Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Update: Action Committee for Transit "Sustainable Mobility" election candidate scorecard

Update and reposting of this entry, originally published on Thursday June 7th, with a new date

Originally I wrote that ACT wasn't doing "transit scorecards" for candidates. Over the past few election cycles, they did create internally distributed scorecards, but they weren't publicly distributed or passed out in electioneering such as at Metro stations.

For the 2018 election cycle, ACT has an active program during the primary season where they are passing out literature and talking with people at Metrorail and MARC rail stations. (They need volunteers to help.)

However, in the past, ACT has published transit scorecards. For example, in 1998, a pro-Purple Line candidate who was featured in literature that they publicly distributed won--by 100 votes! Likely the transit scorecard information made a difference.

And within a couple hours of the new Council being seated, one of their first actions was to create and send an official letter to the Maryland State Government calling for continued support and focus on creating the Purple Line.

The Maryland primary election is Tuesday June 26th, although early voting starts today.

In the DC area, the blog Greater Greater Washington has made endorsements for the various seats, which include local government races such as for the Montgomery and Prince George's County Councils and for County Executive, and for the State House of Delegates, State Senate, and Governor (among others).

-- "Our endorsements for state legislature in Montgomery County," GGW
-- "Our endorsements for Prince George’s County Council districts," GGW
-- "Our endorsement for Montgomery County Executive: George Leventhal," GGW
-- "Our endorsements for Maryland state legislature in Prince George’s County," GGW
-- "Our endorsements for Montgomery County Council At-Large: Hans Riemer, Danielle Meitiv, and Will Jawando; plus, two other great options," GGW
-- "Our endorsements for Montgomery County Council districts: Reggie Oldak, Ben Shnider, Nancy Navarro, Tom Hucker," GGW
-- "Our endorsement for Prince George’s County Executive: Angela Alsobrooks," GGW

A few years ago ("Tolls, parking taxes, elections, oh my!," February, 2014, items 1-3) I called on advocacy groups like Action Committee for Transit to be more proscriptive and not just hold "candidate forums" but to lay out an agenda of priorities and rate candidates on it.

While the agenda could be more wide-ranging, they have done just that, here:

Where the Candidates Stand

They have rated local (local Council and State of Maryland house and senate candidates) on five issues:
  • Support for the Purple Line
  • Bi-directional all-day service on the MARC commuter rail Brunswick Line
  • Opposition to the M-83 Highway
  • Support for Walking
  • Support for Housing near Transit
  • Support for more funding for WMATA, the metropolitan heavy rail and bus service operator.
A lot of candidates aren't up to snuff.  I was especially surprised that a number of County Council candidates, including incumbents, were weak on all-day bi-directional MARC service.

    They did miss some stuff:
    • HOT lane preferencing by Governor Hogan
    • support for the new Bicycle Master Plan in Montgomery County which looks to be quite good, clearly a national best practice (with only one big omission)
    • more specific bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the conurbations like Silver Spring**
    • my ideas for leveraging the Purple Line to drive complementary improvements across the transit network**
    • my ideas for creating a sustainable mobility district in Silver Spring as a national model**
    But I think that comes from the fact that they are still primarily a "transit promoting" advocacy group and haven't fully expanded their vision around sustainable mobility more broadly.

    ** Purple Line complementary improvements plan
    -- Setting the stage for the Purple Line light rail line to be an overwhelming success: Part 1 | simultaneously introduce improvements to other elements of the transit network
    -- Part 2 |   the program (macro changes)
    -- Part 3 |   influences
    -- Part 4 |   Making over New Carrollton as a transit-centric urban center and Prince George's County's "New Downtown"
    -- PL #5: Creating a Silver Spring "Sustainable Mobility District"
    - Part 1: Setting the stage
    - Part 2: Program items 1- 9
    - Part 3: Program items 10-18
    - Part 4: Conclusion
    - Map for the Silver Spring Sustainable Mobility District
    - (Big Hairy) Projects Action Plan(s) as an element of Comprehensive/Master Plans
    - "Creating the Silver Spring/Montgomery County Arena and Recreation Center"
    -- Part 6 |  Creating a transportation development authority in Montgomery and Prince George's County to effectuate placemaking, retail development, and housing programs in association with the Purple Line (to come)
    -- Part 7 | Using the Purple Line to rebrand Montgomery and Prince George's Counties as Design Forward

      Labels: , ,


      Post a Comment

      << Home