Letter of support for public-private partnerships addressing Maryland highways
March 21, 2019
Mr. Greg Slater, Administrator
Maryland State Highway Administration
707 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
RE: MDOT SHA P3 Program to address congestion along the I-495 & I-270 corridors
Dear Administrator Slater:
The Greater Washington Board of Trade is the region’s premier business organization and has represented all industry sectors in Greater Washington for 130 years. We strongly support the use of a Public Private Partnership (P3) to finance the Maryland Traffic Relief Plan for I-270 and I-495, as proposed by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).
Our regional transportation network should be safe, reliable, affordable, and convenient, and this project would help us achieve these goals. The difficulty with which people and cargo move around the region has a large impact on quality of life and economic productivity. Unfortunately, commute times are a major source of stress and productivity loss in Greater Washington. According to INRIX’s 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, our region is currently the world’s 19th most congested metropolis, with commuters spending 155 hours lost in congestion.
We need a mix of safe, convenient, and clean transportation options and we feel this project is critical to the region’s economic future and quality of life and needs to be part of any comprehensive solution. Priced managed lanes on I-495 and I-270 will reduce congestion delays and allow for an extensive, region-wide, express-bus system on those lanes, as called for in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ approved “Visualize 2045” long-range plan. The P3 approach appears to be the only viable way to finance an investment of this magnitude.
In closing, we fully support the use of tolls and a Public Private Partnership to deliver priced managed lanes on I-495 and I-270 and will continue to advocate for innovative solutions like this to the daunting transportation challenges facing our region.
President and CEO
Greater Washington Board of Trade