Follow The Road Money

As a bookend to the earlier Post article about the Purple Line, Michael Dresser of the Sun has an in-depth analysis of where all the new road construction money is going in Maryland, shifted over from the now-cancelled Red Line. Hint: none to Baltimore City and less than 1% to Baltimore County. It’s too simplistic to say that rural counties did well (although some did), and Prince George’s and Montgomery both got substantial projects as well. But Baltimore clearly gets shafted.

Dresser notes the irony that much of the money for Hogan’s transportation largesse comes from the new gas tax, which he opposed and Baltimore area legislators supported – in large part to help fund the Red Line, which Hogan canceled and is now using that money elsewhere.

While some of the $2 billion will be spent for the next installments of projects already in the pipeline or stepped-up maintenance of roads and bridges, $845 million is for new projects that Hogan put in the state’s transportation plan.

Some of that money will come from canceling the Red Line and cutting the state’s contribution to the Washington-area Purple Line. But the new highway spending also is possible because the state’s Transportation Trust Fund is now flush with money from Maryland’s 2013 gas tax increase — a measure opposed by Hogan and rural legislators.
Transit-minded Baltimore lawmakers provided critical votes to pass that bill, but now they can only watch as the money goes to other jurisdictions.

Elections have consequences, etc.