I-495 & I-270
Traffic Relief Plan

HCCMC supports the construction of the High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on I-495 and I-270. This much-needed project will keep  Montgomery County and surrounding counties economically competitive with Northern Virginia and will lift the economic status of the State of Maryland.
Image credits: Famartin – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79772419

Take Action Now!

This coming Wednesday —August 11th— the Maryland Board of Public Works will be taking a vote on whether to award the preliminary engineering work on the phase 1 of the I-495 & I-270 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Program. This initiative is crucial if we want Montgomery County to become economically competitive with Northern Virginia, and lift the economic status of the State of Maryland.

Contact the Maryland Board of Public Works to the following addresses and express your support for this project TODAY!

In your e-mail subject, please specify “Support for 10-GM and 11-GM – P3 Program”. We are providing three templates below that you can use in your e-mail or letter. Feel free to choose and modify the one that best fits your interests to support this project.

Maryland Board of Public Works: email.bpw@maryland.gov
Office of Governor Larry Hogan: valerie.radomsky@maryland.gov
Office of Comptroller Peter Franchot: aklase@marylandtaxes.gov
Office of State Treasurer Nancy Kopp: jkille@treasurer.state.md.us

You can also send an electronic message through www.fixmdtraffic.org

Letter Drafts

Economic Growth Emphasis

Subject: Support for 10-GM and 11-GM – P3 Program

Montgomery County has long presented itself as “the economic engine” of Maryland due to its growth in employment and population in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. However, between 2010 and 2019, the County has lagged in business formation behind Prince George’s and Frederick Counties, and has been far behind all Cities and Counties in Northern Virginia. One of the main reasons for this deficient economic development posture is the everyday congestion on our road system and the lack of significant transportation projects slated for construction.

I-270 and I-495 are clear examples of the intolerable levels of congestion experienced by employees and residents in our County. That is now. It will be much worse in 2045 by which time our region plans to grow by more than 1.2 million people and 900,000 jobs. Traffic volume is expected to increase by 34,000 vehicles per day at the American Legion Bridge, our only convenient connection to Northern Virginia. Unless the proposed improvements envisioned in Phase 1 of the Traffic Relief Plan are built, residents in the future will refer to our exhausting levels of congestion as “the good old days of travel.”

We urge the Board to support the construction of the HOT lanes on I-495 and I-270 if we want to become economically competitive with Northern Virginia and lift the economic status of the State of Maryland.

Vote YES for the P3 contract as currently envisioned by MDTA.

Public Transit Service Emphasis

Subject: Support for 10-GM and 11-GM – P3 Program

For more than 10 years the State, Montgomery County and WMATA have experimented with the provision of bus transit service between the economic centers of Montgomery County and Northern Virginia. Each of these efforts has lacked enough ridership leading to the cancellation of the experiments. Time after time the buses got stuck in the same gridlock as all other vehicles, thereby offering no significant advantage to travel by automobile.

Construction of the HOT lanes will now provide the only practical transit option that will give a competitive time advantage to the bus over the single-occupant automobile. By ensuring a speed of 45 mph in the HOT lanes, the service will have an advantage to vehicles running at speeds as low as 15 mph.

Construction of the toll lanes will not only help carpoolers and transit users but also those in the general traffic lanes. Additionally, residents and employees in the County will be able to ride, without transfers, on a bus rapid transit system from White Flint, Gaithersburg and Clarksburg through Montgomery Mall and into Tysons Corner and other areas of Northern Virginia.

Vote YES for the Managed Lanes contract as currently envisioned by MDTA and provide the opportunity for practical and cost-effective transit service between Maryland and Virginia.

Emphasis on Benefits to Disadvantaged Residents and Businesses

Subject: Support for 10-GM and 11-GM – P3 Program

Design and construction of the HOT lanes along I-495 and I-270 is estimated to provide 7,500 annual high paying jobs as a result of this project. Local residents and businesses will be directly benefited by the design and construction efforts, as well as by the economic development advantages the project will provide in Montgomery County over the long term. As residents and business owners in the County, we welcome the benefits the project will provide to construction workers, engineers, small construction companies that will benefit with subcontracts, restaurant owners who will see increases in their customer base, small service providers that carry their business across the American Legion Bridge, and on and on.

But in addition to those positive impacts, the selected developer has made commitments to provide community grants and training that will be of special benefit to members of minority and protected groups. This effort will result in truly beneficial environmental equity, contrary to statements by nay-sayers.

We urge you to vote YES to proceed with the next contract phase of the Traffic Relief Plan for I-495 and I-270.