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Author Topic: Northern Virginia lays miles of pavement to ease traffic, while Md. dithers  (Read 2345 times)

cpzilliacus

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Washington Post op-ed: Northern Virginia lays miles of pavement to ease traffic, while Md. suburbs dither

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The gap between how Virginia and Maryland try to relieve some of the nation’s worst highway congestion keeps expanding.

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And far more Marylanders are taking notice.

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Northern Virginia is laying pavement. It has built 87 miles of tolled express lanes since 2012 to carry cars and trucks on the Capital Beltway and Interstate 95. It is planning another 114 miles of lanes, mostly for I-66.

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Meanwhile, the Maryland suburbs are merely thinking about widening their biggest highways — someday, maybe.

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In the four years since Northern Virginia opened its first express lanes, Maryland has added no new capacity along its half of the Beltway or I-270, although drivers there creep through some of the area’s most severe traffic clogs.

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Instead, suburban Maryland’s political leadership has focused on pressing for new transit projects, especially the light-rail Purple Line. Analysts say local elected officials have been wary of backing bigger highways partly because they fear backlash from environmentalists and other road skeptics.


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AlexandriaVA

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It's a little misleading to paint it as Virginia=roads Maryland=transit, because Maryland just finished the major ICC construction project, whereas Virginia is also building Silver Line Phase II, the Potomac Yard metro station, and BRT systems; first finishing the Potomac Yard-Crystal City system and next will do the Alexandria West End BRT system. They have also made progress on VA-7 BRT plans as well.
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cpzilliacus

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It's a little misleading to paint it as Virginia=roads Maryland=transit, because Maryland just finished the major ICC construction project, whereas Virginia is also building Silver Line Phase II, the Potomac Yard metro station, and BRT systems; first finishing the Potomac Yard-Crystal City system and next will do the Alexandria West End BRT system. They have also made progress on VA-7 BRT plans as well.

The ICC is great - for those that can use it.  It has materially  improved travel times from Rockville and Gaithersburg to BWI; and has removed some traffic from parallel routes. 

But there are many in both counties that seem to be of the opinion that since the ICC is done, there should be no more highways built in either county.

That one road is great, but it clearly does nothing for traffic trying to get across the American Legion  Bridge.  Even though the Montgomery County Master Plan of Highways has an unspecified number of HOV lanes from the Virginia end of the bridge to I-270Y, there was absolutely no consideration given by the Montgomery County Council and its planning staff to hooking up to the 495Express Transurban lanes in Fairfax County.
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epzik8

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I saw the I-66 widening in Haymarket the other day. I exited off I-66 at U.S. 15 because I was headed to Frederick to "turn around" and go back toward Baltimore. They were paving U.S. 15 south of Leesburg as well. At least I got my first segment of U.S. 15 in Virginia and completed it in Maryland.
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cpzilliacus

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Washington Post op-ed response by ex-Montgomery County Planning Director Rollin Stanley: Smart growth requires more than roads

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Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn is clearly off track in criticizing efforts in Montgomery County to create smart-growth communities reliant on transit and to suggest that we need more road capacity.

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I was planning director in St. Louis when Rahn was director of the Missouri Department of Transportation. His department’s idea of an efficient transportation system was to build a four-lane highway to any small community. He failed to realize then, as he fails to realize now, that any town or community worth visiting has an efficient, vibrant transit system — and some congestion. Those communities see higher land values thanks to transit and attract people who may not own a car.

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When I was Montgomery County’s planning director, I sat on the county’s economic development advisory panel with the former director of Bethesda’s Suburban Hospital. He told me that his staff, on average, faced 45-minute commutes. Many of these workers, who were critical to the local health-care system, relied on the county’s excellent bus system. Maintaining a car is expensive for many people, including those workers essential to keeping a hospital functioning.
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DJStephens

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Re: Northern Virginia lays miles of pavement to ease traffic, while Md. dithers
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2016, 11:21:59 AM »

Wow.  talk about a traveler. When did Rahn wind up in Maryland?  Thought he was still in New Mexico with district III (Bernalillo county).   Most of his directed activities under the Johnson Administration, as the transportation head in new mexico (1/95 - 1/03) were of low quality.  Knew that he then went to Missouri where figured havoc would have been created.  Rahn then came back to new mexico to become District III head under Gov.  Martinez (Jan 11). 
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia lays miles of pavement to ease traffic, while Md. dithers
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2016, 11:42:29 AM »

Washington Post op-ed response by ex-Montgomery County Planning Director Rollin Stanley: Smart growth requires more than roads

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The billions (roads) cost will be fruitless, as you can’t build your way out of congestion.

False. Completely false. 

The ultra-billions transit costs doesn't build our way out of congestion either. 

And when there's an issue on the roads and highways, there's plenty of redundancy to put people elsewhere.  When transit has issues (Let's say, oh, the Metro), there's very little if any redundancy. 
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