Need for multi-modal approach
What the studies have shown is that an innovative, multimodal approach that would redesign and reconfigure what is currently a single-use highway into a modern, efficient, multimodal facility with a combination of the current general purpose lanes (which would remain free to use), new express toll lanes (ETLS) to add new capacity and provide an ongoing revenue source to pay for the project, and high-speed bus-rapid-transit (BRT) using those new dedicated express lanes to add a viable, sustainable, high-quality, cost-effective transit alternative that connects the entire region.
Most Recent State Highway Administration Study Shows Dramatic Traffic Relief:
|I-270 Northbound – PM Peak Hour Travel Time & Peak Hour Speeds (I-370 to MD 109)||Existing (2007)||Alternative 1 in 2030 (No-build)||Alternative 7A/B in 2030 (GPL)||Alternative 7A/B in 2030 (ETL)|
|Travel Time||24 min.||32 min.||13 min.||13 min.|
|Gain in Travel Time over no-build||–||–||60 %||60 %|
|Average Speed||33 mph||31 mph||58 mph||58 mph|
|Gain in Ave. Speed over no-build||–||–||87%||87%|
|I-270 Southbound – PM Peak Hour Travel Time & Peak Hour Speeds (MD 109 to I-370)||Existing (2007)||Alternative 1 in 2030 (No-build)||Alternative 7A/B in 2030 (GPL)||Alternative 7A/B in 2030 (ETL)|
|Travel Time||21 min. (GPL)||29 min. (GPL)||14 min.||13 min.|
|Gain in Travel Time over no-build||–||–||52%||55%|
|Average Speed||37 mph||34 mph||57 mph||58 mph|
|Gain in Ave. Speed over no-build||–||–||68%||70%|
GPL = General Purpose Lanes (no toll)
ETL = Electronic Toll Lanes (new toll lanes)
Previous study data also show what doesn’t work: Doing nothing (the worst option by far); focusing only on local road, bus service and intersection improvements, or transit-only options; all of which have been studied extensively and found – conclusively – to be ineffective.
Lack of Funding is No Excuse: Preliminary analysis indicates that most of the project costs, including the BRT Transit vehicles and operations, can be financed through bonds backed by future toll revenues from the new express toll lanes. Both Virginia and Maryland have had great success in recent years with toll financing projects, including: The ICC, new express lanes on I-95 north of Baltimore, and new express lanes in Virginia sections of I-495 and I-95. Finding sufficient federal and state funding to restart the studies – the first step — is not a significant challenge and could be accomplished with a few million dollars.
Public Support is not only There – It’s “Off the Charts”: Recent polling shows overwhelming support for the innovative, multimodal approach we are encouraging officials to support. By a whopping 70%-10% margin, suburban Maryland voters support this combination of new toll lanes and regional BRT.
c/o Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance
PO Box 10352
Rockville, MD 20849