Tag Archives: transit and roads

Today’s welcome vote on I-270 capacity (with a note on “induced demand”)

Maybe Frederick and upper Montgomery commuters won’t have to wait in endless traffic on I-270 for the next 20 years, with today’s favorable vote from Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot to proceed with a public-private partnership.

Virginia got a head start on these ideas and polls indicate most users take a positive view of the road improvements there, toll options and all. Existing law forbids reductions in current free lanes.

By the way, watch out for misuse of the transportation concept of induced demand. In proper context, it’s an uncontroversial concept: planners should be aware that expanding a highway can increase demand (whether by stimulating more trips from existing users or encouraging development) which means that congestion will not be relieved by as much as a static analysis of current vehicle flow per minute would suggest. That’s all it says. It does not, by itself, predict that the induced demand will be so big as to absorb all the new road capacity. If it always did that, there would be no such thing as unclogged newer thoroughfares.

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In miniature, May 27

  • “Poll: 61 percent of D.C.-area residents favor plan to add toll lanes to Beltway, I-270” and the same number prevails in Montgomery County although you’d never know it from the county’s political leadership [Katherine Shaver and Emily Guskin, Washington Post] “Maryland has pledged – and federal law requires – that the number of toll-free lanes will not be reduced.” [Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters]
  • Sen. Bob Cassilly (R-Harford): “Kirwan will bankrupt the State of Maryland” [Erika Butler, Harford Aegis]
  • “Property Rights Matter: Lessons from a Failing City” [Stephen J.K. Walters, Law and Liberty; my two cents on eminent domain, Pimlico, and the Preakness Stakes]
  • Thanks WBAL host Yuripzy Morgan for mentioning me in discussing the (bad) idea of a law capping credit card interest rates [audio]
  • Thread on Baltimore’s crisis of development and corruption [Brian Gaither on Twitter]
  • In its first three months after implementation Maryland’s “red flag” law “prompted more than 300 protective orders across the state,” and an Anne Arundel man was shot dead by county officers while being served a gun confiscation order [Natalie Jones, Capital News Service/Maryland Matters]

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In miniature, November 10

Midterm campaign edition:

  • An issue in some races: “Critique of Maryland Congestion-Relief Plan Rests on Very Bad Logic [Austill Stuart] So much for the “Lexus Lanes” epithet: “Congestion pricing is not just slanted toward the elite” [Tyler Cowen]
  • Brian Frosh is part of a state-AG task force that subpoenas and investigates private groups and individuals for having promoted erroneous opinions on environmental questions. Which should have been more controversial during the campaign [Mark Uncapher]
  • Republican mailers assailed Dems on this issue, yet “supervised injection facilities save lives” [Jacob Sullum, Reason]
  • Sen. Ron Young (D-Frederick), at 12:55: stop saying we raised taxes 46 times, I counted and we only raised them 15 times [FNP podcast debate with Craig Giangrande]
  • In Maryland as elsewhere, “single payer in one state” is more of a political stunt than a practical program [Todd Eberly]
  • Poor showings at Tuesday’s polls for many lawmakers rated highly by Maryland Business for Responsive Government could spell trouble ahead on business issues [MBRG]

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In miniature, May 10

  • Baltimore city schools, which say they can’t afford to heat buildings adequately in winter, have 44 employees who earn more than Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan [Chris Papst, WBFF] “School bus driver in fatal 2016 crash was involved in at least a dozen collisions or medical emergencies in the five years prior.” [Scott Dance, Baltimore Sun]
  • Good question: “Why did Republicans Oppose Free Market Alcohol Reforms?” [Brian Griffiths, Red Maryland]
  • Metro’s misery: “ATU Local 689 has fought against firing track inspectors who falsified inspection reports and put public safety at risk.” [David Lublin]
  • “Free Speech Index: Grading the 50 States on Political Giving Freedom” Alas, Maryland ranks 46th and gets an F. [Institute for Free Speech]
  • College Park, Hyattsville prepare to let non-citizens vote. Illegals too? [Sapna Rampersaud, NRO]
  • “Opinion: A tipped server from Seattle says Madaleno’s $15 minimum wage bill cuts incomes” [Simone Barron, Maryland Reporter] “The unintended victims of a $15 minimum wage are small businesses and their employees” [Mike O’Halloran, NFIB]

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In miniature, July 2

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In miniature, May 7

  • Governor should keep the redistricting issue in play: “Hogan has backing — from the general public, from all those sick of gerrymandering and interested in responsible government and from a long-term national trend.” [Capital Gazette] “U.S. judge: Miller, Busch must testify, turn over documents in redistricting case” [Washington Post]
  • Also on the redistricting topic, I was a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi show on the topic during session, with former Del. Aisha Braveboy and Maryland Republican chair Dirk Haire [listen]
  • No thanks, let’s keep the farebox recovery rule, in which Maryland shows itself more fiscally prudent than many states with mass transit systems [Brian O’Malley, Greater Greater Washington]
  • Two liability-expanding decisions from the Maryland Court of Appeals, May v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp. (duty to warn of asbestos in other companies’ products) and Spangler v. McQuitty (wrongful death action can be filed notwithstanding earlier assertion of personal injury action) made it into American Tort Reform Association’s Judicial Hellholes report last year;
  • The Slants, band whose name is the subject of a trademark case before the U.S. Supreme Court, play Frederick [Ronald K. L. Collins, Concurring Opinions]
  • “Maryland Decriminalizes Unlicensed Barbering; Jacks Up Fines for Unlicensed Barbering” [Eric Boehm/Reason]

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In miniature, March 7

  • I’ll be discussing redistricting reform in Maryland this evening 5-6 pm on Kai Hagen’s show on WTHU 1450 (Thurmont) (update: audio);
  • After football player collapses on field with heat stroke, resulting in nine-day coma that brings him near death, team doctor refuses to clear him to play again due to re-injury risk; federal court rules for his claim of disability discrimination but Fourth Circuit reverses [Gavin Class v. Towson University, opinion]
  • “Maryland Might Stop Recording Conversations On Public Buses” [Andrew Fleischman, “Fault Lines”]
  • Litigation over historically black colleges and universities in Maryland has dragged on for years [Maryland Reporter]
  • “Maryland Democrats’ plan for matching college savings grants is welfare for the wealthy” [Washington Post editorial]
  • Bill by Sen. Michael Hough would abolish ticket cameras [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post]

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In miniature, January 10

  • A supposed civil right to wasteful spending: per ACLU of Maryland complaint, it’s race bias for Hogan administration to pull plug on grossly uneconomic Baltimore Red Line [Baltimore Sun] More: “worst and most counter-productive legal complaint that’s been filed in a long, long time” [Barry Rascovar, Maryland Reporter]
  • Trial lawyers want retroactive legislation to grab billions from manufacturers in lead paint suits. Maryland needs to say no [Baltimore Sun]
  • “I agree with decriminalization” — GOP Senate candidate Chris Kefalas on the Drug War [Fox Baltimore at 2:00; related City Paper (“Like a lot of Libertarian-leaning Republicans, Kefalas is opposed to the war on drugs, he says.”); note upcoming fundraising lunch]
  • Gov. Hogan’s commission on regulatory reform issues report; topics include one-stop permitting, occupational licensure;
  • If you’re feeling a bit hopeful about Baltimore, here’s Fred Siegel to knock you back down again [City Journal]
  • Few opinion pieces manage to call forth so many scathing reactions on so many different grounds [Tricia Bishop, Baltimore Sun via S.E.Cupp; national registry of gun owners, “like those for sex offenders,” would make it easier to decide on playdates, and privacy be damned]

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In miniature, December 21

  • “We’re going to overturn every rock in their lives to find out about their lifestyles” — Montgomery County liquor monopoly union chief Gino Renne, on his adversaries in the legislature [Bethesda Magazine “Bethesda Beat”]
  • Relatedly, no wonder Chinese is MoCo’s strong suit dining-wise: county booze system strangles higher-end eateries [Dave McIntyre, Washington Post]
  • Virginia plans to cut corporate tax rate, putting yet more pressure on Maryland to reduce its business tax burden [Baltimore Sun]
  • BaltimoreLink bus plan from Hogan administration “far sounder” than costly Red Line rail-based model [Nick Zaiac, Maryland Public Policy Institute, summary and paper]
  • Kelly Schulz, Chris Shank, Boyd Rutherford among those who participated in conference on Maryland prisoner re-entry put on by my old colleagues at the Manhattan Institute;
  • Guns and homeland defense: revisiting the story of the Maryland Minute Men of 1942 [Dave Kopel]

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In miniature, February 13

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