In light of the recent announcement by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is releasing its revised position statement emphasizing the importance of transportation demand management strategies to mitigate traffic congestion impacts.
ESLC Statement on a New Auto-oriented Chesapeake Bay Bridge Crossing:
Instead of a new auto-oriented Chesapeake Bay Bridge crossing, ESLC strongly supports the research and implementation of a suite of aggressive corridor management strategies to travel across the current Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans.
Based on ESLC’s Annual Planning Conference “Congestion Ahead: Rerouting…” which took place in April and convened industry leaders and stakeholders, we believe the following mitigation efforts can have an immediate impact this year:
Corridor Management Suggestions:
– Real-time monitoring and management
– Additional contra flow lanes
– Increased commuter bus and regional public transit ridership
– Off-peak toll reductions
– High speed tolling
– Explore the feasibility of:
1. Commuter rideshare apps and incentives for high occupancy vehicles
2. Robust congestion predictors
3. Bay crossing reservation systems
4. Ocean City rideshare apps
Like our neighbors, ESLC supports a thriving economy in the counties and towns of the Eastern Shore. With this economic prosperity, the current Bay Bridge spans have led to intense housing sprawl and thousands of acres of habitat, farmland, and sensitive landscapes being permanently lost to development, on the Eastern Shore. While costing Maryland residents billions of dollars a new bridge crossing would dramatically degrade the working landscapes, ecological balance, and overall rural character of the region.
With an emphasis on aggressive corridor management, ESLC calls for a more future-oriented, people-centric approach to transportation planning. These approaches could be more cost-effective and environmentally-sensitive – specifically ones that: 1) makes the most out of the existing infrastructure; 2) encourages transformational improvements in transit and travel demand; and 3) considers the future consequences of new transportation investment on the communities, landscape, and climate vulnerabilities of the Eastern Shore.
For more options, check out: Where are the Eastern Shore’s Roads Taking Us? An Exploration of Cross-Bay Travel Demand Management and Regional Transportation-Land Use Solutions (2009).
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them. More at www.eslc.org.