Detailed Responses - Maryland State Delegates District 39
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?
Charles Barkley (D) Yes!
Bob Hydorn (D) Yes I support the locally preferred alternative purple line as selected by Governor O’Malley. The line within the University of Maryland needs to also include the residential areas of the University of Maryland along route 1.
Kirill Reznik (D) Yes. I believe that the best approach to the Purple Line with regard to maintaining a certain level of ridership as well as long term cost savings is the Light Rail alternative.
Shane Robinson (D) Yes.
James Pettit (R) Yes. Montgomery County residents need an east-west transit option. It will continue the revitalization of inner suburbs, alleviate beltway traffic and reduce sprawl. It will also connect MARC and Amtrak, while giving District 39 metro commuters better access to BWI and 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?
Charles Barkley (D) I support further study as long as it does not slow up the CCT project.
Bob Hydorn (D) I fully support this study. When I chaired the Transportation Citizen Advisory Committee of the Council of Governments of Metropolitan Washington from 1976-1982, I was in favor of such a plan at that time. Metro should have gone the length to the City of Frederick. People thought I had lost my mind, saying things like “people won’t ride that far”, “there aren’t enough people out there to support it”. It is long past time for such transit.
Kirill Reznik (D) Not entirely. Though I am open to studying transit options for all of Montgomery County, my first priority in the upcounty is to get the Corridor Cities Transitway built. To put the plan off while exploring options to build a heavy rail extension of the Red Line through to Germantown, which we cannot afford, is not something I support.
I do support, assuming we can find the funding, to increase the frequency and travel of MARC trains to the extent possible. I would be happy to explore the possibility of an additional Light Rail line along Rt. 355, but currently Maryland has 3 major mass transit projects in the pipeline for federal funding. We will be lucky to get all three, much less requesting a fourth.
However, let me emphasize that I also do not support any plan that puts the primacy of expanding I-270 ahead of the construction of the CCT. If we build the CCT, increased MARC service, and implemented a series of other initiatives designed to take cars off of the road, such as dedicated funding for Metro, incentives for tele-commuting, etc., and then still need to expand I-270, I will be happy to look at it then.
Shane Robinson (D) Yes.
James Pettit (R) I-270 cannot be an ever-expanding commuter parking lot. The Montgomery County Council recommended adding two reversible HOT rush hour lanes on I-270 from Shady Grove Road to Frederick. I support this expansion as a near-term measure to reduce congestion. A long-term transit option including the red line extension, expanded MARC operation and a CCT rail option should be reevaluated as an alternative to continued expansion of 270.
How can we fund WMATA?
Charles Barkley (D) We need an additional tax sorely dedicated to WMATA.
Bob Hydorn (D) WMATA funding needs to be far heavier funded by the Federal Government, not putting the burden on the regional entities. A funding structure of FAIR share per region should be put in place, with the Federal Government being balanced into the formula. Federal agencies in the suburbs as well as with Washington DC need to be accounted for their rider ship, plus additional Federal funding for each region. Additional fare increases certainly are not the answer for WMATA, such increases in my opinion will only reduce rider ship, thereby forcing the customers back onto the roadways.
Kirill Reznik (D) We must provide the $50 million in annual funding in order to leverage the federal funding necessary to maintain and improve Metro and WMATA. I am not opposed to a gas tax, however, I believe that the Transportation Trust Fund must be sealed away from other budgetary intrusion so that it can serve the function it was designed. Only by getting this money into WMATA, can we help to improve maintenance and reliability, and restore trust in the system, encouraging people to ride it more often.
Shane Robinson (D) Maryland, Virginia, and the Federal Government need to provide more funding to WMATA. We need to explore a gasoline tax increase to help fund our transportation system, including WMATA.
James Pettit (R) Thousands of District 39 constituents work in the federal government or businesses in downtown Washington and depend on Metro to get to work. Metro has the potential to be the top subway system in the world. Clearly, that is not the case now. Like any other capital-intensive operation, Metro requires investments to keep trains running safely and on time.
WMATA needs a dedicated funding source. Maryland’s distorted transportation trust fund formula is skewed towards Baltimore City road projects. Modifications are needed to Maryland’s $.23.5 gas tax to ensure that distribution of these funds benefit Metro.
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?
Charles Barkley (D) No!
Bob Hydorn (D) Conditionally, the only funds that should be expended for anyway highway work would be some intersection improvements until such time as the CCT is at least under construction. At that time various capacity issues will have to be met in order to service the CCT.
Kirill Reznik (D) As mentioned above in Question #2, I believe the priority should be the construction of the CCT.
Shane Robinson (D) No. If we want to decrease congestion we need to start by taking cars off the road. The way to do this is to offer alternatives such as a light rail CCT.
James Pettit (R) The CCT is the priority. For the CCT to be viable, it must be on MDOT’s priority list for federal funding. The Baltimore red line and Metro’s purple line are $2 billion projects and prioritized for funding. Absent federal funding, an alternative funding source would need to be identified such as a special tax district that applies to Johns Hopkins University, the recipient of Belward Farm.