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WMCCA General Meeting: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - Shared screen with speaker view
Sheila Taylor
The slides aren't advancing
Sheila Taylor
The slide show is gone now
He may be finished with the slide presentation aspect and just talking now.
Shruti Bhatnagar,, Chair Sierra Club Montgomery County
Does the analysis consider that when people try to avoid paying tolls and the traffic of the remaining lanes, they will exit the Beltway and pile onto MacArthur Blvd and Falls Road, damaging the environment near the river and the peaceful enjoyment of the park and community?
Courtenay Ellis
Which MoCo Council Members are for and which against "the project?" Who is outside counsel and who is the lead? Who is the coordinating SC attorney? Thank you.
What is the realistic expectation of winning a lawsuit and stopping the 495/270 expansion?
Ken Bawer
Who is the decider, that is, who can pull the plug on this?
Max Socol
Hi Shruti, could you talk about how the state legislature connects to this issue? There are multiple bills that have been introduced that would effectively kill the expansion, one of which I know ACT has supported. Is legislative action in Annapolis a possible route to stopping this project, and why or why not?
Tina Slater
Lists the Councilmembers who supported 270/495 expansion (5) and those who opposed it (4).
Tina Slater
David Kosterlitz
Does the proposed contract include a covenant not to compete? By that I mean a provision whereby if the state or county improves local roads to take on more traffic which will divert from the widened highways, Transurban/Macquarie will be required to be compensated?
Ken Bawer
Is new EPA Region 3 Dir Adam Ortiz on our side????
Mr. Courtenay Ellis
Re-question: who is " our lawyer?" Is there a lead in- house Sierra Club lawyer? Who?
What other candidates are out there?
Evelyn Cherow
Today Elrich announced dedicated bus lanes today and rapid transit mtg Dec 13
Evelyn Cherow
Also Hans Riemer running for County Executive wants to bring big business to the county and probably sees roads as key motivation.
Does the no compete clause prevent the state from adding lanes for the common folk? For 50 years!
David Kosterlitz
So if the contract does include such a covenant not to compete, does that conflict with the legislation that got passed a few years ago?
David Kosterlitz
I heard that Doug Gansler was lobbying for the toll lanes, is that so?
Ken Bawer
Call on me to speak
Ken Bawer
Patty McGrath also has hand raised
Olivia Bartlett
morning commutes-- bottleneck on spur east at Old Georgetown Rd. evening commute-- there will be a new bottleneck at 370 where there will be a new lane drop -- so Nancy King's constituents will have MORE traffic
Mr. Courtenay Ellis
Are there any prospects of teaming with other heavy- hitting environmental groups such as EDF whose in- house lawyers will add firepower?Years ago I worked with Roberts Owen ( now deceased) who headed the Covington and Burling pro bono effort that killed the 1-66 extension and seven sisters bridge into DC. Are you pursuing or do you have equivalent pro bono support from major law firms?
Tina Slater
https://ggwash.org/view/67149/maryland-passes-a-bill-to-protect-transit-from-non-compete-clauses (April 2018) - "The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill this week that will free state-funded transit projects from the threat of non-compete clauses in state contracts with private toll lane operators. This is a win for investment in transit."
Ben Smilowitz (D for MD-6)
I’m running against Trone. I’ll be a strong partner on this.
Evelyn Cherow
See tree canopy report by MoCo 2017. 20817 has the most trees removed due to tear down of the neighborhoods. I’ve reminded Elrich of this at several mtgs. Might find metrics of use.
I looked it up and a mature tree can remove 48 pounds of CO2 per year. I saw this plan would remove 1,500 acres of forest canopy so it could increase CO2 by 28,800,000 pounds per year.
Barbara Hoover
If anyone would like to receive the West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter and Action Alerts please email me at Hooverb@msn.com and let me nkow
I would be happy to sign a community letter or a petition but don’t feel qualified to write one myself. Do you have sample letters we can use or borrow from?
who can tell us whether Transurban gets compensated if other lanes are added to 270 and 495? If that is a fact,, it should be powerful ammunition to get others against this project. Ann
Tina Slater
https://www.sierraclub.org/maryland/stop-highway-expansion --This link has lots of different pieces with info on why 270/495 expansion project is wrong. You might pick and choose from here for your letter.
David Kosterlitz
And while not directly related to environment, the financing of this proposal through the Macquarie investment bank will be way more expensive than state bond financing. And won't it be the ratepayers of WSSC who will pay for all the water and sewer line relocations that will be required? Has that cost been factored into the cost of this project?
Shruti Bhatnagar,, Chair Sierra Club Montgomery County
Mr. Ellis, please share your email and we can follow up with you and you can also email brian.ditzler@mdsierra.org AND lindsey.mendelson@mdsierra.org
November 14, article in the Post by Jeremy Moehler opposing the project. Page C4
David Kosterlitz
For a great discussion of the negatives of P3s for highways, read The Privatization of Everything by Donald Cohen and Allen Mikaelian, especially Chapter 7 "Toll Roads at America's Crossroads"
David Kosterlitz
Moehler is with In the Public Interest, of which Donald Cohen is the president.
Ken Bawer
RE: No Net Loss of Forest Stakeholder Working Group (4/4)You replied on Wed 12/8/2021 11:21 AMYou replied on Wed 12/8/2021 11:21 AMTaddei, Kristin <kristin.taddei@montgomeryplanning.org>Wed 12/8/2021 8:38 AMGood morning everyone,I’m looking forward to the discussion at our last No Net Loss of Forest stakeholder working group tomorrow at 2 pm. Here are the discussion points I hope to cover. If you have any questions or requests for the meeting tomorrow, please let me know.Recap of ‘no net loss of forest’ ideas discussed to dateAddressing questions/requests from December 1st working groupSupporting the goals of The Climate Action Plan & Thrive Montgomery 2050The next phase & any final requests/questions/discussion points from the groupKristin
Evelyn Cherow
Ken Bawer
Suggest you email Kristen above to sign up kristin.taddei@montgomeryplanning.org
Shruti Bhatnagar,, Chair Sierra Club Montgomery County
In June Sierra Club Montgomery County hosted a panel discussion on Forest Conservation. If you are interested in watching that, the link is shared below -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRwcDpkTUZ4
David Kosterlitz
The idea is that this proposed widening is the privatization of a public good. Government (the people) should be making decisions about highways, as they have the public interest in their mission, not private corporations whose only motivation is seeking profit for shareholders.
Once you have the recording can you please send a link to everyone so we can share it.
Shruti Bhatnagar,, Chair Sierra Club Montgomery County
Thank you, Carol