Detailed Responses - Maryland State Delegates District 18
Do you support the Locally Preferred Alternative selected by Gov. O'Malley for the Purple Line, including an at-grade light rail line with a trail alongside it on the Georgetown Branch right of way between Bethesda and Silver Spring, as well as the at-grade light rail line running along Campus Drive through the University of Maryland?
Vanessa Atterbeary (D) Yes. The LPA has been properly investigated and determined to be the best available route. At this point, delays for groundbreaking only serve to make the construction inconveniences greater and postpone traffic relief and pollution mitigation. I am determined to see this project completed sooner rather than later.
Dana Beyer (D) Yes.
Ana Sol Gutierrez (D) Yes! As a founding member of the Purple Line Caucus in the Maryland House of Delegates, I have work actively with my colleagues to ensure collaboration and strong support for this alternative by the Maryland General Assembly, Governor O’Malley, and the members of our Congressional delegation as well as by leadership at the University of Maryland.
Do you support further study of the Action Committee for Transit's plan for the I-270 Corridor as an alternative to the $4 billion plan to widen I-270?
Vanessa Atterbeary (D) The ACT plan for the I-270 Corridor is worthwhile to investigate. Light rail, expansion of Metro and MARC services can do much more to alleviate congestion than another couple of lanes which will only be completed in time to keep traffic congestion at the current levels of unacceptability.
Dana Beyer (D) Yes.
Ana Sol Gutierrez (D) Yes. I have consistently and publicly opposed the proposed widening of I-270.
How can we fund WMATA?
Vanessa Atterbeary (D) The gas tax is a means to help fund WMATA. This will be an addition to state and federal monies in the Transportation Trust Fund. Restrictions must be placed on the TTF so that the Assembly cannot continue to raid it to replenish the general fund. The very people who most benefit from it will be the primary funders of WMATA. Public transportation's primary purpose is to ease congestion, and should primarily be funded by those who use our roads the most.
Dana Beyer (D) By legally committing each of the three jurisdictions to inflation-indexed payments to Metro Matters (capital funding), including the federal government, and setting up a similar commitment for operating expenses. This should be done to allow fares to be reasonable, which would allow the region to drive more people to use mass transit.
Additionally, by creating a mass transit account within the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund to help fund Maryland’s share, or by creating an authority such as the old New York Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority which could float bonds and which in the 60’s began turning over excess toll revenue for mass transit.
Ana Sol Gutierrez (D) The Maryland General Assembly (MGA) in its 2009 session approved and committed (HB 572) to establishing a mandated appropriation and dedicated funding as required by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact to match the DC, VA, and federal contribution in support of WMATA resulting in a match up to $1.5 billion in federal funds for WMATA capital and preventive maintenance projects. The bill designated the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) as Maryland’s dedicated funding source for matching specified federal funds.
In the upcoming session, I believe that Maryland must commit to ensuring full funding for the Transportation Trust Fund as dedicate funding source for WMATA’s future long-term sustainability. This past session, we approved the creation of a joint taskforce to study all alternatives, e.g., higher gas taxes, increased tolls, fees, etc., for raising revenues to meet and sustain the State’s critical long-term transportation needs. As the most senior legislator from Montgomery County serving on the House Appropriations Committee, I will actively work for passage of dedicated, sustainable funding for WMATA.
Should any money be spent on increasing highway capacity associated with the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan before a light rail Corridor Cities Transitway from Shady Grove to Clarksburg is fully funded for construction?
Vanessa Atterbeary (D) As a strong proponent of mass transit, I would prefer the Corridor Cities Transitway be fully funded before other construction is begun, as inevitably construction projects that have not been realized are vulnerable to delays and cancellation.
Dana Beyer (D) No. I would also like to see the Red Line extended in a loop from Shady Grove along the 370 corridor to Belward Farms. When that happens the Science Center would no longer be an isolated island, and would be more efficiently connected to the downcounty region than via the CCT. I’m not holding my breath.
Ana Sol Gutierrez (D) No. I strongly favor funding transit projects as a priority over highway construction or expansion.