21st Century Transportation
Maryland’s future economic success is dependent on 21st Century transportation infrastructure. A well-planned, integrated transit system increases growth, expands opportunity for marginalized communities, and allows Marylanders to live wherever they choose, including to stay in their own homes, after retirement.
The Hogan Administration has focused on road projects to the exclusion of other elements of a balanced transportation system. The Baltimore Red line, one of the state’s two transit New Start projects, was canceled outright. The Baltimore metro area’s transit plans were set back a generation by this cancellation. The Purple line in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties proceeded under Hogan only because the political cost to the Governor of cancelling the project was prohibitive. Still, the Purple line only proceeded after the counties agreed to a higher cost share, and then stumbled into construction with grudging support and shamefully erratic leadership by state transportation officials.
Ubiquitous and convenient transit needs to be the state’s top transportation priority. Early efforts need to focus on historically underserved communities and outright transit deserts. Active transportation (pedestrian, biking) needs to be enabled through safe on-road facilities and trails, pedestrian-oriented signal systems and complete street designs. No exceptions.
Tom's administration will achieve this by:
- Converting the remnants of Baltimore’s “highway to nowhere” (US 40) to a linear park, reconnecting a historically African American community that was severed by the half-built highway.
- Expedite reapproval and construction of Baltimore’s Red Line, a generational East-West mass transit line.
- Assess the feasibility of extensive mass transit connections for every region of Maryland, not just the Baltimore/DC corridor
- Expand I-270 and the Capital Beltway, with mass transit options---not more lanes---as the default
- Making Maryland the national pioneer in using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as a lever to fund trails, walkable and bikeable communities
- Triple MARC ridership in part, by making MARC interoperable with the VRE throughout the greater Baltimore/Washington region, and building marquee commuter rail stations in West Baltimore, Bayview and other historically neglected communities.
- Rebuilding Amtrak’s northeast corridor. The Civil war-era B&P tunnel in Baltimore and the Susquehanna River bridge are bottlenecks constricting the entire Boston-Washington corridor. Maryland will lead the northeast states—and the nation—in showing how intercity passenger rail improvements are a generational investment in a better future.