Opinion | Transportation initiatives are shiny projects with rough consequences

Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail and the Northeast Maglev are dangling shiny objects to promote the SCMaglev, including promising a dubious number of enduring jobs and nationally promoting fast travel from D.C. to New York. However, D.C. to Baltimore would be a stand-alone segment serving travelers bypassing Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

I support the no-build option for these projects because of weighty statewide economic, environmental and social injustice concerns. Taxpayers would bear the brunt of inevitable cost overruns (e.g., the Purple Line) associated with the completion of these mammoth aboveground and underground construction projects. The environmental issues are so numerous that many would be unanticipated and need to be redressed during construction. The promised mitigation does not mean causing no irreparable harm.

Our communities, many of them modest-income multiracial and multicultural hubs, must no longer be targeted for the deliberate placement of multiple competing, invasive transportation projects. We are the linchpin of the Northeast Corridor, a lifeline for our nation’s capital and many vital federal properties. Elected officials and the public must collaborate to discuss transportation issues and explore robust, outside-the-box alternatives, not meekly bend to the will of an ambitious governor and his powerful cronies.

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