Traffic builds on the inner loop of the Beltway as it heads toward the American Legion Bridge on Dec. 1. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Regarding John Kelly’s March 15 Metro column, “In bruising Beltway battle, toll lane foes seem to win”:

Kudos to the people of Maryland for getting Transurban to walk away. Its expensive, lopsided project would ultimately yield little to no benefit to Marylanders.

I recently moved away from Northern Virginia, where traffic is seemingly as bad as it has ever been. A thoughtful, multifaceted plan that could include toll roads would prove far superior to the Transurban profit-oriented model, and it would be much less expensive to complete through traditional governmental project financing. Tolls would be lower, and the project would not come with revenue guarantees and noncompete clauses that come with many public-private partnership contracts.

Virginia is locked into decades of such restrictions with Transurban, such as not being allowed to expand Metro’s Orange Line for 10 years, little say over toll prices, and not being able to improve secondary roads to ease traffic without Transurban approval, plus state revenue subsidies if HOV riders are too numerous. This interferes with local governmental autonomy to provide for citizens and is contrary to the goals of an effective transportation program.

I urge Marylanders to embrace this opportunity to build an effective plan for the new era. You have dodged a bullet; the real tragedy would be if Transurban returns.

Robert McGary, Glen Allen, Va.