Skip to comments.Maryland’s proposed expansion of Beltway and I-270 ranks among top U.S. ‘boondoggles,’ group says
Posted on 07/08/2018 1:11:29 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Marylands $9 billion plan to expand the Beltway and Interstate 270 is among the nations biggest boondoggles, a public-interest advocacy group said Tuesday in a new report.
The report issued by U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group highlights nine highway projects, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogans plan to widen certain roadways using public-private partnerships and tolling to pay for them.
The advocates say these projects are unwise for several reasons. They say expanding or building new highways always leads to more congestion over time through the wholly predictable phenomenon of induced demand: When new capacity opens up, more commuters and cars not to mention housing developers and businesses begin to use the highway until congestion returns. They say building new lanes is also irresponsible when the nation is facing an enormous backlog of needed repairs on existing roads, bridges and other infrastructure not to mention mass transit systems, such as Baltimores and Washingtons. The report advocates a fix-it-first policy.
The report also argues that even with public-private financing, states such as Maryland will probably incur additional debt to expand highways, given the stagnant revenue coming from the gas tax. And it makes the case that building more highways is the wrong move when the United States should be promoting alternative ways of getting around that do not rip up neighborhoods and landscapes and dump more pollutants into the air.
The latest report comes as Hogan (R) said the U.S. Interior Department has agreed to evaluate the transfer of part of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which would also be expanded as part of Hogans traffic plan. The plan, unveiled in September, would rely on public-private partnerships and thus tolls for at least part of its funding.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Maryland "Freak State" PING!
Lol, it’s not about roads or silly highways. It’s just the latest con game for kickback funds for the politicians. I’d estimate a conservative 10-25% going back to them via various means.
Chump change compared to the $10 billion bullet train between Fresno and Bakersfield. If you work in Fresno you live in Fresno. I doubt there will be more than 20 commuters a day between the two cities.
This is the first leg of the train from LA to San Francisco, which will never get built.
U.S. PIRG Is a bunch of Leftists from way back, in my experience.
DC is short on roads, period.
That said, the real solution to the problem is shrinking the size of the FedGov.
“Chump change compared to the $10 billion bullet train between Fresno and Bakersfield. If you work in Fresno you live in Fresno. I doubt there will be more than 20 commuters a day between the two cities.
This is the first leg of the train from LA to San Francisco, which will never get built”
I have not found a break out of the Bakersfield to Fresno cost, 10 Billion? But an over all cost of 77 billion with all the various Spurs. Of course this estimate is up 13 billion in just the last two years. Since the boondoggle won’t even be partially in service for another 11 years it will be 100 billion before it’s ever operational. People belong in jail as this was sold to the California Rubes at a 44 Billion price tag. It didn’t get my vote.
But ... maybe this induced demand will really kick in.
They say right there it is a wholly predictable phenomenon...
Don't believe me. Drive 270 either way between DC and Frederick during rush hour for a couple of days. Then cut over to 355/Rockville Pike, the alternate non-interstate route, and drive that for a couple of days. Then wander around some nice Saturday and look at all the new development sprawling across the remaining open ground along those corridors. This should cure you of any delusion that expanding 270 or 495 will do anything more than create a wider parking lot.
If you want to live out there, fine
but if you're coming into DC, plan on taking the train and buy a house that is convenient to a MARC or Metro stop. Better yet, take a job out in a fringe city and avoid the commute altogether. If you work in DC, live in DC or an inner ring suburb. We don't need a wider 270; we need people to live closer to their jobs.
link to U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group report:
How do you get people to live closer to their jobs when the price of housing increases the closer you get to DC?
Maybe its time to start moving federal agencies out of DC.
I think a 270 expansion is in order. There simply is no good way into DC from the Frederick area that is not highly congested. I wonder if expanding the Metro is an option?
A 270 expansion AND another bridge over the Potomac is needed to get cars flowing on 270.
Some of us have to drive 270 because we drive for a living. Most days it will take me 90 - 120 minutes to get from Rockville to Hagerstown during the evening rush hour.
That stretch of 270 is awful, just awful to drive.
They certainly love the Lexus lanes, don’t they?
There are a lot of people operating on the basis of old information who need to relearn DC residential geography. Part of the problem on the east side is that much of it was built out as completely uncontrolled post-WWII sprawl. Many of the arterial roads look like the worst of 1950's automobile centric strip development. Get a block or two off the main roads and you will find many nice neighborhoods, but the main roads present a poor first impression. They are gradually being rebuilt, but that is a slow process.
(2)Yes, Metro and MARC expansion would be desirable and could be done for a fraction of the cost of adding new lanes to the interstates. If need be, run the train down the center divider strip between the north and southbound lanes of 270.
I remain convinced that if we vouchered the schools and went to full school choice, gentrification (already rapid) would become an avalanche. People in the outer burbs are spending four or more hours a day in their cars. Adding a lane each way to 270 isn't going to relieve that pressure. It will only provide a temporary talking point for politicians who can point to the project and claim to be "doing something," but the new capacity will be completely swamped the moment it opens. Too many cars. And there's nowhere to park them once you do get into DC.
“That said, the real solution to the problem is shrinking the size of the FedGov.”
That would be the best solution for the entire country, not just the road problem.
Ive said from very early in the Trump Presidency that one measure of success would be if DC residential real estate values flatten out. And if they fall? HUGE success!
I just drove 270 and 495 yesterday. On a Saturday afternoon its tolerable. But 495 is a crapshoot any day any time. You never know whether its going to take two
Hours from Tysons to 95N or thirty minutes. There are only a few ways around and into DC. One more lane on 270 or 495? That may help a little .....
You’re right. It will not cost $10 billion for the first 100 mile railway. But they will have spent that much by the time this section is done. And much of the rest of the rail line will be difficult to complete. Easements, environmental restrictions, etc.
Maybe this boondoggle and the chance to repeal the gas tax will drive more smart voters to the polls in November, and we can get some of these people out of office.
U.S. PIRG Is a bunch of Leftists from way back, in my experience.
Thank you. I am not familiar with them, but as I read I wondered if their concern had more to do with the fact that MD’s current governor is a Republican.
...the real solution to the problem is shrinking the size of the FedGov.
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