At last week’s Council meeting, the College Park City Council approved a letter reiterating its concerns about the widening of the I-495 beltway. The letter reads:
The Mayor and Council of the City of College Park wish to take this opportunity to restate our strong opposition to the proposed widening and addition of toll lanes for I-495 and I-270. We are concerned that the project will not protect the best interests of Maryland’s taxpayers and will negatively impact the environment and our residents. We remain concerned about the project’s negative environmental impacts and damage to the quality of life in neighborhoods adjacent to the roads.
While road widening may provide short-term congestion relief, studies have shown that in the long-term similar projects lead to more driving, more trips, and more sprawl. The City of College Park supports smart-growth development and transit alternatives instead of a roadway
expansion. The City Council supports The Purple Line and dedicated funding for our region’s transit system. A regional approach to smart growth is necessary, along with enhanced transit beyond the Purple Line (such as a regional Bus Rapid Transit strategy) and improved, connected ways for people to walk and bike to transit or to their jobs.
We respectfully request that you reject the I-495 and I-270 widening project and pursue long-term solutions that create sustainable, healthy, and vibrant communities and economies