Wasteful I-270 and I-495 expansion project moves forward in Maryland

Maryland is moving forward with a proposed highway expansion project after a disappointing vote from the Board of Public Works.

On Aug. 11, the board voted in favor of Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed I-270 and I-495 toll lane widening project, despite opposition from environmental activists and residents. Not only is the car-dependent transportation sector already Maryland’s No. 1 source of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also results in about 500 vehicle-crash deaths every year. And those problems are only exacerbated by highway expansions, which tend to worsen traffic congestion rather than alleviate it.

“Expanding Maryland’s highways is a waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Maryland PIRG State Director Emily Scarr. “It’s bad for public health and the environment, and it will make traffic worse, not better.”

“It’s time to take a fresh approach to transportation spending and invest in healthier, cleaner and more sustainable electrified public transit, biking and walking.”

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Photo: Expanding Maryland’s highways will increase air pollution and other harmful emissions. Credit: Ken Lund via Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0