The I-270 widening is now a Maryland state issue. Baltimore area leaders are asking questions about the State Highway Administration’s $4 billion highway widening plan for I-270, possibly the most expensive in the state’s history. The widening would just shift growth and jobs far away from most of the state’s residents, and Baltimoreans are understandably asking why that’s a state priority when there are plenty of Route 29 and I-95 communities eager for those jobs. And, wearing his blogger hat, Michael Dresser agrees that this 270 widening will just create sprawl in Frederick County while hurting Baltimore (and Columbia, Laurel, and Beltsville). (Baltimore Sun) Twitter
Yet another highway?
Montgomery County is also considering building another highway through rural, forested land in the Agricultural Reserve near Clarksburg. The plan claims to protect the environment, as all road plans do these days, but really won’t; many road contractors are ignoring the stream protection rules that are part of the ICC’s environmental mitigation, for example. (MPW) Twitter
Game trains you to move cars above all
A fairly fun flash game lets you play traffic operations manager, keeping cars moving. Though, as Noah points out, the game has no mass transit or pedestrians, and moving cars as fast as possible is the whole point. It even insinuates that this fictional city doesn’t solve traffic jams because of “the oil lobby and gas sales going up when cars idle in traffic jams.” Is this harmless fun, or does it instill a cars-first outlook in innocent people? (TheCityFix) Twitter
The people I used to be are ruining my neighborhood!
Some people on U Street are worrying about rising noise. Richard Layman points out the irony (scroll to the second half of his post) that often, people move to a neighborhood for its lively activity and bars, then get older, stop going to the bars, and start fighting against the same things they liked when they moved there in the first place. That said, I think it’s fair for residents to specifically oppose outdoor bars with late hours. Bar patrons can go inside after a certain hour. (Post) Twitter
Riders not happy
Metrorail riders are increasingly upset with crowding, doors closing on passengers, trains going out of service and long waits following the June crash. They blame Metro, sometimes rightly, but it’s also worth pointing out that these maintenance problems stem from underfunding Metro, and they had to cut many of the staff who could otherwise help passengers on platforms. (Dr. Gridlock) Twitter
Lynx links new riders to transit
Charlotte’s new Lynx light rail has attracted many new riders to transit, just like our Metrorail did. 72% of the riders weren’t using public transportation before the line opened. Like Metrorail, it’s drawing more educated and wealthier riders than buses, on average Charlotte has also seen human-scale walkable urban development around light rail stations. (Charlotte Observer via The Overhead Wire, Cavan, Michael P, David C) Twitter