Financial losses & traffic drops on Virginia Beltway toll lanes flash red light for Maryland Lexus Lane plans.

 

Marylanders Don't Want $41 Toll Lanes, New Post Poll Shows

 
October 12, 2018
 
Marylanders oppose widening I-270 and the Beltway with toll lanes, a Washington Post poll released this morning shows. The newspaper's statewide poll found a 50-44 majority against the plan. And opposition was far more intense than support -- 33% opposed it strongly, while only 18% supported it strongly.
 
Opposition to the toll lane plan currently on the table is surely even greater than these numbers suggest, Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition chair Ben Ross said. The pollsters did not specify any level of tolls in their question. The Maryland Dept. of Transportation plan requires an average rush-hour toll of $41 from Frederick to Shady Grove. "$40 tolls are a political death warrant,”  Ross said, pointing to Virginia's 10th Congressional District where candidates are trading blame for the state's high tolls.
 
Gary V. Hodge, President of the Southern Maryland Alliance for Rapid Transit (SMART) commented on the poll results: “We can already hear the death rattle of this half-baked toll-highway scheme. Pouring more rivers of concrete is not the answer to our congestion problem. Investing in rapid rail transit is the right path to a better connected and more competitive Maryland—for all our people.”
 
The lesson, Ross argued, is that drivers simply don't think new highway lanes are worth what they cost to build. “Maryland needs a balanced transportation system that offers a choice between transit and driving. We've been widening roads for a century, and they're more congested than ever. Now is the time to invest in a state-wide rail transit network, including MARC trains running all day to Frederick and Brunswick.”