The Maryland Department of Transportation’s announcement of a $3.3 billion reduction in the state’s transportation budget over the next six years is not just a step back, it’s a leap into regressive policymaking (“Maryland officials plan to make broad cuts, pause new construction to address $3.3B transportation budget shortfall,” Dec. 5). This decision starkly contrasts with the forward-thinking approach of states like Minnesota, where transportation funding is on the rise, signaling a worrying direction under Gov. Wes Moore’s leadership.
Governor Moore and Senate President Bill Ferguson’s tired response to Maryland’s transportation challenges is baffling and disappointing. It is a retreat from the bold, transformative policies Marylanders expected based on Moore’s campaign promises. Such conservatism in transportation funding, an essential service impacting Marylanders’ everyday lives, belies a short-sightedness that is incompatible with the progressive, forward-thinking values Moore purported to champion.
This retreat is not just a missed opportunity but a blunder. It undermines Maryland’s potential to foster a sustainable and equitable transportation network. While states like Minnesota are investing in their future, Maryland seems determined to undermine its own, guided by a disconcerting lack of vision from its leaders. Ferguson’s passive approach compounds this issue. His seeming disinclination to seek innovative funding solutions or push for necessary legislative action reveals a leadership void in a critical policy area. This inaction is a disservice to the citizens who depend on a robust transportation network for their livelihoods and well-being.
For other Marylanders disappointed with this draft, contact your state delegates and senator, explain your disappointment and frustration and ask that they support expanded transportation funding. You may also wish to contact the governor’s office and explain your disagreement. As Maryland finds itself in the shadow of more progressive states, this decision by the Moore administration, with Ferguson’s acquiescence, should alarm all who are invested in the state’s future. It’s a course that risks Maryland’s competitiveness and the quality of life of its residents, a direction we cannot afford.
— Isaac Leal, Baltimore