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Author Topic: Maryland  (Read 361542 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2012, 03:17:32 PM »

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2012, 03:37:28 PM »

Washington Post: O’Malley wants 6 percent sales tax added to gasoline

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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Monday revealed the first details of his highly anticipated proposal to raise the gas tax, saying he thinks the “best option” would be to phase in a 6 percent sales tax, effectively raising the price of gasoline in Maryland about 7 cents per year for the next three years.

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The sales tax would be increased in increments of 2 percent annually, meaning if gas prices remained constant, the combined tax increase would be 21 cents per gallon. The tax would rise and fall proportionally to the price of gas.
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2012, 03:41:08 PM »

is this sales tax to go into the state's general coffers, or will it be used for road work?
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cpzilliacus

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2012, 04:19:19 PM »

is this sales tax to go into the state's general coffers, or will it be used for road work?

I suspect that if it is approved, a lot of the  money will be diverted to mass transit spending, including pay raises and benefit improvements for unionized transit workers in Washington and Baltimore.

There are many that want to build a new rail lines in the D.C. suburbs and in the Baltimore region, including:

the Purple Line; and
the Red Line in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

Montgomery County, Maryland also wants to build some sort of a transit line roughly parallel to I-270 called the Corridor Cities Transitway.  Most of the talk has been in favor of a light rail line, though the County Council recently voted to endorse this project as a bus rapid transit line.

If all of the above gain approvals, then there's not going to be much left for highway improvements.
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cpzilliacus

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cpzilliacus

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2012, 03:39:53 PM »

This is about the four-lane National Park Service section of the Parkway, presumably between Md. 450 (Annapolis Road) and Md. 175 (Odenton).

From GreaterGreaterWashington: Feds, Maryland examine widening Balt.-Wash. Parkway
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treichard

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2012, 04:43:05 PM »

I'd like to see a B-W Pkwy. study that looked at interchange improvements, such as these, where the interchange configuration serves as a source of congestion:

1. Solve the weaving problem SB between the MD 193 and I-495 interchanges due to the closely spaced interchanges.  Traffic merging on from MD 193 conflicts with traffic exiting onto I-495 WB.  The situation NB isn't much better.

2. Solve the northbound evening rush hour back-up  at the Powder Mill Rd. interchange from merging traffic.  Just a half-mile ahead, a 3rd lane begins quite early for all the Laurel traffic exiting onto MD 197.  I'd like to see if the benefit of connecting the Powder Mill Rd. on-ramp to the MD 197 off-ramp as a 3rd NB lane would justify the cost.  It'd give merging/exiting traffic about a whole mile to safely merge, perhaps at freeway speeds instead of at the current, near stand-still.  On the surface, this looks like a high-benefit/low-cost solution.  There is a similar but less severe problem southbound during the morning rush hour.

3. Solve the back-ups at the MD 32 and I-695 interchanges, which are each old-style cloverleaves that trigger back-ups from the weaving problem at the loop ramp connections to the through lanes. A modern (though expensive) freeway-freeway interchange might solve or alleviate these problem spots.



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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2012, 09:42:55 PM »

I'd like to see a B-W Pkwy. study that looked at interchange improvements, such as these, where the interchange configuration serves as a source of congestion:

1. Solve the weaving problem SB between the MD 193 and I-495 interchanges due to the closely spaced interchanges.  Traffic merging on from MD 193 conflicts with traffic exiting onto I-495 WB.  The situation NB isn't much better.

It's better than it was before the Parkway was reconstructed in the 1990's, though still not great.

If you look closely at the south side of eastbound Md. 193 just before the Parkway underpass, you should be able to see that there was once an on-ramp to the southbound Parkway from Md. 193 eastbound.  I believe it was removed when I-495 was built in the early 1960's.  Putting that ramp back so traffic from Md. 193 could get to the Outer Loop of I-495 (I-95 N) would remove some traffic from that weave.

Quote
2. Solve the northbound evening rush hour back-up  at the Powder Mill Rd. interchange from merging traffic.  Just a half-mile ahead, a 3rd lane begins quite early for all the Laurel traffic exiting onto MD 197.  I'd like to see if the benefit of connecting the Powder Mill Rd. on-ramp to the MD 197 off-ramp as a 3rd NB lane would justify the cost.  It'd give merging/exiting traffic about a whole mile to safely merge, perhaps at freeway speeds instead of at the current, near stand-still.  On the surface, this looks like a high-benefit/low-cost solution.  There is a similar but less severe problem southbound during the morning rush hour.

All of the workers getting out of the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (and to a lesser extent, the U.S. Secret Service facility on Powder Mill Road and the USDA/BARC) want to enter the northbound lanes of the Parkway, and adding a third lane between Powder Mill Road and Md. 197 would almost certainly help.

Quote
3. Solve the back-ups at the MD 32 and I-695 interchanges, which are each old-style cloverleaves that trigger back-ups from the weaving problem at the loop ramp connections to the through lanes. A modern (though expensive) freeway-freeway interchange might solve or alleviate these problem spots.

Agreed regarding the Md. 32/B-W Parkway interchange.  Fort Meade is one of the largest employment centers in the state, and a more-modern interchange there would help.  As would more lanes on Md. 32 and the Parkway.

Unfortunately, north of Md. 175, the Parkway is part of the Maryland State Highway Administration's network, and beyond what the USDOT/FHWA are looking at.
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MASTERNC

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2012, 11:23:44 PM »

Baltimore Sun: I-95 plaza bidder prompts questions - Fla. work reported late; losing Md. competitors complain

I hope HMSHost doesn't end up winning this bid.  They have a near monopoly on the service plazas in the Northeast and it always seems they have the same restaurants.  The variety that Areas USA offered was refreshing.
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MDRoads

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2012, 10:21:38 AM »

is this sales tax to go into the state's general coffers, or will it be used for road work?

Some lawmakers want a guarantee that it will go to road work, but such promises are made to be broken.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2012, 11:59:40 AM »

Baltimore Sun: I-95 plaza bidder prompts questions - Fla. work reported late; losing Md. competitors complain

I hope HMSHost doesn't end up winning this bid.  They have a near monopoly on the service plazas in the Northeast and it always seems they have the same restaurants.  The variety that Areas USA offered was refreshing.

Even though the decision by MdTA to award the contract to Areas USA is in litigation (and interestingly, that litigation is, for now, in (relatively) far-away Montgomery County), were I betting on the outcome of this, my money would still be on Areas USA.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2012, 12:01:50 PM »

is this sales tax to go into the state's general coffers, or will it be used for road work?

Some lawmakers want a guarantee that it will go to road work, but such promises are made to be broken.

And it's important to note that many lawmakers want most of the revenue to end-up being spent on rail transit lines, including the new Purple Line in the D.C. suburbs and the new Red Line in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Spending motor fuel tax money on projects that do not benefit highway users is a great way to increase the already-cynical attitude that many people have about such taxes.
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2012, 12:35:40 PM »

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Spending motor fuel tax money on projects that do not benefit highway users

Do tell how you feel they won't benefit highway users...
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2012, 12:48:28 PM »

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Spending motor fuel tax money on projects that do not benefit highway users

Do tell how you feel they won't benefit highway users...


Kentucky spent TEA-21 funds on a museum a few years ago.
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2012, 02:23:01 PM »

Not only that, but it seems fairly well used. Wouldn't you rather use a free-flow loop than a left turn with conflict?

Not in Maryland but the last time I was in the Jackson, MS area, US 49 north to I 20 west had a left turn ramp as well as  a loop ramp.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 02:26:08 PM by allniter89 »
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2012, 02:35:18 PM »

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Kentucky spent TEA-21 funds on a museum a few years ago.

That's Kentucky and a museum.  It's not Maryland and in this particular case, I'd like CP to explain why he feels the Purple Line and the Red Line wouldn't benefit highway users.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2012, 03:19:38 PM »

Quote
Spending motor fuel tax money on projects that do not benefit highway users

Do tell how you feel they won't benefit highway users...

Not feel - observed data, going back to before the first segment of the Metrorail system opened.

The Washington Metrorail system, which was sold to the region as (1) Obviating the need for the D.C. freeway network; and (2) ending all street and highway congestion - has done none of the above.  It has not especially increased trips by transit, but it did very effectively take riders that used to ride transit buses and put them on trains. 

It also appears to have removed a lot of people from car-pools and put them on trains. 
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2012, 03:55:53 PM »

It has not especially increased trips by transit, but it did very effectively take riders that used to ride transit buses and put them on trains. 

It also appears to have removed a lot of people from car-pools and put them on trains. 

So it clearly benefited highway users, e.g. those in buses and carpools.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2012, 10:57:07 AM »

It has not especially increased trips by transit, but it did very effectively take riders that used to ride transit buses and put them on trains. 

It also appears to have removed a lot of people from car-pools and put them on trains. 

So it clearly benefited highway users, e.g. those in buses and carpools.

No.

The selling point of Metrorail (in the 1960's through 1980's) was street and highway traffic congestion relief, and the way to get that with transit is to get people in single-occupant vehicles to park their cars and take transit.

Moving people from buses (many of them were express buses), car-pools and van-pools to rail did not provide any congestion relief.
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2012, 11:03:01 AM »

It has not especially increased trips by transit, but it did very effectively take riders that used to ride transit buses and put them on trains. 

It also appears to have removed a lot of people from car-pools and put them on trains. 

So it clearly benefited highway users, e.g. those in buses and carpools.

No.

The selling point of Metrorail (in the 1960's through 1980's) was street and highway traffic congestion relief, and the way to get that with transit is to get people in single-occupant vehicles to park their cars and take transit.

Moving people from buses (many of them were express buses), car-pools and van-pools to rail did not provide any congestion relief.

We're not talking about what the selling point was (or what you think it was). We're talking about the lie that transit does not help highway users.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #47 on: February 29, 2012, 09:18:38 AM »

I've heard of (and even seen) a few sinkholes in some Maryland counties.

Frederick County, which sits on so-called Karst topography is notorious for sinkholes (including at least one that led to a temporary closure of half of I-70).

But I have never heard of a sinkhole in Prince George's County before.  This one happened on Md. 450 (Annapolis Road) near the so-called Peace Cross monument in the Town of Bladensburg at U.S. 1 Alternate. 

WTOP Radio story: Westbound Annapolis Rd. closed in Bladensburg
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #48 on: February 29, 2012, 09:52:14 AM »

WTOP reports that Maryland is seriously considering putting enforcement cameras on school buses to catch the people who ignore the flashing red lights.

I'm conflicted on that, although it wouldn't affect me because I always stop for school buses. I don't like automated enforcement and cameras. I think once you allow them for any purpose, the lawmakers will expand them to cover everything (as we're seeing in Maryland with the proliferation of speed cameras now leading to the school bus enforcement). On the other hand, I can't see any justification for blowing past a school bus whose red lights are flashing, assuming of course there's no median separating you from the bus. So I find it hard to sympathize with anyone who might get nailed by these hypothetical cameras.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #49 on: February 29, 2012, 01:03:11 PM »

I've heard of (and even seen) a few sinkholes in some Maryland counties.

Frederick County, which sits on so-called Karst topography is notorious for sinkholes (including at least one that led to a temporary closure of half of I-70).

But I have never heard of a sinkhole in Prince George's County before.  This one happened on Md. 450 (Annapolis Road) near the so-called Peace Cross monument in the Town of Bladensburg at U.S. 1 Alternate.

So this is not a "natural" sinkhole - I think the story has been updated.

Quote
The repairs include fixing a valve and the 12-inch main, Hudson says.

He says the sinkhole highlights the problem of having to repair aging and failing pipes, rather than replacing them.
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