To: Peter Franchot, Comptroller, Larry Hogan, Governor, and Nancy Kopp, Treasurer
Stop the Widening of I-495/I-270
We have significant concerns about the current I-495 /I-270 widening project. We ask the Board of Public Works not to approve the project.
Why is this important?
On December 18, the three-member Board of Public Works is scheduled to take a vote on amendments for the controversial $11 billion I-495 Beltway/I-270 widening project. If passed, amendments would allow the state to take properties before environmental review; backtrack on the promise to share revenue for transit; change the project phasing; and expedite the construction schedule.
We all want congestion relief, but the current plan will not provide it. In other communities, high-toll “luxury lanes” are not attractive to wealthy commuters unless standard lanes have significant backups. To reduce congestion, we must focus on moving people, not automobiles, and significantly incorporate viable transit into the project.
We also have significant concerns about the nearly 1,500 homes that could be impacted by the combined project. And the project as planned will undo millions of dollars in downcounty stormwater projects and destroy parks and streams. To reduce congestion, we must focus on moving people, not automobiles.
For all of these reasons, it will be a terrible mistake if the Board of Public Works (Governor Hogan, Comptroller Franchot and Treasurer Kopp) approves these amendments next week. This project cannot be allowed to go forward without a traffic study showing that it will work, without a fiscal analysis, and without an Environmental Impact Statement.
How it will be delivered