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What the Elections May Bring

Most political commentary has been focused on blue-red fortunes and control of Congress, but my attention zone is a bit narrower: What will the results mean for our transportation system? (Being a firm believer that all politics is local.)

In Maryland, will a Democratic governor place a greater focus on the two transit projects in our region and on support of the Metro system? Chances are the Martin O'Malley administration will pick light rail over bus rapid transit for the Corridor Cities Transitway and the Bicounty Transitway. (In fact, we may go back to calling that Bethesda-New Carrollton route the Purple Line.) An O'Malley administration will have to decide not only on the routes but on the funding for those projects.

How much will political geography count for? Will the former Baltimore mayor favor the city's Red Line and other projects that benefit that portion of his base? Will he figure we got our share with the intercounty connector?

In the District, will mayor Adrian Fenty wind up killing the proposal to tear down the Whitehurst Freeway?

And in Virginia, will the Washington suburbs' latest display of political power in the Senate election finally get the attention of the state legislators who are doing their very best to strangle the region's traffic and transit flow?

It's about time the region's political muscle counted for more, when it comes to our roads and rails.

By Robert Thomson  |  November 10, 2006; 6:35 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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