Adams. “I share his concerns that this process has been rushed, that it lacked transparency, and that we would be doing the citizens of this region a great disservice by awarding a contract to a vendor before the necessary environmental studies have been completed. The flaws in this process, I'm afraid, will prove costly to our taxpayers, to our communities and to our vulnerable natural resources.”