Monday, December 15, 2003

Moving Violations

Two pieces in today's Capital hint at both one source and symptom of the poor regional transportation planning that has gone on in the County and the State. First, over 40,000 families in the County (with a population around 460,000) have three or more cars (an 11 percent increase over 1990). At least part of the increase in car prevalance is certainly due to the inadequacy of public transportation options, a sentiment echoed by Ann Fligsten of the Arnold Preservation Council, who said she might be able to get rid of her family's third car if better bus routes were available.

As part of an effort to make sure more funding is available for transportation, Delegate John Leopold of Pasadena, is proposing to introduce an Amendment to the Maryland Constitution to prevent transportation funds from being raided for general fund use. From 1984 to 2003, almost $500 million has been taken from the transportation fund for the general fund. While many of Mr. Leopold's more conservative colleagues would apparently like to use this as an opportunity to build more roads and gut public transportation, it's important for public transportation advocates who support the amendment to be sure that, should transportation funding get additional protections, the money be used responsibly, to fund public transportation, bike, and pedestrian projects, as well as road construction.

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