Transportation Cuts

I hope this email finds you well. It's your friendly neighborhood Delegate here. You know, the guy you voted for to represent you in this rollercoaster ride we call state government. Today, we will take a scenic drive through the not-so-pretty world of transportation budgets.

Here's the scoop: our FY2024-2029 Final Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) looks like a buggy trying to compete in NASCAR. We've got a revenue gap wider than the Chesapeake Bay, and it's about time we put some traffic cones around it.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has recently announced a reduction of 8% in its budget for all modes of transportation. This decision, aimed at optimizing resources, will have an impact on various transportation initiatives and projects. But don't worry, they swear it's not just for the thrill of it. It's their attempt to keep this rickety old jalopy we call our transportation system (that pours money into mass transit) running on the fumes of fiscal responsibility.

However, here's the critical point: we're dealing with these budget cuts while having the fifth-highest gas tax in the entire nation. Yes, you heard it right, folks! We're spending more at the gas station than nearly everyone else, but our roads are beginning to resemble a badly stitched patchwork quilt.

Though it falls outside my district, one particular cut that deeply concerns me is the $15 million reduction in funding for the Route 5 and Great Mills Road project in St. Mary's County. A few years ago, this project was the top priority for the St. Mary's Board of County Commissioners, so much so that in their eyes, it surpassed the Thomas Johnson Bridge in importance.

I sincerely hope the representatives for that area, Senator Bailey and Delegate Crosby, with the help of the Commissioner's new lobbyist, can successfully advocate for the return of this funding.

In rural areas like ours with limited public transportation options, well-maintained roads are of utmost importance. These roads serve as lifelines, connecting individuals, families, and communities to vital services such as healthcare, education, shopping, and emergency assistance during critical times of need. That is why any reduction in funding for road maintenance and development should be a matter of great concern.

Thanks for your patience, understanding, and, most importantly, your voice. We're all in this together, and we can find a way to keep Maryland moving without raising tolls or having to trade our prized possessions for gas money.

Keep the wheels turning,