Don't 'transform' transportation, just widen busy highways
Feb 25, 2018 | 6:00 AM
John and Julie Nuzzo, of Brick, N.J. talk about their experience with a Tesla electric car while charging up at the Maryland House Travel Plaza Tuesday.
Ramon Palencia-Calvo's commentary, "Transforming transportation" (Feb. 22), is like one of those overly long meetings you sit through where you come out thinking, well, exactly nothing was accomplished here. The main idea is the problem of increasing traffic between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and the associated carbon emissions. Who isn't alarmed and frustrated that it now often takes two hours or more to get from Baltimore to D.C., when it used to take 45 minutes?
The writer then claims we can do something about it. Yes, we sit up eagerly, what are the ideas? Why, we can have other overly long meetings with the U.S. Climate Alliance, Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and last but not least, the Sierra Club. And these groups all have extensive research and meetings that prove traffic jams are not good.
The op-ed finally gets to what seems like an actual solution — widening I-270, the mess that is I-495 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway — but pushes those ideas to the back burner, claiming many are instead calling for a greater emphasis on public transportation, "including light rail." Currently, the light rail goes only as far as Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport so one has to wonder why this is even in the discussion?
But, never mind, obviously, no one in any of those groups at the many meetings has ever used public transportation such as the MARC train to commute regularly from Baltimore to Washington. The writer falls short of covering any of the elementary problems involved in actually using public transportation for the daily commute such as parking at the station and getting from the destination station to the office. If work runs late, few trains leave D.C. after 6:45 p.m. and you might find yourself needing a ride.
And the last good news of this long piece is answering the problem with everybody purchasing electric cars and more name dropping — BGE, Delmarva Power & Light, Pepco, Natural Resources Defense Council and, naturally, the EV-charging companies, Greenlots and ChargePoint. Really? You have got to be kidding me. Well, this was one long meeting I could have skipped.