Recap - Strategies for I-270

Posted Date: 
October 13, 2015

Guest Speaker: Greg Slater, Director, Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering, State Highway Administration, Maryland Department of Transportation
Topic: Strategies for I-270

October 13, 2015 Recap  

The vice-chair of the Infrastructure and Land Use Committee, Gus Bauman of Beveridge &  Diamond, P.C., welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speaker, Greg Slater from the State Highway Administration. 

Before discussing I-270, Mr. Slater began his presentation with an informative overview to help set the context of the upcoming projects.  He spoke about the region in comparison to the state and the country and some unique characteristics of Maryland.  Maryland is a small state but it is the 5th most dense in terms of population.  The Baltimore Washington corridor is one of the most congested in the country.  The estimated cost of congestion in Maryland is $775 million a year (in terms of fuel, time, etc.)

The Maryland Mobility Report helps to map out congestion.  It also is a useful tool in Integrated Corridor Management where planners look at more than one corridor at a time. The future growth of traffic in our region will be shaped by the make-up of the workforce and increased Truck Trips.  The SHA and MDOT look to safety, mobility, system preservation and the environment as they make plans.  Investments happen with regard to safety and the conditions of the system first.

Mr. Slater said that I-270 is the most heavily traveled corridor in the nation with 240,000 trips per day.  It has a strong directional peak with the pm peak spreading out a bit more. Data shows that Tuesdays are the most congested day.

There are short-term and long term solutions being put in place:

  • Governor Hogan has committed $100 million to short term active traffic management system projects.  Rather than dictating what these projects will be, SHA will release an RFP with a call to the private sector to provide the best of their thinking.  The projects will be done with an eye toward best path to design and implementation.
  • For the long term, SHA continues to coordinate with MTA on multimodal solutions, is looking at the American Legion Bridge for ways to manage the flow of traffic, and seeking system preservation on I-495.

Attendees had a number of questions including the possibilities of an ICC West and Public Private Partnerships.  With three major trends impacting congestion – baby boomers, automated vehicles, and millennials - Mr. Slater talked about the focus on dynamic systems and work on the management and operations side.  The overall sentiment was that Maryland is getting into the game and investing in congestion relief.

More information about the State Highway Administration can be found here. To request a copy of Mr. Slater’s presentation, please contact Ilaya Hopkins.

For upcoming MCCC Member Exchange Meetings, click here.

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