Gov. Larry Hogan’s flawed thinking on his proposed highway expansion plan is based on conclusions drawn without following the necessary steps. Widening the Capital Beltway and I-270 with toll lanes encourages people to drive rather than taking cleaner and more affordable public transit. The expensive rush hour rates only serve affluent professionals who are willing to pay exorbitant fees. As documented by Josh Tulkin of the Sierra Club (“Opposition grows to Maryland Gov. Hogan’s public private partnership plan to build toll lanes in DC suburbs,” June 3), the increased traffic will result in more greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere, fueling climate change. Montgomery County Council Member Tom Hucker and I agree that Governor Hogan should not have dismissed transit as part of the solution to congestion.
Another mistake is conducting the environmental impact study while soliciting a private company for a partnership. Mr. Hogan follows the required steps without concern for the environmental impact. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich complains that the governor has not consulted with local officials whose counties are directly impacted by the interstate expansion plan. As a Gaithersburg resident, I urge Governor Hogan to slow down and listen to constituents concerns before pursuing the $11 billion plan that we must pay for if it fails.
Gail Landy, Gaithersburg