Maryland Secretary of Transportation among guest speakers
The seventh and the last public transportation hearing that focused on recommending what type of revenue enhancements were needed to finance non-funded transportation projects was held at Blair in SAC at 8:00 p.m. on November 24.
The panel of guest speakers included Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Robert L. Flanagan, MDOT Director of Finance Fred Rappe, the chairman of Maryland's Transportation Task Force (TTF) and former MDOT Secretary Bill Hellmann, and MDOT Director of Planning and Programming Marsha Kaiser.
Hellmann gave an overview of the TTF work to date, while Kaiser and Rappe explained a packet of information given to those at the meeting. Flanagan did not make a formal presentation, but was available for questioning during testimonies.
Maryland Senator Ida Ruben was also present at the meeting and shared her view on the necessity of the purple line transit project. "We need to have a [purple line] transit system. People, who do not have cars, need the transit to get to and from work," said Ruben.
Although the Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP) was not discussed, there was an informational workshop from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on the MTP.
At the meeting, Rappe discussed the rapid need for more revenues. "We believe there are 4.7 billion unfunded transportation needs," said Rappe while pointing to statistics in the packet given to those at the meeting.
The Inter-County Connector (ICC) was not talked about during the duration of the formal presentations, but Ruben spoke out against the Governor Erhlich's focus on the ICC. "I know the ICC is the governor's top priority, but it's not the magic bullet," said Ruben.
Ruben then discussed the urgent need to repair streets. "Our roads are deteriorating, and unless we do something, it's going to get worse," said Ruben.
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