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Posted at 4:04 PM ET, 05/ 3/2010

What the ICC hath wrought

By washingtonpost.com editors
LOCAL BLOG NETWORK

Maryland is taking heat for refusing to supply Metro with its full subsidy for the next fiscal year. Money is tight for everyone, and Maryland has other priorities.

Other priorities like the $2.56 billion intercounty connector, the 18.8-mile highway under construction between Gaithersburg and Laurel. Regardless of what you think about the ICC's merits, it's one expensive hunk of road. It is costing more than $130 million per mile to build, almost all of it money that could have been spent on other things.

When ground was broken, then-Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan said of the ICC, "They have gutted the state dedicated transportation fund, cut transit and left future generations of Maryland to deal with the consequences."

Duncan was right, and we're paying for it now.

Maryland is putting up a spirited defense of its refusal to fully fund Metro, but the problem wouldn't exist if the state hadn't foolishly put too many of its funding eggs into the ICC basket. If past administrations in Maryland had made wiser use of their money, we wouldn't be suffering so much today.

Dan Malouff blogs at BeyondDC.com . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | May 3, 2010; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland, Metro, transportation  
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Comments

It's my understanding that the ICC isn't bankrupting Maryland's ability to fund transit, per se, but instead is hamstringing the state's bond capacity. Which has an impact on major capital projects (Purple Line, Baltimore Red Line, etc). But there are other ways to fund transit operating costs...something you don't want to be using bonds for anyway.

Posted by: ajfroggie | May 3, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

About half of the ICC's funding came from the transportation bonds of which you speak. The other half came from sources that more directly impact other spending options.

For example, a quarter billion dollars came from general fund revenue.

Posted by: Cirrus42 | May 3, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

However, most of that "other half" is from sources that don't have an impact on transit. The GARVEE bonds, for example, will have to be repaid from the state's funding from FHWA. FTA funds are not affected. And most of the TTF money came from the toll side and was already encumbered in previous years.

The $265 million from the general fund is what could have been used for transit or other modes.

Posted by: ajfroggie | May 4, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Just another poorly researched, factually wrong screed against cars.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | May 4, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Allowing baseless lies and slander like this in print (or electronic) only perpetuates those incorrect conclusions. Any bozo can type up an opinion - please, Post, only print items from journalists - who are subject to fact checking and editors, rather than authored by some loser sitting at a keyboard in his underwear.

Posted by: ssolomo | May 5, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Uninformed prediction: The ICC will cost a gazillion dollars but it's OK because the tolls will pay for it. Oops. The tolls are too high and nobody uses it. The state and MoCo step in to subsidize the tolls for everyone or maybe just for some residents (like the Metrocheck). Sad face.

Posted by: wp05052010 | May 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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