MD Transportation Update – New Leadership, Upcoming Events, Other News
May 18, 2015 |
Final Decision Nears on Purple Line
SMTA is urging our members to contact Maryland Governor Larry Hogan this week to support construction of the Purple Line. In recent days, Governor Hogan has signaled continued concern over costs. However, studies continue to show far more economic benefits, including job growth that, in our view, make it a sound investment. The link above brings you to the Governor’s public comment page, and we hope you will take a moment to weigh in today or tomorrow, as a decision may be immient:
- The Purple Line has already secured a $900 million commitment in federal funding – and those funds cannot be spent on anything but the Purple Line, so cancelling the project effectively forfeits those funds;
- The Purple Line has been rated as one of the most cost effective transit projects in the USA by the Federal Transit Administration, and fills a critical and unique role in connecting several existing Metro lines together, forming a suburb-to-suburb network that matches current travel patterns;
- There are no practical road or bus-system improvements in this inside-the-Beltway corridor that could deliver similar benefits at lower cost, due to extremely limited existing road capacity and available right-of-way;
- The economic development benefits of the Purple Line are very significant, and very real: At least 31 major new developments are already in the pipeline — with tens of thousands of new jobs and over $10 billion in increased property values at stake;
- The ridership forecasts indicating over 69,000 daily riders are reliable and were made using the same methods as the Silver Line, which surpassed its initial ridership forecasts by a significant amount.
Jennifer Russel Takes the Helm – Ushering in New Leadership as SMTA Brings new Focus to Regional Priority Projects
Respected land-use planning expert Jennifer Russel, a Principal with Rodgers Consulting, Inc. and former Planning Director for the City of Gaithersburg, was unanimously elected to succeed Sam Raker as Chair of the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance. Her knowledge of the intimate relationship between sound transportation policies and land-use planning will be a tremendous asset for the organization. Under her leadership, SMTA will be broadening its focus beyond our original mission (advocating for increased transportation funding) to advancing priority transportation investments at the regional level that can have a game-changing impact on traffic congestion, access to jobs and housing, and quality-of-life for everyone in Fredrick, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Charles Counties. Please join the entire Board in welcoming Jennifer.
SMTA Regional Transportation Summit – June 12th, 8:00am – 2:00pm – Save the Date!
Please join us for a critical look at current long-range forecasts for the Washington Region – which call for a significant worsening of congestion under current plans. Find out what we can now do to change that picture from “Warning, Brake Lights Ahead” to something more livable and economically sustainable, what key leaders are thinking, and what it would take to significantly reduce congestion in several key corridors. Sponsorship packages and tickets are available at: 2015 Transportation Summit Registration