Has the county invested enough in public transportation projects, including the regional bus network and BikeHoward program?
Jung: We need to invest more in public transportation projects. As Columbia and Howard County have become significant employment centers with greater population density in the Town Center and other locations, it is more important than ever to increase our County’s investment in transit, including the regional bus network, Bike Howard, mobility services, and pedestrian access. With regard to transit, I support the recommendations and implementation strategy set forth in the January, 2018 Central Maryland Transit Development Plan to guide public service improvements in the region over the next 5 years. For transit in Howard County, the Plan proposes a variety of enhancements including basic performance and service improvements, route reconfigurations and expansions, and additional capital investment. Specifically, I support the recommendations for Bus Rapid Transit to Silver Spring and expanded local service to and from Maple Lawn, River Hill, and Downtown Columbia. Improvements in demand-response mobility services may also be needed. I also support the County Executive’s recently proposed capital budget increases for bus shelter improvements and the Bike Howard program. However, bicycle usage would increase if more emphasis was placed on restricted (rather than shared use) bike lanes. I also support better connections from Howard County to the rail systems in Baltimore and Washington with more frequent MARC service. A balanced public transportation program includes roads and I support needed road resurfacing and planned projects for safety improvements and congestion relief in the MD 32, MD 175, MD 108, US 1 and US 40 corridors.