Mid-County Highway Extended Should Not Be Built
Statement by ACT Vice President Miriam Schoenbaum at press conference, June 6, 2012
Action Committee for Transit stands for a Montgomery County where people have real transportation choices, including transit, biking, and walking.
Unfortunately, M83 represents the opposite. M83 is based on the ideas that cars are the only real way to get anywhere, and that the solution to traffic congestion is to build more roads. Both experience and research show that these ideas are false. People will choose to walk, bike, and take transit when these are real options. And building more roads only leads to more traffic, more congestion—and proposals to build even more roads.
ACT believes that Montgomery County must make fundamental changes in the county's transportation and land use policies. Currently, the transportation policy is that roads are more important than transit. And while the land use policy pays lip service to walking, biking, and transit, the reality is cars. Just think about Clarksburg. In the master plan, Clarksburg is a transit- and pedestrian-oriented community. In real life, Clarksburg's transit consists of two slow buses, every 30 minutes during weekday working hours.
And ACT is not alone in pushing for changes. Last year, in a Washington Post poll about traffic congestion, only 30% of Washington-area residents wanted government to focus on roads. More than twice as many—62%—wanted government to focus on transit.
People have learned that building more roads just plain doesn't work. It's time for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation to learn this too. ACT stands with TAME against the waste of millions of scarce public dollars to plan and build M83. We need more transit. We need more ways to get places by walking and biking. We need more transportation choices. We don't need another destructive, wasteful, useless road.