“…but they keep going back on their word to appease a tiny whiny minority of activists“
“I just want to take a few minutes to talk about why the work that both the Suburban Maryland and the Northern Virginia transportation alliance are doing could not be more important right now.
“In Maryland, we have taken a balanced, all-inclusive approach to transportation infrastructure investing record amounts in both roads and transit improvements. One area of focus has been addressing the traffic on the Capital Beltway, which is consistently rated as one of the worst bottlenecks in the country. It’s not just a nuisance for commuters and travelers, it hurts our ability to attract more economic development to the region.
“Two years ago, Governor Northam and I came together to announce a bold and transformative Capital Beltway Accord to finally build a new American Legion Bridge across the Potomac River and relieve traffic congestion on I-270 and I-495.
“This project is the biggest public-private partnership of its kind in the world. It will not only fix the bridge and the roads, it will add reliable bus service and transit funding for local jurisdictions, it will add new bike and pedestrian networks, it will create thousands of jobs and boost our economic recovery, and it will free up funding for critical projects across the state.
“Despite all of that, and despite this bipartisan and interstate consensus, a very small group of Montgomery County politicians continue to try and sabotage the project, catering to a small group of pro-traffic activists at the expense of the overwhelming majority of residents who desperately want something done about the traffic and who support our plan.
“In today’s Washington Post, the editorial board strongly condemned their actions as ‘an assault on transportation common sense’ and a combination of ‘partisanship, myopia, and dysfunction.’ It correctly notes that the biggest losers here would be ‘commuters hoping to avert a future of increasingly nightmarish highway congestion.’
“Because these short-sighted, far-left politicians are threatening to derail not just the new bridge and the project itself. There is much more at stake here than just that. If the project does not move forward, and we do not bring in this $6 billion in private funding, we will have to come up with the funding ourselves to maintain the bridge in its current state. It will stop nearly every single transportation project in the National Capital Region.
“We certainly cannot let that happen, but that’s exactly what some Montgomery County politicians are attempting to do. We have negotiated in good faith with them for six years, but they keep going back on their word to appease a tiny whiny minority of activists rather than doing what their own constituents desperately want.
“After five decades of delays, doing nothing and kicking the can down the road, this is the closest we’ve ever been to finally fixing the American Legion Bridge, and we need your help to finally get this done.”