Maryland scales down wasteful $11 billion highway 'boondoggle'

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Aaron Colonnese
Creative Associate

Author: Aaron Colonnese

Creative Associate

 

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., Brown University

Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.

After Maryland PIRG's advocacy, our state has decided to avoid wasting $11 billion on a harmful and unnecessary highway expansion.

On May 13, the Maryland Department of Transportation announced a decision to significantly reduce the scope of a proposed widening project for I-270, I-495 and the Capital Beltway. Not only is the car-dependent transportation sector Maryland’s No. 1 source of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also results in about 500 vehicle-crash deaths every year. And those problems are only exacerbated by highway expansions, which tend to worsen traffic congestion rather than alleviate it.

Maryland PIRG identified the Capital Beltway project as one of the country's most wasteful highway "boondoggles" back in 2018.

“The dramatic downsizing of the Capital Beltway expansion is a huge victory for Marylanders, but it’s time to completely scrap this expansion project," said Maryland PIRG State Director Emily Scarr. "Maryland needs to take a fresh approach to transportation spending and invest in healthier, cleaner and more sustainable electrified public transit, biking and walking.”

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Learn more about our campaigns to transform transportation in Maryland.

GET INVOLVED
Tell your legislators to stand up to wasteful highway expansion plans

The dramatic downsizing of the Capital Beltway expansion is a huge victory for Marylanders, but it’s time to completely scrap this and other wasteful highway "boondoggles." Call on your legislators to shelve plans for these projects and instead invest in providing more transportation options and maintaining the roads we have.

Photo: Research shows that wider roads tend to mean more drivers, more pollution and more car dependency — a fate that downsizing the proposed Capital Beltway expansion will help Maryland avoid. Credit: Ken Lund via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Aaron Colonnese
Creative Associate

Author: Aaron Colonnese

Creative Associate

 

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., Brown University

Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.