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Critics: Press Pause on Highway Widening in Maryland Until COVID Impacts Are Clear

Transportation plans justified with pre-coronavirus data are now obsolete, according to a line of argument recently presented to the Maryland Transportation Authority.
May 5, 2020, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Maryland Highways
MJ Van Dyke

Bruce DePuyt reports from the April meeting of the Maryland Transportation Authority, where numerous critics showed up to urge the state to suspend a plan to widen two Washington, D.C. area highways with toll lanes.

"Many residents and activists who spoke during the public comment portion of the Maryland Transportation Authority’s April meeting opposed the plan to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 long before the COVID-19 crisis struck," according to DePuyt.

Critics are now arguing that the case for the new toll lanes has been built on data now obsolete as commuter and travel patterns could potentially shift over the long-term. 

"Many companies and workers are teleworking for the first time. How many continue teleworking after the pandemic subsides is a question that transportation officials and industry consultants will study for some time," explains DePuyt.

There's little indication yet whether the Maryland Transportation Authority will act in accordance with the wishes of these critics.

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Published on Friday, May 1, 2020 in Maryland Matters
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