Our region is in desperate need for new and innovative transportation and transit solutions. Traffic is our number one detractor for improving our quality of life, as well as being a drain on the economy and a hazard to the environment. We need to get more people out of their cars even as our population continues to grow and industry continues to expand.
Though I believe in an “all of the above” approach to transportation improvements, which includes road improvements, transit, encouraging remote work, and building housing, retail, and office space around transit centers, I know that ultimately, people will need to “go to work” for some or all of their working week. That is why we need greater focus on mass public transit, which provides for the most efficient way to transport the largest number of people in a timely and effective manner.
Building the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) and the Purple Line will be a huge step in helping to achieve this aim. The CCT is a critical link between UpCounty Montgomery and the Shady Grove Metro Station, and is the linchpin in spurring hundreds of millions of dollars in new science and technology development in the Great Seneca Science Corridor. The Purple Line is a vital link between east and west county that will help to take thousands of cars off of the road and provide a mass transit alternative between Bethesda, Silver Spring, and College Park. The current administration has not prioritized transit, and as a result, the Purple Line is terribly delayed and significantly overbudget and the CCT has been pushed to the back burner of projects. After the Montgomery County delegates worked diligently to secure dedicated funding for the WMATA Metro, these delays of prevented us from making a transformative difference in transit.
A countywide BRT system (bus rapid transit) that would link with the CCT and the existing Metro system is a project that I strongly support, as well as improving and expanding the Brunswick line of the MARC train.
Finally, in District 39, no road project is more important from a State funding perspective than expanding Route 355 north of Ridge Road into Clarksburg. By providing more access between Clarksburg, Germantown, and Gaithersburg, this improvement is critical to providing for a quality of life change to the residents along that route. Through my efforts, we were able to add this project to the County’s priorities list for State funding. I also was dogged in getting funding and execution of the Watkins Mills Interchange to be built creating an Exit 12 on I-270, and was thrilled to see years of effort finally come to fruition.
When it comes to our transit woes, all options should be on the table. There is no one perfect solution, but rather a combination of systems and plans that will help improve quality of life, while also supporting multiple industries and providing as little disruption to day-to-day life as possible.