Responding to the Latest
Pro-Lexus Lane Talking Points
As election day nears, we're hearing new talking points (from some GOP candidates) seemingly aimed at countering legitimate concerns about Gov. Hogan’s Lexus Lane proposal for I-495 and I-270.
Here's what they're saying and here's what we know.
Claim: Environmental reviews will delay construction for 10 years.
Not Likely: Maryland Dept. of Transportation/State Highway Administration plans for a final environmental impact statement by the third quarter of 2020. This would enable construction to begin soon after.
Claim: CABE’s protesting a design M-DOT is no longer considering.
Not Likely: If there’s a new design M-DOT hasn’t shared it with the public.
Our concerns are based on the same 15+ alternatives public agencies are commenting on (and concerned about) that were released by M-DOT for public comment last April.
M-DOT is expected to advance a few (possibly modified) alternatives for detailed study by Feb 2019.
Claim: Hogan can add four toll lanes without widening I-495/I-270.
Not Likely: Not unless the state intends to build fly-over lanes like Dallas’ LBJ Expressway or something similar. Otherwise, as Montgomery County Councilman Tom Hucker put it, this claim conflicts with Newtonian physics.
Planners we've talked to say land beyond the existing highways will be needed to build four toll lanes, access and exit lanes, lane dividers, new interchanges, shoulders, and sound barriers.
So we remain concerned about the impact of Lexus Lanes on homes, businesses, communities, and the environment, as well as their ability to pay for themselves without tax dollars or help most commuters.