To combat road congestion, we need to create a transportation system that gives commuters a reliable system of alternatives to driving.
WMATA is the backbone of a strong transportation system in this region. I strongly support a dedicated funding source for WMATA, and I am pleased that the General Assembly passed legislation this session that would dedicate additional funding to WMATA from Maryland’s Transportation Trust Fund.
But a dedicated funding source isn’t sufficient. It’s also critical that the Council continue to provide oversight of WMATA’s governance and service to ensure that any additional dollars given to WMATA are spent wisely. While ridership has mostly recovered in the peak hours, it continues to remain low in the off-peak hours. Train frequencies remain insufficient to provide a reliable service. As Councilmember, I will work with WMATA and use the Council’s oversight role to ensure that WMATA’s Board of Directors provides real supervision at all levels of the organization in order to pursue sustainable funding strategies and provide a system that people want to use.
I support completion of the Purple Line and a significant expansion of the MARC train schedule.
We also need an enhanced bus service that works for more people by providing frequent and reliable service. I strongly support BRT, including the 355 BRT that is currently in development.
For our roads, we need to implement technology-based strategies that will both reduce congestion and facilitate reliable transit options. I support reversible lanes on 270 and smart traffic signals with real-time response to actual traffic that can result in 26% lower travel time and a 21% reduction in emissions.
Pedestrian safety is critical. We must continue to work with our state delegation and the State Highway Administration to ensure a safe environment for pedestrians on the many state roads in the county.
To protect both pedestrians and drivers, safety improvements to River Road (MD 190) should include designating the stretch of River Road that includes the Braeburn Parkway intersection and the crosswalk as a school zone. Speed cameras should be installed on both sides of River Road.
Safe bicycling infrastructure must be a priority, including good bikeway access to all Metro and Purple Line stations, so that bicycling is a viable transportation option that improves our quality of life. I applaud the county’s award-winning Bicycle Stress Map, which should help planners evaluate how well our bicycling network is connected (or not) and provides a tool for bicyclists to plan their routes for both work and recreation.