The policies behind the traffic jams

I would love to introduce the writer today complaining about the incessant traffic backups on Interstate 95 to the writer whose letter published last weekend took great umbrage at the proposed increase in the tolls who feels that anything less than encouraging everyone to drive as much as possible would be catastrophic to the economy and a sound energy policy.

Clearly both can't be true. You can't simultaneously alleviate traffic congestion and encourage universal car ownership as a birthright.

Both writers appear deep in a Rip Van Winklesque stupor. Instead of Maryland investing in another high speed limited access highway from Baltimore to D.C. after I-95 and the BW Parkway or even upgrading the MARC, the movers and shakers of Maryland chose instead to squander billions on the Intercounty Connector, which was certainly open for business last week when I-95 so stunningly failed the auto commuting fraternity. And where was the writer complaining about high tolls when the proposed tolls for the ICC were transparently too expensive for the working man he identifies with? This is particularly ironic since this newspaper reported that the cause of the gargantuan tolls currently sought by the legislature is primarily to the fact that the state went into hock building the ICC.

Of course I view investment in startup public transit as the solution to both of these dilemmas. But start up public transit requires a 50 percent pony up from the state, as opposed to roads, which only require 20 percent ( the feds pay the other 80 percent). The latter infamous legislation was the result of the first budget of George W. Bush in 2001 and therefore it is entirely improper to blame President Obama or even Gov. Martin O'Malley, who inherited this outrageous double standard.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr. Baltimore

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad