Promoting Transportation Quality
Our residents deserve a public transportation network that enables commuters to move quickly, safely, and affordably, and to do so while protecting the environment.
Transportation is a quality of life issue that affects every Marylander. However, Governor Hogan has long neglected our state’s transportation infrastructure, choosing now as a time – in an election year – to propose vast sums of new spending with hardly any community involvement or transportation expert planning behind it. His plan still needs to demonstrate that it is both financially feasible and makes sense for north-south commuters on I-270.
Troublingly, we are lacking a full State commitment to a comprehensive regional transportation plan -- something that should be required before any major transportation investment - however much needed - is made.
Joel and his family have lived in Montgomery County for over 10 years. He takes the Metro to work most days and personally experiences the frustrations that many have with our public transportation and automobile traffic. As a Town Council Member in Chevy Chase, Joel has engaged his constituents on issues related to the Purple Line and dealt with the Hogan Administration’s botched rollout of that massive infrastructure project.
We can and must do better. To do so, as a State Delegate, Joel would work to:
Secure dedicated, stable funding for major transportation projects. Joel would support dedicated, bondable funding for Metro totaling at least $500 million a year including at least $167 million from Maryland.
Advocate for competition and innovation in transportation to get better results out of the money that we currently invest. Joel would push for a fully functioning transportation system using increasing percentages of renewable, clean energy and energy augmented by cyclists and pedestrians who should be provided with safe pathways and bike lanes that are convenient, quiet and shaded to the maximum extent possible.
Prioritize the allocation of funds for environmental impact studies and safety reviews for all projects, so we ensure that we get it right. Joel would press for legislation to create an independent commission akin to a Public Utility Commission but with more up-to-date standards and procedures to ensure that transportation services are fair, efficient, clean and safe.
Joel also sees environmental and economic injustice in the Department of Transportation’s interactions with majority-minority communities like Lyttonsville, whose historic bridge is slated to be destroyed, rather than repaired as experts and community leaders have recommended. Joel would address this by working to ensure that communities impacted by transportation projects have a strong voice in the process – at the front end, not after the fact. This is why he recently testified in support of Delegate Al Carr’s bill to create an Office of Transportation Oversight (H.B. 1641). Joel believes the Legislature needs to proactively stand up for the state’s communities of color.
Joel will work to bridge the disconnect between state and local governments on transportation planning, so that a comprehensive, proactive approach that takes local concerns into account is a priority. Doing so will provide better transportation options for residents and create a cleaner environment. Joel agrees we should invest more in Metro, to both take cars off the road and to keep Maryland as an attractive option for commuters, who are looking to Virginia as a place to live due to the horrific traffic conditions confronting our state’s residents. The transportation priorities that Joel advocates will result not only in a strengthening of non-carbon intensive modes of transportation, but also in a better quality of life for our residents, making it clear that when taking environmental concerns into account, better transportation outcomes will result.