Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Suburban Maryland Transportation Advocacy Group

Douglas M. Duncan
Today, former Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan announced the formation of a new public education and advocacy organization, called the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance (SMTA), dedicated to resolving the chronic transportation challenges facing Maryland jurisdictions in the greater Washington region (Frederick, Montgomery, Prince Georges, and parts of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties).

SMTA’s mission: “To educate policymakers and residents of Suburban Maryland on the real choices we face in improving transportation in the Greater Washington region, to advocate for increased funding for transportation including mass transit and roads, and to encourage leaders at the local, state and regional levels to commit those funds to cost-effective capacity improvements that do the most good in relieving traffic congestion and improving mobility.”

Mr. Duncan will serve as chairman of the Board of Directors, and a separate Advisory Board composed of national, regional and local transportation experts, from a range of disciplines, will provide expert guidance to support the research and public education missions of SMTA. Both boards are still in formation but already include many leading voices in the community.

One of the first priorities of the organization will be to mobilize public and institutional support for increased investments in Maryland’s roads, bridges and mass transit infrastructure, as recommended recently by Governor Martin O’Malley’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding, which has identified an urgent need for an $800 million annual infusion of new transportation dollars in Maryland, in addition to stronger protections to prevent future raids on the Transportation Trust Fund. Repeated raids on the Trust Fund have undermined efforts to restore appropriate levels of transportation investment in the past.

A key element of the organization’s program is a new website: http://www.mdtransportation.org/  that will help area residents learn about the choices we face and take action at the grassroots level to demand change.

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