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Have You Seen The Governor’s New Traffic Infomericals?

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on July 08, 2005:

Senator Dyson Have you seen the governor’s new traffic infomercials? If you have, there’s a good bet you’ll believe he should get his priorities in order.

At a cost of nearly $1 million of our money, he is appearing in infomercials urging people to “leave early and stay late” when heading to the beaches on the Eastern Shore.

Make no mistake, these advertisements are paid for with our tax dollars. But unfortunately, the governor’s message makes no sense. For those who leave early, they are going to get to the beach only to find out their hotel or condominium won’t let them in until 2 p.m at the earliest. For those who follow the governor’s message to stay late, the unit they are staying in will give them a different message: get out. Check out time at most of these units is usually 11 a.m.

We in Southern Maryland can certainly feel the pain of all of those sitting in traffic waiting on either side of the Bay Bridge. We in Southern Maryland wait in gridlock every day.

After this year’s General Assembly Session, the governor vetoed a bill that I introduced that would have been a comprehensive study made up by top experts to come up with ways to alleviate our terrible traffic problems in Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s and southern Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

The governor, whose last rare trip to Southern Maryland was via helicopter, according to the Calvert Independent, doesn’t seem to think we have traffic problems here. But we do -- big time.

Just recently, on June 23, a rush-hour accident completely shut down both sides of traffic on the aging Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. From Calvert County, this bridge leads to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, a nearly $3 billion dollar economic engine for the state. From St. Mary’s County, the bridge leads to the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, Calvert’s largest taxpayer. Thank goodness there wasn’t a major emergency at either of these sites.

Almost every day, I hear of traffic backups or accidents in Brandywine. Prince Frederick and Hughesville which are a nightmare during morning and evening rush hours.

But a study that was far less costlier than the governor’s infomericals was deemed so unimportant that the governor vetoed the bill that was supported by every member of Southern Maryland delegation.

However, the governor has ordered another study that few of my constituents have heard about, but if implemented just might make our traffic even worse. This study is to find the best location for a third bay crossing. According to a report in Salisbury’s Daily Times, one alternative is to “connect Calvert and Dorchester counties.” The Maryland Coast Dispatch out of Ocean City reports “The task force is also considering...a potential site across the bay in Calvert County.” The Calvert bridge crossing option would be a certifiable disaster considering we don’t even have a comprehensive traffic plan and it’s just getting worse.

Instead of starring in bad infomericals, the governor should make a trip through our area during morning or evening rush hour -- unescorted by his security detail -- to see just how bad traffic in Southern Maryland is on a daily basis. If he does, I’m sure he’ll realize his veto of the Southern Maryland traffic study was ill-advised to say the least.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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