National Center for Smart Growth Director Gerrit Knaap joined local county officials in Annapolis Wednesday, December 12, 2012, for a Transportation Funding Summit to address the “dire” transportation funding shortage facing Maryland by 2017. The summit brought together county executives from across the state, area stakeholders, transit experts and advocates to brainstorm options for funding both new and existing transportation projects throughout Maryland, including Metro’s Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway. Knaap, who served as a keynote speaker for the summit, presented a report on transportation’s role in the economy, both as a job producer and productivity booster for state industries.
“Investments in transportation infrastructure are a vital ingredient for economic growth, and we desperately need more capital to keep our economy moving forward,” explained Knaap. “We just need to come up with innovative ways to finance it.”
Possible solutions discussed by the roughly 150 attendees included a hike in the state’s gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since 1992. The ideas generated by the summit will help shape proposals in time for the January session of the Maryland General Assembly.