Detailed Responses - Maryland State Senate District 19
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?
Mike Lenett (D) Yes. I support mass transit over new highways due to environmental concerns and believe that light rail is the best transit mode for the project. But we must ensure that the Capital Crescent Trail is improved and protected by a landscaped buffer from both the rail line and the CSX right-of-way.
Roger Manno (D) Yes. I am a strong supporter of the Purple Line, including an alternative that preserves the Capital Crescent Trail and minimizes community/neighborhood impact.
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?
Mike Lenett (D) Yes. Widening the highway should not be a knee-jerk reaction to the traffic problem on I-270, since it would be expensive and may not be a sustainable solution in the long-term. ACT’s plan merits further study and careful consideration as an alternative.
Roger Manno (D) Yes. I am a signatory of the 2010 delegation letter calling for consideration of this alternative.
How can we fund WMATA?
Mike Lenett (D) WMATA’s lack of a dedicated funding source forces it to rely heavily on state and local partners, reliance that is unreliable (funds can be easily diverted) and problematic for large-capital projects. Dedicated funding could come from the gas or sales tax, commercial garage/lot parking taxes, higher impact fees on sprawl development, assessments on increased land value of development surrounding stations or new developments that increase vehicle miles traveled over a specified limit, and/or from savings from bus priority measures and eliminating the extra millions of dollars spent every year on contracting out work that could be performed by WMATA employees.
Roger Manno (D) I continue to strongly support a dedicated funding source for transit, including a collaborative regional tri-state solution, with a strong partnership with, and funding commitment from, the federal government. Dedicated funding solutions for Maryland should include consideration of an indexed gas tax and other dedicated revenues.
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?
Mike Lenett (D) No. Fully funding the Corridor Cities Transitway for light rail construction should be the priority.
Roger Manno (D) No. I prefer transit-oriented development alternatives that give weight to pedestrians, bicycles and transit, as opposed to evaluations based solely on road capacity for vehicles. To this end, I support light rail, and also the exploration of compressed natural gas (CNG) bus rapid transit (BRT) routes wherever possible, and particularly where BRT routes fill gaps where light rail is not feasible. In addition, when evaluating new road construction projects (as opposed to road and intersection improvements), my preference is improving existing road capacity (such as MD 28/198), as opposed to new road construction, given our ongoing funding constraints, the need to preserve green space, and the need to protect established communities.