Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Testimony to SHA on Corridor Cities Transitway

Thank you, everyone who attended last night’s public hearing for the I-270/US 15 Multi-Modal Corridor Study (which includes the Corridor Cities Transitway). Your advocacy on these transportation and transit priorities makes a difference. For your reference, here’s the testimony I presented last night:

Good evening and thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak. My name is Nancy Floreen, and I am an at-large member of the Montgomery County Council. I also serve as the chair of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee. In that role I have been committed to and continue to be committed to making sure Montgomery County has the best possible transportation infrastructure.

As an elected official, I know how challenging it is to meet current and future demands, and I appreciate the hard work that has gone into the Multi-Modal Corridor Study. The County Council will take up the details of the study and make its specific recommendations in July after the Planning Board completes its analysis.

Today I want to emphasize the Council’s overarching dedication to improving our transportation options. In particular, the Council has ranked the Corridor Cities Transitway, along with the Purple Line, as its top transit priorities. Adding HOV lanes on I-270 is also a very high priority.

I have long believed that providing the appropriate transportation infrastructure is one of government’s most basic jobs. For the Upcounty, that means supporting our growing biotechnology industry, the emerging Germantown Employment Corridor, and the ongoing build-out of Clarksburg. There’s no question that the Upcounty needs improvements to its roadways as well as new transit.

It is not just the Upcounty that will benefit, though. Our proximity to the nation’s capital provides us with invaluable opportunities not just for cultural and educational connections, but especially for the entire County’s economic vitality. We can’t afford to have the buck stop in gridlock on I-270. Traffic on this highway is intolerable and getting worse.

Additionally, Montgomery County, along with many other counties across the country, has pledged to reduce emissions that cause global warming 80 percent by 2050. To do that, we need to reduce vehicle miles traveled and spend less time idling in traffic. That’s good not just for the environment but for our quality of life too. What’s more, Metro’s dramatically increased ridership numbers indicate that commuters are hungry for transit options.

The proposed I-270/US 15 Highway and Transit Improvements will go a long way toward meeting these goals. That’s why I enthusiastically support the broad concepts of this plan, and I look forward to conducting in-depth analysis after hearing from our residents about what the plan means to them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the council should look at the top ten congested roads. That would make too much sense? I'm tired of waiting 30 minutes in traffic driving up and down Wisconsin Ave thru Bethesda. Where is your plan to solve problems down county? Remember down county? We pay alot of taxes down county. I know about the Purple Line. It doesn't solve our traffic problems. It doesn't tie into Metro. It's the MTA job act. Your destroying one of the nicest hiking and biking trails down county to send 3,000 people back and forth to Silver Spring on a $1 billion train. This is not a cost effective project. The county is broke and we are wasting money on a train for a few thousand people. How many of us wait in traffic on the major down county arteries vs. East West Hwy from Silver Spring to Bethesda? Fix the traffic on Wisconsin Ave or Connecticut Ave or Georgia Ave. People drive into Bethesda, D.C. & Silver Spring from the suburbs not within the beltway. Finally, when is the council going to solve our real problems instead of worrying about global issues that can be solved at the federal level. I want to drive to work in a big car, not wait in traffic and not worry about a camera charging me $50. Can you work on that?