Skip to comments.I-270 gridlock cries out for solutions
Posted on 01/08/2013 6:40:13 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
WASHINGTON - Interstate 270 is considered one of the most choked roads in the Washington region, but solutions for the gridlock are few and far between.
Figures from the Maryland Department of Transportation show about 114,000 cars use I-270 daily, and that number is expected to jump to 200,000 in the next 10 to 15 years.
"Everyone who is familiar with 270 knows it is jammed up in the morning rush hour and evening rush hour," says Gus Bauman, who studies transportation and funding and who chaired a Maryland Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding.
One proposal to ease congestion is the Corridor Cities Transitway, which would link Shady Grove, Gaithersburg and Clarskburg.
"It will not end congestion on 270. It will help by providing an alternative route, so that you don't have to be on the road that is congested," Bauman says.
The Corridor Cities Transitway project has been on the books since the 1970s, and would likely cost between $500 million to $875 million, depending on the calculation and whether it would be a light rail project or bus rapid transit.
With Gov. Martin O'Malley and lawmakers concentrating on how to replenish the Tran sportation Trust Fund so it can be help fund the Purple Line and Baltimore's Red Line, the Corridor Cities Transitway seems years away. Maryland's Transportation Trust Fun may run of money in 2018.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett sees the I-270 and Corridor Cities Transitway project as equal on the priority list to the Purple Line.
"The county's economic well being -- and the state's -- depends on a plan to move forward with securing new transportation revenues for critically needed infrastructure," says Leggett in a statement to WTOP.
Widening and expanding I-270 could present just as many challenges.
"The right of way on I-270 is 300 feet, but there are 12 lanes already. It's unlike Northern Virginia where they had space in the middle to build the new Beltway Express Lanes, I-270 doesn't have that space in the middle. It's pretty much maxed out," Bauman says.
While there is some talk about potential options closer to Frederick County, it appears in the heart of Montgomery County, particularly south of Gaithersburg, there may not be room to create brand new lanes.
Instead, the talk between Montgomery County and the Maryland State Highway Administration revolves around expanding High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.
In a statement to WTOP, the SHA points out one suggestion from the Montgomery County Council to remove the shoulder along I-270 and convert it to a HOV lane would pose some challenges.
SHA spokesman Dave Buck says it would severely impact emergency vehicle response times and force broken down cars or accident victims into travel lanes, posing a safety risk.
"While there are challenges to overcome and investments to be made, the Maryland Department of Transportation is committed to a partnership with Montgomery County and VDOT. Maryland is completing an analysis on the west side of I-495 and the southern end of I-270 (West Side Mobility Study), reviewing real-time traffic data to assist in identifying short, medium and long-term options along these corridors," says Buck.
As for express toll lanes, similar to those on the Capital Beltway in Virginia, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the agency that that operates the state's toll roads, tells WTOP there have been no conversations with anyone in Montgomery County nor with the transportation department about any projects for I-270 or the Beltway.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
The best solution is to cut federal spending, and lay them all off. That would cut down on the BMW traffic jams in the area.
Of the USA’s 10 richest counties, 7 surround Washington DC.
All roads lead to the new Rome, and its clear they are quite crowded.
Just keep building and more and more Housing developments and increasing Maryland population like what has happened the past 10 to 15 years, that will help.
This is a disaster. And it turned R counties like Howard Dem too.
It’s crowded going North that;s for sure, But north of Washington gets all of the funding, while we down Sout of DC get roads like Rt. 5 that will tear the bottom out of your car, and congested 210. We need a new Morgantown Bridge and a new Bridge across to Solomons Island., both are congested and the solomons Bridge was so badly constructed they had to put braces on it a year after it was built. It could fall down any time.
Part of this highway goes through Chris Van Hollen’s district of VERY wealthy demon-rats....
Hey Chris...tax the a** off your richey tax payers...they can do more of their fair share to solve this problem....you putz.
Gee, I thought all liberals used mass transportation !!!
Guess not, trains are for you and not for me.
No, it's not. Putting all those liberal hacks in Maryland keeps them out of Virginia.
With reduced local employment, the traffic should soon subside.
Shut down more lanes. We’ll all be better off if those assclowns never reach their offices.
Put a second layer of 12 lanes right above it.
Reduce the size and scope of Fedzilla. Like, maybe, all the way down to what the Constitution actually specifies. Fewer unconstitutional bureaucracies ==> fewer bureaucrats ==> less traffic on I-270.
How about getting rid of the freaking HOV lanes — the social experiment that reduces the road capacity between 20% and 33%, depending on the number of other lanes out there? Anyone who’s ever driven that side of the Beltway will tell you that the Inner Loop starts backing up into Virginia at almost precisely 3:30pm every day. Why? Because that’s when 1/3 of the I-270 spur lanes are taken away for HOV restrictions.
I agree. What I get out of this place (working around DC) is mostly gravy and I could live on 1/3 of what I make. Technically I am part of the problem, however I and particularly my boss do much-needed work. But there needs to be substantial cuts even though it will hurt some of the good work because there is too much power concentrated here in all agencies including domestic ones.
“The county’s economic well being — and the state’s — depends on a plan ...”
Also the country’s and the world’s well being!!!
To drive through Maryland on I-95 northbound, I pay $3 to go through the Harbor Tunnel, and another $4 to go over the Susquehanna River bridge. I would also say that this is also one of the most heavily-travelled segments of interstate in the country. Yet the Transportation Trust Fund is broke? Where does all the money go????
Make all the .gov employees ride the bus and that should help a lot...
The Wednesday after Christmas it was 20 miles a hour up I95 over the Susquehanna. It is such a wonderful road.