Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ACT Supports Transit Alternative Study for Mid-County Highway Extended - No Joke!



1. We agree with the Planning Department Staff Report that MCDOT should do a thorough study of a transit option for M-83 Highway. The Montgomery County Council has now adopted a Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan. Putting BRT service on 355 and extending it all the way to Clarksburg is an option that must be studied in detail. (Note also that the 355 BRT corridor would have the second-highest daily ridership of the 10 proposed transit corridors and therefore is likely to be among the earliest implemented.)

2. Given tight budget resources, we should think carefully about allocating one-third of a billion dollars to a new highway, when those same funds might be invested in transit that makes use of existing roadways. Building new roads generates new traffic and begets sprawl development, which requires further investment in expensive infrastructure --- it is a vicious cycle. If instead we build the transit that is in our plans (e.g., BRT and the CCT), we'll give people the option to live with fewer cars, to use transit and to walk and bike within new Town Centers.

3. While Millennials and Boomers differ in many ways, on this topic we might view them as a "pair of bookends." Millennials want to live near transit (the percentage of young people with automobile licenses has plunged). As for aging Boomers, we're beginning to contemplate the day when we won't be driving anymore. So for both these generations, please give strong consideration to building more transit now. Roadways alone will never be able to support the area's travel needs — do we really want to excavate parkland to build a new highway, thereby attracting even more cars, from even farther out? 

Action Committee for Transit urges the County to vigorously pursue a robust transit alternative to M-83.

Join TAME Coalition as we work with organizations and government to bring Transit Atlernatives to Mid-County Highway Extended.

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