Skip to comments.Planned Gridlock or Traffic Relief? Governor Hoganís Traffic Relief Plan Offers Hope
Posted on 06/18/2018 9:22:07 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Any Montgomery County voter looking for traffic relief will not get much hope from the transportation manifestos of Montgomery Countys progressive Democrats this primary season. Collectively, they all try to outdo each other in their opposition to anything involving spending for roads.
Instead of supporting projects that will reduce travel times, they propose diverting more money to public transit. They push a strategy of planned gridlock that is intended to drive motorists from their cars.
If alleging planned gridlock seems harsh, consider the Montgomery County Council legislation designed to slow traffic flow by significantly narrowing travel lane widths on some busy roads and cutting speed limits. This is intended to prioritize moving people, not cars, as though cars do not contain people. In smart growth jargon, transit-oriented development reflects plans to restrict new development to high density in order to nudge more public transit use.
By contrast, Governor Hogan has offered a Traffic Relief Plan that uses the Public-Private Partnership (P3) industry for input and solutions. Hogans $9 billion proposal, which would add four new lanes on both I-495 and I-270, is the largest proposed P3 highway project in North America.
Under the P3 approach, private developers would design, build, finance, operate and maintain new lanes on I-495 between the American Legion Bridge and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and on I-270 between I-495 and I-70. Once completed, the Traffic Relief Plan will deliver new express toll lanes, in addition to existing lanes, on I-495, I-270 and MD 295.
Already, nearly half of Marylands transportation spending is devoted mass transit, even though cars account for approximately 97% of all travel. Transportation planners justify the imbalance by promising motorists that travelers will be diverted away from the roads to transit.
Yet after spending billions over the past two decades on public transit, Maryland mass transits increase of 52,000 daily commuters has been more than offset by a 62,000 loss in carpool commuters. According to Census data between 1990 and 2008, 93% (400,000) of all additional commutes were by single-occupant automobiles. In fact, almost many as many commuters have been diverted from the roads by working at home (47,000) as were by mass transit.
In short, promised travel diversion to public transit has not materialized. Nevertheless, Marylands so-called progressives are not prepared to give up.
The fact that transit planners have failed to make good on their promise of less crowded roads in exchange for more mass transit spending should come as no surprise to anyone looking at a map and considering the distribution of jobs and homes. A century ago, centralized job locations could be fed by convenient trolley lines within a 10-mile radius. Today, our metropolitan areas now span thousands of square miles with population densities that cannot support widespread mass transit usage.
Maryland has the second-longest commuting times in the country, and the National Capital Region is the most congested region in the nation based on annual delay and congestion cost per auto commuter. The statewide cost of congestion based on auto delay, truck delay and wasted fuel and emissions was estimated at $2 billion in 2015. This is an increase of 22 percent from the $1.7 billion estimated cost of congestion in 2013. More than 98 percent of the weekday congestion cost was incurred in the Baltimore/Washington region.
Governor Hogans Traffic Relief Plan will be critical to spurring increased economic development and restoring quality of life for countless Marylanders who have been negatively affected by years of traffic congestion.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
Anecdotal evidence— we have a good family friend in Montgomery county, and she moved to an apartment/condo, which is convenient to Metro.
But the Metro subway has had so many problems, that she now drives to work instead most of the time.
So even people who try to structure their lives so they can use mass transit, sometimes give up.on it.
Metro, unfortunately, spent several decades not keeping up on maintenance, so now they’re paying for it big-time.
When I used it regularly in the 1990s, and fairly often in the 00’s, it was a first class system, but all the crap and negligence caught up to it, so it’s now a miserable thing to use.
The fix is building more bridges across the Potomac. 4 bridges minimum. The take Rt 301 from the Richmond bypass and make it an interstate. Build and wider bridge in Rt. 301 and connect up in MD. This plan I have been proposing for the last 30 years was confirmed to work by a Pittsburg PA city planner.
Agreed. The Maryland Transportation Authority (which owns and runs Maryland’s toll facilities) is upgrading the Nice Bridge (US 301) across the Potomac to a 4-lane facility, beginning in 2019, if I remember the year correctly.
4 bridges does sound nice, but the only one that I know of with a possibility of being built is one and associated roadways connecting the Intercounty Connector toll road in Maryland with Route 28 in Virginia.
Gridlock on the way to relief.
Do you know off-hand what percent of Beltway traffic is I-95/270 through traffic? It would make sense to build a western bridge for the I-270 traffic and upgrade the eastern US 301 bridge to make it a bypass only if a fairly large percent of Beltway vehicle are just passing through the DC metro area.
I cant inagine how they think they could add four lanes to 270 or 495. Theres just no room to the sides.
No one with any experience with DC traffic would take 270 to a destination south of Richmond VA. Depending on starting point and destination preferred routes are I-81 and US 15.
Some of the improvements that may take traffic off of 270 include: Improving MD-97 to four lanes all the way from Westminster MD to Silver Spring MD, building the Brookville bypass. Upgrading the Point of Rocks bridge to 4 lanes (or even 6). Adding several trains a day to the Brunswick MARC Line, likely requiring triple tracking the CSX Metropolitan Division as impacting freight capacity is not a viable option.
Remember that all of those people driving on 270/495 also need to get off the interstate and find a parking spot.
That's one of the most moronic things I've ever read!!! Should say "Let's create more accidents."
Widening 270 and 495 would mean buying up property next to these areas and we're talking mega billions.
I like the suggestion... Now the we are in the computer age, ship half of the agencies out to other areas of the country. Like the swamp would go for this!
If I have to do vaca travel out of D.C. during the week, I leave between 3-4 a.m. You have no choice.
My dream is to drain the swamp so much that property values in the DC area actually plummet.
LOL! I’ve got no problem with that!!
Knew a Metro maintenance employee in the early 90’s who told me then the system was going to hell in a hand basket. It’s union crap. (According to my Gramps, union crap killed the US steel manufactioning.)
Hogan’s wish of widening our highway system is beyond fantasy. (He ticked me off major recently... 4 guys... Ticked me off soo much.)
I’d gladly pitch in to move, now that we are in the computer age, a chunk of the agencies out of here. Detroit needs jobs. How bout Alabama??
28 to the ICE wouldn’t be bad.
I don’t ever want to see ever a Leesburg - Poolesville bridge. Love White’s Ferry.
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