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Author Topic: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program  (Read 31026 times)

famartin

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #300 on: June 01, 2021, 12:47:17 PM »

It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.
More to the point, Virginia has two of the three airports in the region, including the one that has the largest selection of flights to and from Europe and Asia as well as the best selection of flights to the West Coast.
While that's true, you won't see signs for those airports in Maryland. You'll just see placards for BWI all over the place. That in itself makes it obvious what airport they are supporting.

To be fair, Virginia does the same thing with only signing IAD & DCA - I don't believe there's a single sign for BWI across the Potomac.

That's fair, but the difference is that BWI is significantly further away from the VA side, than the VA airports are from the MD side of DC metro (in particular, DCA is much closer to the Beltway communities in MD than BWI is).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #301 on: June 01, 2021, 01:59:38 PM »

This. Yes, that's one reason Maryland doesn't want to build better connections. There's already plenty commuting into NoVA for work, they don't want to encourage more.

When county policy (especially the Montgomery County Council) actively discourages growth and business expansion, then they are effectively encouraging more persons to drive to Northern Virginia.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #302 on: June 01, 2021, 02:09:34 PM »

Montgomery County is both the most populous and most affluent county in Maryland, so they do have the option to be picky. That said, the latter title may soon be taken by Howard.

No they do not.  There was a time when Montgomery County, Maryland was one of the top five affluent counties in the United States, but those days are long gone.

By this of highest-income households (using 2016 ACS data from Census), Loudoun County, Virginia is at the top.  The next two are also neighbors of Montgomery County: Howard County, Maryland followed by Fairfax County, Virginia.

Montgomery County is far down the list at 17, and per-household income is about $35,000 less than Loudoun County and about $20,000 less than Howard County.   I suspect that 5 or 10 more years of pro-congestion transportation policies and super-high housing prices (based on a public school system that is living on its past good reputation) and Montgomery County will fall off the list entirely.
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famartin

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #303 on: June 01, 2021, 02:51:04 PM »

Montgomery County is both the most populous and most affluent county in Maryland, so they do have the option to be picky. That said, the latter title may soon be taken by Howard.

No they do not.  There was a time when Montgomery County, Maryland was one of the top five affluent counties in the United States, but those days are long gone.

By this of highest-income households (using 2016 ACS data from Census), Loudoun County, Virginia is at the top.  The next two are also neighbors of Montgomery County: Howard County, Maryland followed by Fairfax County, Virginia.

Montgomery County is far down the list at 17, and per-household income is about $35,000 less than Loudoun County and about $20,000 less than Howard County.   I suspect that 5 or 10 more years of pro-congestion transportation policies and super-high housing prices (based on a public school system that is living on its past good reputation) and Montgomery County will fall off the list entirely.

Google failed me today. But, well, you reap what you sow.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #304 on: June 04, 2021, 02:02:27 PM »

A vote regarding some of the toll lanes will be held in Tuesday:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/06/03/maryland-toll-lanes/
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mrsman

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #305 on: June 06, 2021, 06:10:19 PM »

It's really more beneficial if Maryland could build up their industrial and commercial office space to keep Marylanders in Maryland. Lots of good tax revenue there that doesn't burden schools and services.

Maryland has been losing jobs to Northern Virginia for decades.  In large part the anti-growth and slow-growth and no-growth policies of Montgomery County, Maryland are to blame, along with a robust anti-development and NIMBY cottage industry in the county.  One example:  excluding the several small municipalities where the county does not control development approvals, there are no Royal Farm (based in Maryland), Wawa or Sheetz stores in the county, though they can be found in counties that directly border Montgomery County.  Aided and abetted by county policies, 7-11 has a de-facto monopoly on convenience stores.


I wonder if you can expand on this a little.  I realize that MoCo is a heavy tax jurisidction, as well as being highly anti-development, but how does that make it so hard for convenience stores in particular to operate, and why does that favor 7-11 in particular.

I am also aware that it is hard to get a new gas station in this county.  There was a big fight to prevent Costco in Wheaton from getting a gas station, and they do not have one.  I don't beleive the other Costco in the county has a gas station either.  Oddly enough, there is a 7-11 with gas on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring, near the DC line, but most 7-11s here do not have gas.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #306 on: June 07, 2021, 10:03:27 AM »

I wonder if you can expand on this a little.  I realize that MoCo is a heavy tax jurisidction, as well as being highly anti-development, but how does that make it so hard for convenience stores in particular to operate, and why does that favor 7-11 in particular.

I am also aware that it is hard to get a new gas station in this county.  There was a big fight to prevent Costco in Wheaton from getting a gas station, and they do not have one.  I don't beleive the other Costco in the county has a gas station either.  Oddly enough, there is a 7-11 with gas on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring, near the DC line, but most 7-11s here do not have gas.

My guess is that any convenience store project that could possibly impact traffic in a residential area (the 7-11 on U.S. 29 (Georgia Avenue) north of the D.C. line is a rare exception would generate  a wave of NIMBY opposition.  Highway project (especially those that add capacity or otherwise make the highways work better) have been met with frantic opposition and rage, along with claims that "according to the County Council, transit is a priority."  And yet, when it comes to spending, transit has been a priority since about 1971, and the roads have only gotten more congested over the years.

One of the excuses cited for opposing retail development (including convenience stores) in Montgomery County are claims that "it will make traffic worse," but those claims often come from persons and groups that are opposed to all highway improvements.  The modal share of transit in Montgomery County has lingered between 10% and 20% for many years, and no matter how much pro-transit rhetoric comes from the County Council and county planners, it is not likely to rise much above that.  Montgomery County is a big and mostly suburban place, and getting transit patronage similar to what is found in New York City is not going to happen.

I also believe that several of the convenience store chains do not wish to bother with the hassle and expense of trying to get a store in Montgomery County, so they just go elsewhere.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #307 on: June 12, 2021, 07:10:23 PM »

Baltimore Sun: [Letter to the editor] Capital Beltway/I-270 expansion the responsible choice

Quote
Critics of the plan to replace the 60-year-old American Legion Bridge and add express lanes to segments of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 have it exactly backward. Rather than being an “antiquated and misguided approach” (”Downsizing Capital Beltway project good — scrapping it better,” May 26), the improvements are a forward-looking solution to the existing traffic congestion that saps our quality of life today. Unless the project is built as currently envisioned, travel conditions will be even be worse in the future.

Quote
Any traveler of the segments scheduled for improvement knows firsthand the intolerable delays experienced every morning and evening. In fact, this corridor has been identified as one of the most congested in the United States. Imagine what it will be like 25 years from now when our approved regional forecast estimates a population growth of 1.2 million people and 913,000 jobs. It is estimated that the traffic volume at the American Legion Bridge will increase by an additional 34,000 vehicles per day. Instead of six hours of congestion in the corridor, we will be experiencing at least twice as many hours of gridlock by 2045. Current drivers will refer to our existing congestion levels as “the good old days of travel.”
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 07:26:07 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Jmiles32

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #308 on: June 16, 2021, 11:42:24 PM »

https://www.marylandmatters.org/2021/06/16/plan-to-widen-beltway-and-interstate-270-suffers-major-defeat-in-key-vote/
Quote
A regional transportation panel dealt a potentially crippling blow to one of the Hogan administration’s top priorities — the widening on I-495 and I-270, and the replacement of the American Legion Bridge — on Wednesday.

Sitting as the Transportation Planning Board, county and municipal leaders from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia voted to remove the project from a federally-mandated environmental study.

The vote came during a meeting that grew contentious, with multiple Virginia Department of Transportation officials scrambling — unsuccessfully — to get the panel to reconsider its actions as soon as the roll-call was complete.

“It is a significant setback for that project,” said the board’s chairman, D.C. Council Member Charles Allen (D), in an interview. “This project is done for now. This vote effectively stops the project, because this is the federally-required process that has to happen for any project.”

The motion to strike the I-495/I-270 project from the Air Quality Conforming Analysis was offered by Gary Erenrich, a top Montgomery County transportation official, on behalf of Executive Marc B. Elrich (D).

“This is a vote of no-confidence for Gov. Hogan’s road-widening plan,” said Montgomery County Council Member Evan Glass (D). “The region’s leaders spoke loud and clear, and do not believe that the project has provided sufficient environmental analysis.”

The motion was supported by almost all of the panel’s Maryland and D.C. members, along with representatives from Arlington and Alexandria.

It was opposed by the Maryland Department of Transportation, the cities of Gaithersburg and Frederick, most localities in Northern Virginia, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Hogan unveiled his plan to add four “express toll lanes” to the frequently-congested highways in 2017. Under his proposal, the state would contract with an international consortium to finance and build the lanes and replace the 60-year-old bridge that spans the Potomac River.

Firms would recoup their investment through a complex system in which tolls fluctuate in response to traffic volume.

Project supporters described the TPB’s vote a major setback.

“I think the region has made a very bad decision regarding not moving forward with a project that would make a big difference to a lot of people,” said Maryland Deputy Transportation Secretary R. Earl Lewis Jr., a member of the board.

“It’s going to be very difficult — if not impossible — to find alternatives that would do anywhere near as much to help hundreds of thousands of people,” he added. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

John B. Townsend II, head of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, called the vote “devastating to transportation progress in the region.”

“It is singularly one of the worst decisions in the history of the TPB,” he added. “Instead of investing in transportation, the TPB is creating huge problems for our transportation tomorrow when the region once again suffers from some of the worst congestion in the entire nation.”

In the lead-up to the vote, local leaders from Montgomery, Prince George’s and Frederick counties said Hogan’s proposal failed to adequately calculate the impact new lanes would have on the region’s environment. Nor, they said, would it account for the loss of parkland.

They also complained it doesn’t boost transit opportunities sufficiently or take into account the likely post-pandemic rise in telework.

“This is not ready for prime time,” said Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton. “This does nothing to move our region forward, not in social justice, not in environmental justice, and [it’s] not the way we should be going.”

Ridiculous. Even after Maryland significantly scaled back the project there is no pleasing these people.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #309 on: June 17, 2021, 05:45:31 AM »

What a joke, honestly. But I guess this is the state of infrastructure projects in the 21st century, and even more so particularly with those anti-growth counties, specifically Montgomery. It makes me wonder how often these people have to sit in the traffic and experience it first hand. I’m going with very rarely. Anyone who is opposing the project is quite frankly voting to make the quality of life of its residents worse, but I guess they’re fine with that.
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vdeane

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #310 on: June 17, 2021, 02:15:28 PM »

Seesh.  This is a terrible decision, one of the worst in the history of transportation in the area, if not the country.  That corridor isn't just used by locals - any thru traffic going between much of NY and PA to the south also uses that.  They should be required to build a new bridge connecting VA 28 to the ICC if they're not willing to build the HOT lanes - then the anti-car zealots would be required which accommodation to through/regional traffic they like less and pick the other one, instead of blocking everything and making everyone else suffer.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #311 on: June 17, 2021, 03:06:52 PM »


Ridiculous. Even after Maryland significantly scaled back the project there is no pleasing these people.
Exactly. That’s why they should never have scaled any of it back. This is yet another issue of adding more and more layers of review onto infrastructure projects as it gives extremists more and more ways to stop it. Awfully convenient how they waited until the new Presidential administration to effectively cancel this project. This is indeed infuriating though I fully expect to see more of this and it’s yet another example of how the environmental review process can be “weaponized” to stop much needed projects.

I am going to try and find some outlets or people behind this to write and vocalize my frustrations. If anyone knows who I’d appreciate a pointer. I’ll do some research later anyways when I get free.
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Old Dominionite

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #312 on: June 17, 2021, 09:33:39 PM »

Montgomery County is doing all that it can to ensure that Maryland's economy takes a permanent back seat to Virginia's economy. Their loss.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #313 on: June 17, 2021, 11:07:41 PM »

Hogan should give the what they deserve:  Both 270 split on ramps dropped to 2 lanes and metered.  Keep the Beltway free flowing.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #314 on: June 17, 2021, 11:10:45 PM »

Hogan should give the what they deserve:  Both 270 split on ramps dropped to 2 lanes and metered.  Keep the Beltway free flowing.
Unfortunately, that would disproportionately affect long distance traffic as well… to bad it wasn’t a I-795 situation in Baltimore where it’s solely local traffic.

DC needs a western bypass for I-495->I-270 through traffic, and an eastern bypass for I-95 through traffic, but that will never happen with heavy environmental and NIMBY opposition. If those weren’t factors, there’s a strong chance such a corridor would’ve been built in the 1990s.

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.
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Alps

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #315 on: June 18, 2021, 12:01:30 AM »

I note that they killed the ability to do an environmental review by citing that not enough environmental review was done?

cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #316 on: June 18, 2021, 08:41:31 AM »

I note that they killed the ability to do an environmental review by citing that not enough environmental review was done?

You note correctly.  The air quality conformity determination is at its core a federally-mandated environmental review that has to take place on a periodic basis. 

Note also that a similar gambit was tried in the mod-2000's when the Montgomery County anti-highway cottage industry tried to get the MD-200 project removed from the air quality conformity process.  That effort was defeated.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #317 on: June 18, 2021, 09:14:36 AM »

The other potential issue here is how this could affect VDOT's 495 NEXT project - I recall Governors Northam & Hogan striking a deal in 2019 where portions of the Legion Bridge, despite falling almost entirely in Maryland, would be funded thru VA instead of MD.  Not to mention that 495 NEXT is being designed to tie in with MD P3, otherwise it would accomplish nothing besides pushing the existing bottleneck from VA 267 all the way up to the Potomac.

They should be required to build a new bridge connecting VA 28 to the ICC if they're not willing to build the HOT lanes
DC needs a western bypass for I-495->I-270 through traffic, and an eastern bypass for I-95 through traffic, but that will never happen with heavy environmental and NIMBY opposition.

Yup...In a perfect world I think the above is needed in addition to a widened Legion Bridge (would also be great for Dulles access from MD), but unfortunately I agree that will never happen - as much opposition as there is in urbanized Montgomery County, multiply that by several magnitudes for the rural Agricultural Reserve portions of MoCo.

At least US 301 will be a slightly more attractive eastern bypass once the new Nice Bridge is complete, but of course that does nothing to eliminate the slowdowns in La Plata & Waldorf.  US 15 to the west is getting increasingly congested between Leesburg & US 340, but I'm not aware of any plans for that corridor.

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

I have the utmost appreciation for that road every single time I use it :-D (especially southbound, when I've probably escaped from congestion upstream on I-495 & I-95!)
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jeffandnicole

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #318 on: June 18, 2021, 09:30:12 AM »

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #319 on: June 18, 2021, 09:50:25 PM »

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
Toll road, interchanges limited to major junctions (interstates, freeways, the most major arterials) and spaced at least 8-10 miles apart minimum, and 6 lanes (mostly in Virginia south of the metro) to 8 lanes (everywhere else) wide. These were the original proposals for the road that was ultimately canceled, on both the east and west side.

With the proper design, local traffic would be deterred from with using it because there would not be much viability, and it would be limited to regional and through traffic.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 09:52:28 PM by sprjus4 »
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famartin

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #320 on: June 18, 2021, 11:01:45 PM »

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
Toll road, interchanges limited to major junctions (interstates, freeways, the most major arterials) and spaced at least 8-10 miles apart minimum, and 6 lanes (mostly in Virginia south of the metro) to 8 lanes (everywhere else) wide. These were the original proposals for the road that was ultimately canceled, on both the east and west side.

With the proper design, local traffic would be deterred from with using it because there would not be much viability, and it would be limited to regional and through traffic.

If you designed it like the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, maybe local traffic would stay off, but I'm sure it would get plenty of long-haul. And as we see with the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, it still gets pretty heavy at times.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #321 on: June 18, 2021, 11:56:17 PM »

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
Toll road, interchanges limited to major junctions (interstates, freeways, the most major arterials) and spaced at least 8-10 miles apart minimum, and 6 lanes (mostly in Virginia south of the metro) to 8 lanes (everywhere else) wide. These were the original proposals for the road that was ultimately canceled, on both the east and west side.

With the proper design, local traffic would be deterred from with using it because there would not be much viability, and it would be limited to regional and through traffic.

If you designed it like the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, maybe local traffic would stay off, but I'm sure it would get plenty of long-haul. And as we see with the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, it still gets pretty heavy at times.
Which is why you would build such a facility of a minimum of 6 lanes, 8 in the more developed areas (but still keep the long distances between interchanges).
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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #322 on: June 21, 2021, 12:42:34 AM »

A couple thoughts on this current I-495/I-270 P3 debacle:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/06/16/maryland-toll-lanes-beltway/
Quote
After the meeting, Elrich said traffic congestion could be sufficiently relieved by adding two rush-hour reversible lanes to each highway. He said he thought two lanes would fit within both highways’ rights of way, which would reduce the potential effects on surrounding parkland and neighborhoods. They also might not require tolls if the state financed the lanes itself, he said.

“This is a big deal in terms of them having to rethink their plans,” Elrich said of the Hogan administration after the vote. “If they do it as two reversible lanes, this becomes a whole lot easier.”

Speaking in favor of striking the four-lane proposal from the regional plan, Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton told fellow board members that nine Rockville neighborhoods would be “terribly impacted” by a widening of I-270.

1. It appears that a key disagreement over this potential project is whether or not the I-270 portion of the lanes should be two lanes in each direction or just two reversible lanes. While I have yet to see what the exact difference is in terms of property and environmental impacts, I find it interesting that the southern portion of I-270 was planned to have bi directional HOT lanes while the rest was planned to have reversible. Why the inconsistency? IMO similarly to I-95, the heavy amount of unpredictable thru traffic on I-270 makes bidirectional HOT lanes from the Beltway to Frederick absolutely essential. Now whether they are one or two HOT lanes in each direction is another story but hell at this point I would be thrilled in I-270 had 2 GP and 2 bidirectional HOT lanes north of Clarksburg. Looking back at Virginia's growing HOT lane system, I guarantee VDOT and probably Transurban wish that they had made the I-95 HOT lanes bi-directional and who knows according to the recent I-95 corridor study in Virginia they will definitely be looking into potentially still doing that down the road. Even I-66, a road that handles a much lower amount of thru traffic compared to I-95, I-495, and I-270 is getting bidirectional HOT lanes and even though at the moment while it may seem like overkill, it is certainly something that I ain't complaining about because when it comes to predicting traffic patterns in the future, its much better to be safe than sorry. 

2. Whoever was in charge of this project's PR did not do a good job. A ton of important information for this project from the get-go was either unclear or seemingly rushed which helped strengthen the opposition's argument and support. There were also a ton of myths or IMO easily debunked arguments from the opposition that never seemed to be publicly expelled or challenged which I'm sure misinformed some people. The "we want more transit" complaint should have easily been debunked by saying that this project provides exactly that via encouraging more buses and carpooling. The "it will only worsen traffic" complaint should have also been debunked by saying that future phases of this project such as extending the lanes the rest of the way up I-270 would eliminate any new lane drop bottleneck that this first phase of the project would create. Showing a clear preliminary design of how the HOT lanes (on both I-495 and I-270) would have been planned to end and merge with the current GP lanes, at least in this first project phase would have also been extremely beneficial IMO. The "oh lets just have the federal government fund it" argument would have been another one since well, its the federal government and relying on them to agree to fund anything is always dicey. I'm sure there's some other myths that could have be debunked too.

3. Lastly, what probably irritates me off the most about this lunacy is how it directly affects American Legion Bridge rebuild efforts and Virginia's plan to extend their HOT lanes 3 miles north from the DTR to the Potomac River. Also why the hell did the Arlington and Alexandria TPB representatives vote against this I-270/I-495 HOT lane project? Do not both these localities currently benefit from HOT lanes on I-66 and I-395?. 
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 12:56:02 AM by Jmiles32 »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #323 on: June 21, 2021, 01:48:03 PM »

A couple thoughts on this current I-495/I-270 P3 debacle:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/06/16/maryland-toll-lanes-beltway/
Quote
After the meeting, Elrich said traffic congestion could be sufficiently relieved by adding two rush-hour reversible lanes to each highway. He said he thought two lanes would fit within both highways’ rights of way, which would reduce the potential effects on surrounding parkland and neighborhoods. They also might not require tolls if the state financed the lanes itself, he said.

“This is a big deal in terms of them having to rethink their plans,” Elrich said of the Hogan administration after the vote. “If they do it as two reversible lanes, this becomes a whole lot easier.”

Speaking in favor of striking the four-lane proposal from the regional plan, Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton told fellow board members that nine Rockville neighborhoods would be “terribly impacted” by a widening of I-270.

1. It appears that a key disagreement over this potential project is whether or not the I-270 portion of the lanes should be two lanes in each direction or just two reversible lanes. While I have yet to see what the exact difference is in terms of property and environmental impacts, I find it interesting that the southern portion of I-270 was planned to have bi directional HOT lanes while the rest was planned to have reversible. Why the inconsistency? IMO similarly to I-95, the heavy amount of unpredictable thru traffic on I-270 makes bidirectional HOT lanes from the Beltway to Frederick absolutely essential. Now whether they are one or two HOT lanes in each direction is another story but hell at this point I would be thrilled in I-270 had 2 GP and 2 bidirectional HOT lanes north of Clarksburg. Looking back at Virginia's growing HOT lane system, I guarantee VDOT and probably Transurban wish that they had made the I-95 HOT lanes bi-directional and who knows according to the recent I-95 corridor study in Virginia they will definitely be looking into potentially still doing that down the road. Even I-66, a road that handles a much lower amount of thru traffic compared to I-95, I-495, and I-270 is getting bidirectional HOT lanes and even though at the moment while it may seem like overkill, it is certainly something that I ain't complaining about because when it comes to predicting traffic patterns in the future, its much better to be safe than sorry.

Calling for reversible lanes is IMO a scam intended to kill the project, for this is not a place where they will work well.  The area in question is not a radial corridor to the employment centers of Arlington County, Virginia and the District of Columbia. 

The New Jersey Sierra Club attempted the same scam when the New Jersey Turnpike Authority was planning for the widening of the Turnpike between Exits 6 and 8A.  Never mind that the Turnpike is much more than a radial highway.

Your point about I-95 needing full-time managed lanes in both directions south of Springfield is correct.

I think that the four managed lanes are needed all the way to I-70 in Frederick.  Montgomery County has long said it does not want to allow much future development except condominiums and apartments, so the single-family detached homes will go in Frederick County and other jurisdictions beyond the reach of the Montgomery County Council and the Montgomery County planning staff.  Look at Urbana (off of MD-80 near I-270 for an example).

2. Whoever was in charge of this project's PR did not do a good job. A ton of important information for this project from the get-go was either unclear or seemingly rushed which helped strengthen the opposition's argument and support. There were also a ton of myths or IMO easily debunked arguments from the opposition that never seemed to be publicly expelled or challenged which I'm sure misinformed some people. The "we want more transit" complaint should have easily been debunked by saying that this project provides exactly that via encouraging more buses and carpooling. The "it will only worsen traffic" complaint should have also been debunked by saying that future phases of this project such as extending the lanes the rest of the way up I-270 would eliminate any new lane drop bottleneck that this first phase of the project would create. Showing a clear preliminary design of how the HOT lanes (on both I-495 and I-270) would have been planned to end and merge with the current GP lanes, at least in this first project phase would have also been extremely beneficial IMO. The "oh lets just have the federal government fund it" argument would have been another one since well, its the federal government and relying on them to agree to fund anything is always dicey. I'm sure there's some other myths that could have be debunked too.

Agree about poor PR in responding to claims from opponents.

The "we need more transit" argument is a standard one in Montgomery County by the county's anti-highway cottage industry.  It was repeatedly used by opponents of the MD-200 (ICC) project, including by one opponent who formerly lived in Takoma Park and stated that the D.C. streetcar system should have been "revived" instead of building MD-200.  Curiously, none of the people calling for more transit seemed to have heard of the Purple Line between New Carrollton and Bethesda.  And no, I doubt it will ever be extended beyond Bethesda to Tysons Corners for NIMBY reasons.

Another anti-ICC person claimed that "we need Portland [Oregon]," as in the regional governance agency that exists on the Oregon side only of the Portland area.  The same problem exists in Washington area.  I seriously doubt that the legislatures in Richmond and Annapolis would agree to a Portland model of land use planning and transportation planning.

3. Lastly, what probably irritates me off the most about this lunacy is how it directly affects American Legion Bridge rebuild efforts and Virginia's plan to extend their HOT lanes 3 miles north from the DTR to the Potomac River. Also why the hell did the Arlington and Alexandria TPB representatives vote against this I-270/I-495 HOT lane project? Do not both these localities currently benefit from HOT lanes on I-66 and I-395?. 

I do not really know why anyone of the members counties and cities voted against the project.

It is not widely known, but the American Legion Bridge is about as old as the now-demolished old Woodrow Wilson Bridge and at least one of the six bridges that makes up the American Legion Bridge is in poor structural condition (it had a deck replacement in the late 1980's and was widened to the 10 lane bridge that is there today at that time.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #324 on: June 23, 2021, 07:54:16 AM »

Maryland says it needs to cut transit, highway projects to offset lost private investment in toll lanes plan - Montgomery County’s executive says Gov. Larry Hogan is ‘arm-twisting’ after his toll proposal lost a key vote last week

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A week after losing a key vote on a state plan to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, Maryland transportation officials said they must cut other road and transit projects to offset $6 billion in private investment that would be lost with the highway-widening proposal.

Quote
The letter dated Monday from the Maryland Department of Transportation to the region’s Transportation Planning Board prompted one local official — and a key toll lanes critic — to accuse Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of “arm-twisting” to try to win back support for his highway plan.

Quote
In the letter, deputy transportation secretary R. Earl Lewis Jr. said the state had counted on $6 billion in private financing as part of a public-private partnership to replace the aging American Legion Bridge and make other highway improvements, along with building the toll lanes. Without that private investment, Lewis said, the state would have to divert money from other transit and highway projects to maintain the bridge and interstates as federally required.
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