David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington brings us another great article. Montgomery County, outside of Washington, DC, recently spent $3.8 billion to widen a stretch of I-270, which of course will have the effect of sending sprawl even further into undeveloped countryside. Alpert asks, what else could you do with $3.8 billion? First, he proposes improving MARC transit facilities in the area to be the quality of DC’s Metro stations. This could be done for considerably less than the asking price, even after realigning the CSX tracks to provide better commuter rail service. You could also build a whole new line out to Frederick, on the fringe of the DC Metro Area. He lists a number of transit projects which, though their cost was only in the millions, were rejected for being too expensive (more evidence that people’s priorities are out of line; they don’t care about creating transit choices, just about satiating the car). Even the Washington Post, a “chearleader” for this and similar projects, has admitted that this will not reduce congestion, but will simply ecourage more far-flung suburban development. I think it is a good idea to do things like this, not just in blogs and other news media, but to our elected officials, so they know how much they are spending on bad projects and how they could better allocate funds.
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