SILVER SPRING Md. (WDVM)– Montgomery county council president Sidney Katz and Vice President Tom Hucker have called an emergency rally to speak out against the negative impacts the I-270/I-495 expansion amendments could have on the environment and the economy.
“They are ignoring the advice of our best transportation planners and engineers, they are working with out of state firms that really don’t know our area at all, they have proposed a widening of the beltway that takes dozens of homes away, damages our parkway and has a big environmental impact. They don’t need to do it that way they should have a more balanced plan that invests in transit such as buses and trains,” said Councilmember Hucker.
If passed, the amendments would allow the state to start work before the environmental review, backtracking on the promises made to the county in regards to cost and environmental impact.
“If it goes south we’ll be left holding the bag not just all of us but our kids and our grandkids will be paying off those debts for years,” said Councilmember Hucker.
This controversial project was introduced by Governor Hogan in June as a response to ease traffic congestion.
Brad German Co-chair of Citizens Against Beltway Expansion or CAGE says that he is concerned this is being rushed into production without enough understanding of how it will affect taxpayers.
“This isn’t the first time promises like this have been used to push through massive projects like this..saying there will be no taxpayer risks when in fact that turns out not to be the case,” says German.
The decision all comes down to the Board of Public works which is expected to vote in early January.