The Worst Traffic in the Country
The old adage goes that there are two constants in life; death and taxes. But if you live in the DC metropolitan area, there is a third: traffic.
Their have been countless studies, hundreds of news reports and millions of anecdotal stories to tell us why we are ranked dead last for traffic in the country. Think about that, we are worse than Los Angeles, worse than New York, worse than Chicago. All with populations multiple times that of our region.
Some in our region are aware of the problem and are looking to fix this, namely officials in Virginia. However, while some are looking to fix the problem, others, like our leaders in Montgomery County and Annapolis are looking to do nothing. They are interested in subjecting us to generations of a traffic nightmare.
Their apathy towards a solution is two-fold; they have contempt for the average citizen and they are supported by an extremely vocal minority.
However, their apathy towards a solution has now reached critical mass. It is now time for us as frustrated citizens to voice our concern and let the Montgomery County leadership in Rockville and Annapolis know that we have had enough.
The Montgomery County leadership a very vocal group of naysayers. But they are in the vast minority. How many of them are their? Five thousand? Ten Thousand? Fifteen thousand? Are we really going to allow fifteen thousand noisemakers hold hostage the other six-million residents of the greater DC area? These noisemakers are not opposed to any particular solution, they are opposed to ALL solutions. They are more interested in making noise than finding any solutions, and the Montgomery County leaders in Rockville and Annapolis are all too happy to listen to them.
I have written many opinion pieces, I have testified before council and committee hearings, I have written emails and spoken face-to-face. But I am just one person, and my message has fallen on deaf and indifferent ears. To be heard, we need the collective voice of all concerned traffic dwellers. The leaders of Montgomery County in Rockville and Annapolis need to hear from more than just me, they need to hear from all of us. We need to be louder than the noisemakers.
The noisemakers have a loud voice and they are effective. But we can be even louder and even more effective. We must write, we must testify, we must engage and we must remind our neighbors and friends to do the same.
In a region that shares few bipartisan concerns, it is surprising that the issue of traffic has not garnered more outrage. We all know it’s there and we all know it’s a problem. But why are we not so outraged as to take action? The prospect of defeat may keep us from engaging, but this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We are only defeated because we refuse to engage. It is time we say no more to this self-fulfilling prophecy. It is time we act. It is time we author and it is time we vote for action.
Imagine yourself on I-270 in 2035. Will you be traveling at 65 mph with the flow of traffic getting to your destination on time? Or will you sit in bumper to bumper traffic asking yourself “why didn’t I speak up when I could have?”
The author, Mr. Jason Neuringer is a resident of Montgomery County.