From Bethesda Beat
A Montgomery County Council committee wants funding for station improvements at the Forest Glen and White Flint Metrorail stations to remain a priority in the county’s construction-projects budget.
County Executive Marc Elrich last month recommended deferring $14.7 million from the White Flint and Forest Glen stations projects and pursuing funding from the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, which operates the regional subway system. Elrich recommended delaying funding for Forest Glen by two years and deferring funding for White Flint beyond the six-year period that the Capital Improvements Program budget covers.
But council Transportation and Environment committee members Tom Hucker, Hans Riemer, Evan Glass and Andrew Friedson indicated that they would not accept the Elrich’s amendments to the CIP budget, which the council is reviewing.
“We need to be prepared to pay for this ourselves,” Riemer said.
Riemer said the station improvement was key to “changing the dynamic” at White Flint in order to spur additional economic development. He said there are plans for transit-oriented development in the corridor and the station improvements are essential.
“It’s in our interest to get those projects completed, because it’s gonna enhance their [WMATA] ridership and there will be greater density around those stations,” Reimer said
Councilmember Andrew Friedson, whose council district includes White Flint, said a lack of county funding for the White Flint entrance sends the wrong message to private sector companies that the county hopes to attract. “Symbols do matter and actions do matter,” he said.
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