M-83 Divides County Executive Candidates at Forum

M-83, the long-debate extension of the Mid County Highway into Clarksburg, drew support from three county executive candidates Thursday morning at a forum hosted by the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance.

The three candidates — Republican Robin Ficker, health care executive David Blair and former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow — stood in contrast to the two Montgomery County Councilmembers at the forum, Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich.

Berliner and Elrich both said they opposed M-83 on environmental reasons.

Berliner said studies showed the road would save 4 minutes off a commute; he’d rather spend the $350 million the road would cost on something that would have greater impact.

The candidates largely showed support for the Corridor Cities Transitway and transit options.

Ficker, the lone Republican seeking the position, said the Montgomery County Council was trying to get resident on the bus using a line he has used previously, that the county is “Takoma Parked,” referring to the three council members who live in the southeastern Montgomery community.

Krasnow did mentioned her support for BRT, especially since Howard County officials have expressed a desire to extend the U.S. 29 bus line north to Columbia.

Other candidates expressed positions they’ve expressed in previous forums. Elrich touted his support for bus rapid transit and he would use Ride On as a feeder system to the BRT buses.

Blair talked about economic development — upcounty jobs would reduce cars heading south and into Virginia, and greater employment would provide the tax base to pay for new projects.

He also repeated his proposal to make Ride On free to get more people to ride county’s bus service. If the ridership doesn’t improve, the county should buy smaller buses, he said.

Berliner and others expressed their support for Metro funding.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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