ISCA Beltway Expansion Survey Results

A big thanks to everyone who participated in the ISCA Beltway survey, participation was even higher than expected. The report on the results, prepared by our consultant, are posted here.

The results suggest that members overwhelmingly support the ISCA board signing on to letters and statements opposing Beltway expansion. Many neighbors are informed on the current plans, but some are less so. To raise awareness, we’re going to add a Beltway update to each edition of the newsletter. We’ll include key developments as well as action items and ways to become more involved for those who are interested. I’m including a brief update as of a few days ago here, as well as some time-sensitive actions that anyone can take to protect the future of our neighborhood and make your voice heard. To all our neighbors who have been active in this issue for years, thank you for your advocacy, time, and energy—it’s working and is greatly needed! 

In addition to keeping the board updated on Beltway expansion issues, I’m also hoping to organize additional community service projects in the neighborhood, so if you have an idea or want to help, please let me know, and look for more on that coming soon!

Abbe Spokane
East Granville Drive
ISCA Civics 

  • CABE’s new newsletter came out yesterday, and is in my opinion, the best and most accessible source of information. It talks about the proposed design of the lanes, and the legislative actions proposed by the state house and senate. 
  • The state highway administration is reviewing bids for preliminary work for Phase 1. They plan to select a proposal in Feb., seek approval from the Board of Public Works in April/May. This means work may start before the final environmental impact study and record of decision are completed, which could lead to financial risks for taxpayers. CABE has an excellent breakdown of the timeline on their website. 
  • The state house is trying to pass legislation related to Public Private Partnership (P3) projects this session, but the session is short and crowded with bills. 
  • The Sierra Club is expected to sue over flaws in the draft environmental impact study, if they are not addressed. Sierra club believes the plan may be violating NEPA. 
  • The federal highway administration is facilitating mediation between MDOT and MNCPPC (parks). This is relevant now because the record of decision on the environmental impact study covers the entire project, which includes park land in our neighborhood. 
  • If you’re new to Beltway issues, I’d also highly recommend looking at MDOT’s proposed maps for the project. You can zoom in on our neighborhood and see where the new sound walls would be, where construction zones would be, where they think noise would carry, etc.

Action items: 

  • Write your state senators and delegates to support legislation related to P3s. The bills are HB67 (adding regulations for P3s) and SB361/HB485 (adding P3 oversights to protect taxpayers). The hearing for one of these in set for Feb. 1, so no doubt CABE will have sample letters posted.
  • Write members of the Board of Public Works (especially Franchot and Kopp) to tell them you oppose the current MDOT plan, support the no-build option, and ask them not to approve a preliminary project work agreement until after the Final Environmental Impact Study and Record of Decision are complete. 
  • CABE is looking for newsletter writers/editors
  • Sierra Club is looking for lawyers/legal experts

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