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Citizens Against Beltway Expansion

TOLL LANES DON’T WORK

 

Adding toll lanes to the Beltway (and I-270) would fail to resolve congestion and impose substantial damage to our communities, our environment and our wallets. We know this from the experience in Virginia and from an environmental review conducted by the Maryland Dept. of Transportation (MDOT). Nonetheless, policymakers seek to widen the Beltway in Montgomery County and in Prince George’s County.

Maryland’s Plan for Montgomery County

Governor Moore and MDOT refuse to study alternatives to toll lanes, such as transit, incentives for telework and other options that more effectively address congestion. Instead, they are pursuing federal grants to add toll lanes to I-495 from the American Legion Bridge up to the I-270 West Spur and to the I-270 West Spur. In the future, they plan to add toll lanes to I-270 between the I-270 West Spur and the I-370 interchange in Gaithersburg. 

 

The Maryland Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s approval of the I-495/I-270 toll lanes, highlighting that the environmental review for the project failed to meet federal standards. The lawsuit is pending in the federal court of appeals.

Virginia’s Plan to Move Its Congestion
to Prince George’s County

The Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT) is working on a plan to add private toll lanes to the Beltway from Springfield, VA, across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, up to Oxon Hill, MD. Known as the Southside Express Lanes, these toll lanes would block a future extension of Metrorail’s Blue Line over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which would provide a more effective transportation option for the region. In addition, the toll lanes would move a traffic bottleneck in Springfield to Oxon Hill. Read a critique of the plan by Prince George’s County.

Survey Reflects
Strong Opposition to Toll Lanes

The Transportation Planning Board (TPB) asked the public for feedback on major transportation projects proposed by Maryland, DC and Virginia transportation departments. The voting showed overwhelming opposition to highway-widening projects. A whopping 89% were opposed to adding toll lanes to I-495/I-270 in Montgomery County. The Southside Express Lanes were opposed by 87%. The NEXT toll lanes project in Virginia, extending toll lanes from Old Dominion Drive to the American Legion Bridge, was opposed by 84%. See the summary of results on pages 236 and 240 of the TPB staff report.

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Citizens Against Beltway Expansion
P.O. Box 3593
Silver Spring, MD 20918
240-731-2490
495CABE@gmail.com

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