News

RACIAL EQUITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Transit and Transportation Justice
  • Safe Streets

TRANSIT ALTERNATIVES TO M83 HIGHWAY

CLIMATE RESILIENCE

UPCOUNTY TRANSPORTATION

  • M83 Highway Extended: A Boondoggle Road
  • (#of) Existing Roads in the Upcounty
  • Updates on Upcounty Transportation Funding
  • The Math of Highways – An Exposé

(below this are the text which will go under each [new] page name)

UPCOUNTY TRANSPORTATION

The Purpose of the Tame Coalition is to protect the communities, streams, and forests of Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg and Germantown from being destroyed by the proposed M83 Highway Extended. The TAME Coalition advocates cancelling the proposed M83 Highway Extended and promoting People-Centric transportation alternatives.

PLACEHOLDER: PHOTO WHICH WHEN CLICKED, LEADS TO A FILM CLIP:  Splash a big photo here.  Preferably of a person (Maurice Miles?) Looking Straight into the Camera.

>The photo is an entrée to a film clip.  For August-September 2020, the film clip is of:  An Environmental Justice aspect of the proposed M83 highway and the people who live in Montgomery Village.  On-site interview with Maurice Miles.  From the upcoming TAME film.<

TAME Coalition promotes People-Centric transportation alternatives of walking, biking, taking transit, and teleworking for residents, workers and students in the Upcounty communities of Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg, Germantown and Clarksburg.  TAME Coalition works to support and to improve transit service to these communities – and to cancel the proposed M-83 Highway that would divert public and private resources from these People-Centric approaches, and would make our transportation less safe, more disruptive of the climate, and less racially and socially just.

TAME Coalition testifies at the Maryland General Assembly for local consent for state toll projects.  Joseph Horgan, a citizen from Montgomery County, testified in Annapolis before the Maryland State Senate on January 29, 2020, for the TAME Coalition, in favor of SB229 – a bill to require county consent for toll projects.

https://tinyurl.com/TAMEtestimony

On behalf of the TAME Coalition, Horgan slammed the proposed expansion of I-495 and I-270 via privatized toll lanes, saying that they “flunk the test for climate sanity, racial justice and social equity.”

To impose highway projects upon us including toll roads without express County consent, would prevent our local officials from fulfilling their Emergency Climate and Racial Justice and Social Equity commitments to our residents. To fulfill these resolutions, Montgomery officials now apply climate and justice tests to every proposed investment, including highway projects.”  – TAME Coalition testimony in favor of SB229 delivered by Joseph Horgan

Senate bill 229, whose counterpart is House Bill HB0292, was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, following First Reading and the 1/29/2020 hearing.  The bill does not give an absolute veto to any one county; rather, it requires that a majority of affected counties must approve a toll project (road, highway or bridge) in order for it to be green-lighted.

  • The Math of Highways – An Exposé

The communities most impacted by Montgomery County’s transportation decisions – low-income communities and communities of color – have been excluded from the process.  Real estate developers and the highway construction complex have exerted undue influence on elected and appointed government officials, resulting in a car-centric system that benefits the wealthy at the expense of the most disadvantaged communities.  To turn this around, County officials must ensure that low-income communities, communities of color, rural residents, and people with disabilities, are at the table when transportation investment decisions are being made.

Describe how these transportation and transit inequities affect the daily lives of working people.

{Follow the Money – link to the Math of Highways article somewhere in TAME’s website.}

Another result of inequity in transportation decisionmaking and the dominance of the highway industry, {is that it keeps the M83 highway plan alive and in the Master Plans} – A road that will benefit people with privilege, who can afford to own and maintain cars, through the resistance on the part of elected and appointed officials in Montgomery County to removing the 60-year-old, obsolete proposed M83 highway from the County’s Master Plan of Highways and Transitways, despite repeated requests from TAME Coalition and its member groups to eliminate this  dinosaur in order to clear the way for transit and other people-centric modes.

– SHOW PICTURES HERE – including – TAME Coalition advocates, at a hearing, with Margaret testifying on the Resolution – with every person holding a sign. Another picture – at Milestone or MidCounty Highway near apartment buildings – people waiting for the bus and getting on the bus (photographed from the back) and, collections of shopping carts near the bus stops.

CLIMATE RESILIENCE

PLACEHOLDER: PHOTO WHICH WHEN CLICKED, LEADS TO A FILM CLIP:  Splash a big photo here.  Preferably of a person (Maurice Miles?) Looking Straight into the Camera.

>The photo is an entrée to a film clip.  For August-September 2020, the film clip is of:  An Environmental Justice aspect of the proposed M83 highway and the people who live in Montgomery Village.  On-site interview with Maurice Miles.  From the upcoming TAME film.<

Climate Resilience refers to the work of the TAME Coalition to promote the ability of Upcounty communities of Gaithersburg, Montgomery Village, and Germantown to adapt to global warming and increased storms due to climate disruption.  Adapting to climate disruption entails canceling the proposed M83 highway, since its added pavement, forest removal and added pollution would worsen local heat emergencies and floods. Adapting to climate disruption also means we keep our forests intact.  Our upcounty forest cools our neighborhoods, filters the air and water, and reduces high winds of hurricanes and blizzards. We call this upcounty forest the Climate Resilience Forest. 

TAME Coalition Encourages Upcounty Residents to Hike in the Climate Resilience Forest.

Organized hikes postponed, due to COVID-19 Pandemic.                                                     Residents encouraged to hike the Climate Resilience Forest on their own. 

PLACEHOLDER:  Smaller version of the Hike Map leads you to TAME Hike flyer of Feb. 2020.

In February, 2020, TAME Coalition sent out a mailer to 600 residents of Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg, and Germantown, inviting them to hike the Climate Resilience Forest, a.k.a. the proposed M-83 Right of Way, in March and April.  This was just before the COVID-19 virus came to the United States, and before anything was shut down. So, we had to postpone the organized hikes.


TAME Coalition urges Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg, and Germantown residents to hike on their own, wearing masks and physically-distant, in the Climate Resilience Forest. 

For a Map of the Climate Resilience Forest, click here.

{LINK TO THE TAME COALITION MAILER FOR THE HIKES – RESOURCES SECTION.}

{BELOW:  COMING NEXT:  SEPTEMBER 2020 CLIMATE RESILIENCE NEWS ITEM}

Blohm Park in Gaithersburg – Stream Engineering Project Faces Questions, Opposition

{INSERT HERE – PHOTOS AND VIDEO CLIPS OF THE BLOHM PARK STREAM PROJECT CONSTRUCTION + DESTRUCTION.}

Headline :  Whetstone Run in Blohm Park – Beloved Park and Stream in Gaithersburg Target of Controversial Engineering Project

Text – In the summer of 2020, the City of Gaithersburg is moving ahead with a controversial « stream restoration » project in Blohm Park, centered on re-engineering Whetstone Run.  Some call it a stream destruction project, pointing to the straightening of part of the stream channel, and removal of over 100 trees from the floodplain. 

Click here to read letters of Deby Sarabia, others, to the City of Gaithersburg.

Click here to go to the official City of Gaithersburg web page on this project.

Click here to read a TAME Coalition blog post on this project.

[Put the above parag. into a box frame, that also includes a link to a film clip. Maybe a film clip with Tim… with his voice over…as Tim’s voice narrates as you fly over the Forest, you see the highway with each of these forms of destructions shown, one by one, as he says each of these things. & link to the Climate Resilience Forest to a map Tim has worked on, including with the highway photo-shopped into the Forest; we also want a similar map, that includes the pollution zone; link taking out back yards to a thematic map showing examples from M83 RoW. Insert links to most-powerful visuals for each item.]

RACIAL EQUITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Transit and Transportation Justice

Transit and Transportation Justice is integral to the work of the TAME Coalition. 

Transit Justice refers to the universal right to a public mass transit system.  Our transit system must meet the needs of our least-advantaged communities, not only in safe access to transit stations and bus stops, but also in the setting of transit destinations that are needed for people to get to jobs, shopping, and parks.  

Everyone has a right to a public mass transit system that includes:

  1. Safe, reliable, and affordable transit accessible to all.
  2. All communities have access to transit; no community should be left behind.
  3. Living wages, benefits, safe working conditions, and union rights for transit workers.
  4. A just transition for workers and communities now dependent on the car-centric system.
  5. Rapid transition of our transit systems to transit powered by electricity from renewables.
  6. Safe, healthy neighborhoods connected by public transit, pedestrian paths and bikepaths.
  7. Dedicated and sustainable public funding for public transit.

(Labor Network for Sustainability)

Transportation Justice, “has been at the heart of the civil rights movement in America – from challenging the notion of “separate but equal” to the Montgomery bus boycotts and the Freedom Riders.”  (Urban Habitat). 

Seeking Transportation Justice for TAME Coalition means we pursue a connected, affordable, and reliable transportation network that meets the needs of our low-income residents in Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg, Germantown and Clarksburg.  This kind of system would not only increase ridership but also be the most cost-effective and equitable solution to the climate crisis.

GRAPHS – SHOWING THE MIDCOUNTY CORRIDOR GOING THROUGH LOW-INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS…USE THE LATEST CENSUS DATA TO UPDATE OUR EXISTING CORRIDOR GRAPHS.

Progressive Maryland Hosts Environmental Justice Webinar With a Focus on Transit Justice

On July 21, 2020, Progressive Maryland hosted a virtual town hall with the theme of Black Lives Matter – exploring a range of Environmental Justice Themes, including Transit Justice.  Panelists included State Senator Mary Washington (D-43); Dante Swinton, Energy Justice Network and Clean Air Coalition Baltimore; Samuel Jordan, Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition; and Amber Brown, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.  One of the take-home messages is that Transit Justice is about more than providing disadvantaged communities with access to transit systems – it’s also about the equitable setting of transit destinations that will benefit these communities.

Montgomery County Government Analyst Finds Disparities in Telework Access During COVID Pandemic

A report issued in July 2020 by the Motngomery County Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) indicates that there are disparities in ability to telework amongst the different county communities.  The report states that :

« Workers in jobs that could not be done remotely faced two elevated risks: economic hardship and/or infection.”

TAME Coalition, a strong proponent of increasing the use of telework as one of several strategies for reducing greenhouse gases by getting people to reduce driving, will delve into this problem of unequal access to telework options.  We recognize that this disparity is real and it favors people with white privilege who can work from home, while putting workers of color and low-income people who do service work and infrastructure maintenance work, at higher risk of COVID infection and also at higher economic risk.

  • Safe Streets

Safe Streets  refers to the work of the TAME Coalition, in cooperation with allies, to promote the ability of Montgomery County residents and workers to walk, bike, and take transit without fear of losing their lives.

TAME Coalition participated in a memorial ceremony for a resident of Montgomery Village who was killed on the Mid-County Highway when he was struck by an SUV on February 12, 2020.

Action Committee for Transit (ACT), together with the family and friends of Adonias Gomez, held a gathering and brief memorial service at the site where Mr. Gomez was struck while attempting to cross the Mid-County Highway at Pier Point Place.

Caption:  Among those who gathered in memory of Adonias Gomez:  Left to Right:  Planning Commissioner Partap Verma; Diane Cameron, TAME Coalition Director; Edna Miller, TAME Coalition Core Member; District 39 Delegate Gabriel Acevero; ACT Board Member Miriam Schoenbaum; and Civic Federation leader Alan Bowser. 

A Salvadorean community blog post reported in February, 2020:

“Salvadorean worker dies when he is hit by a car on his way home in Maryland”

“Con Gómez ya son cuatro los peatones que han perdido la vida en las carreteras del condado de Montgomery en este 2020. Las autoridades trabajan para reducir estos accidentes con  el plan Visión Cero que incluye colocar nuevos pasos peatonales y señales de tránsito en puntos estratégicos, actualizar leyes que protejan a los peatones, entre otras mejoras.”

Translation:

“With Gomez there are already four pedestrian deaths due to car collisions in Montgomery County in 2020. Authorities are working to reduce these accidents with the Vision Zero plan that includes placing new pedestrian crossings and road signs at strategic points, updating laws that protect pedestrians, among other improvements.”

TAME will continue to partner with ACT and other groups to promote safe streets for people who walk and cycle.  We will honor those whose lives were lost as we work for Vision Zero.

TRANSIT ALTERNATIVES TO M83 HIGHWAY

TAME Coalition’s support for improved transit includes:

  • Re-imagining Ride-On Bus service CLICK HERE to read the Montgomery County Better Buses Campaign Platform of Coalition for Smarter Growth.

This Better Buses Campaign Platform tracks the guiding principles of Thrive 2050:

Equity: Any improvement in transit service or reduction in fares overwhelmingly benefits vulnerable populations and the working class.

Environment: Getting more people to use transit takes cars off the road.

Economy: Transit connects workers with jobs and customers with businesses.

  • Keep the “Rapid” in Bus Rapid Transit on 355North from Clarksburg to Shady Grove Rd and beyond
  • Montgomery County should have dedicated bus lanes like the District of Columbia. What or who is stopping this from happening?
  • Montgomery County Council must dedicate existing lanes for buses to ensure that people will have an alternative to sitting in traffic.
  • MCDOT and Montgomery County Council must change their transportation policies to give buses, not cars, the highest priority in moving people to their destinations.
  • Action Comm for Transit & GGW article from Jane

District of Columbia Department of Transportation (D-DOT) showcases its new Bus Rapid Transit program with buses running in dedicated lanes.

  • Expanded MARC train service to the Upcounty
  • We need all-way, two-way MARC Train
  • http://www.actfortransit.org/MARC.html