Hogan’s I-270 Plan Will Jumpstart Congestion Relief

May 22, 2017

ROCKVILLE, MD (May 22, 2017) – A new $100 million plan will improve – but not entirely fix – congestion on I-270 in the Washington suburbs, according to a new report from the Maryland Public Policy Institute. Despite the plan’s shortcomings, the report concludes that Governor Hogan’s plan will deliver a solid return on taxpayer investment. Read the full report at mdpolicy.org.

I-270 is one of Maryland’s most congested highways. Eight of the state’s top 30 bottlenecks are on I-270 and the highway has the 4th worst evening commute in Maryland, according to the State Highway Administration.

“I-270’s perpetual gridlock has robbed too many commuters of time, money and happiness,” said Christopher B. Summers, president and chief executive officer of the Institute. “Governor Hogan’s plan is an imperfect, yet important step toward getting Marylanders to their homes and places of work faster and more effectively. Given that I-1270 congestion costs $200 million annually, the governor’s plan more than pays for itself.”

The Hogan Administration’s plan seeks to relieve 14 bottlenecks between Bethesda and Frederick and will result in 23 additional lane miles. Most are either interchange modernizations or lane additions. Interchange entries and exits will get extended acceleration and deceleration lanes alongside existing travel lanes. Construction for the governor’s plan is estimated to take about a year, with most of it concluding in 2019.

Governor Hogan has correctly acknowledged that his plan is only a partial solution to I-270 commuter woes. Two solutions omitted from the governor’s plan include:

  1. Express toll lanes that would offer guaranteed free-flow rides and would likely pay for themselves, and;
  2. Frederick County improvements, including extra lanes between Clarksburg and I-70, that would free up congestion near a growing urban area.

The report was written by Peter Samuel, an adjunct fellow for the Institute. Mr. Samuel founded Toll Roads Newsletter in 1996, has written extensively for think tanks and policy journals, and is a resident of Frederick, Maryland.

About the Maryland Public Policy Institute: Founded in 2001, the Maryland Public Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization that focuses on state policy issues. The Institute’s mission is to formulate and promote public policies at all levels of government based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society.  Learn more at mdpolicy.org.