ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 5, 2022—Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker released the following statement regarding the Federal Highway Administration’s decision to delay action on the I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Project:
“The Federal Highway Administration issued an important decision today that will delay action on an outdated and poorly conceived transportation plan that would build toll lanes on I-495 and I-270.
“This decision sends a message that our federal partners are united with us in our commitment to multi-modal, environmentally friendly, 21st century traffic solutions that actually work.
“After four years of organizing and advocacy for our County taxpayers, this is a big win for commuters, taxpayers and the environment. This decision reflects all the information Congressman Anthony Brown and I conveyed to Sec. Pete Buttigieg. I’m grateful to my Council colleagues, County Executive Marc Elrich and Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson, who have been consistent advocates for common-sense traffic solutions and community input. I am equally grateful to all the community members and stakeholders who have provided input and voiced their concerns throughout this process.
“Today’s decision reflects the power of organizing and of community voices coming together for a common cause.
“We have seen transportation demands dramatically shift since the onset of the pandemic. With these shifting demands, it's time our investments in infrastructure address the needs of all residents, not just those who own personal vehicles.
“Instead of emphasizing road development and highway widening to accommodate personal vehicles, we need more sustainable, multigenerational improvements in infrastructure that enhance connectivity and prioritize accessibility of public transit. And it is imperative that these projects pass climate and equity tests.
“While investing in climate-friendly, sustainable transit projects that improve equity in our region, we can also make minimal road improvements to reduce congestion, like with reversible lanes on I-270 and building a new American Legion Bridge.
“Thank you to the Federal Highway Administration for responding to the concerns of the communities impacted by this project and delaying action to allow additional time for constituents to understand the environmental, transportation and financial implications of this project.”