Maryland Department of Transportation issued the following announcement on May 17.
Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn today joined transit leaders from the National Capital Region in announcing the new Managed Lanes Transit Work Group that will explore how managed lanes on I-495 and I-270 will complement and benefit local transit agencies in Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Washington, D.C. The transit leaders joined Secretary Rahn, MDOT State Highway Administrator Greg Slater and MDOT Maryland Transit Administrator Kevin Quinn at MDOT Headquarters to determine how MDOT and local transit agencies can work together to move transit riders more quickly on the proposed managed lanes on I-495 and I-270.
“The goal is to keep cars, trucks and buses moving in the free lanes and the new managed lanes,” said Secretary Rahn. “Today’s discussion with transit experts throughout the Capital Region kicks off the new transit work group to maximize how to create the greatest synergy in a truly interconnected transit/highway system.”
This partnership will explore ways to use the P3 project to deliver this highway/transit system and leverage MDOT’s current $14.2 billion transit and $10.6 billion highway capital and operating investment over the next six years.
Joining MDOT officials from local, state and federal agencies were:
Paul Wiedefeld, general manager and chief executive officer of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority;
Al Roshdieh, director of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation;
Terry Bellamy, director of the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation;
Nancy Norris, director of Frederick County TransIT Services;
Gregory Murrill, division administrator of the Federal Highway Administration;
Ryan Long, community planner of the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration’s Office of Planning & Program Development;
Pat Keller, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning; and
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments representatives.
Secretary Rahn thanked the local transit leaders for contributing to the dialogue. He noted that attendance at the meeting was not an endorsement of the process, but an important step toward collaboration. “All of us are smarter together than any one of us alone,” he said.
Managed lanes have the potential for several transit benefits, including:
· greater reliability and operational improvements for bus routes in the corridor;
· faster and greater reliability for buses operating in the managed lanes;
· faster and greater reliability for automobile and bus access/connectivity to Metrorail, MARC and Purple Line stations; and
· improved opportunities for transit connections to major activity and employment centers.
As part of its I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study, MDOT SHA recently conducted a series of eight public workshops. In addition, MDOT SHA continues to meet with community associations and other stakeholders to discuss the study and the seven recommended alternatives that have been retained for detailed study.
“Throughout public workshops and meetings with stakeholders about the Managed Lanes Study, residents and officials made clear they wanted us to consider more transit options,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Slater. “We heard you and are committed to having transit providers at the table as part of the dialogue.”
“While we regularly partner with agencies in the region, this work group gives us a great opportunity to collaborate on ways to integrate better access to transit and improvements to transit into a managed lane project,” added MDOT MTA Administrator Quinn. “Integrating transit opportunities into highway projects is key to meeting the comprehensive needs of the region.”
The managed lane study area begins on I-495 south of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia and addresses the serious regional bottleneck at the American Legion Bridge. The study area extends to west of MD 5 (Branch Avenue) and includes I-270 from I-495 to I-370 and the I-270 spurs.
The study is among multiple approaches that are part of Governor Larry Hogan’s Traffic Relief Plan to address highway congestion throughout the state. As part of the plan, MDOT SHA is developing the I-495 and I-270 P3 Program, which aims to address congestion, improve trip reliability and enhance existing and planned mobility and connectivity for modes of travel, including transit, along more than 70 miles of interstate highways.
Studies over the last decade have shown the National Capital Region is one of the most congested in the nation, and Marylanders face the second highest commuting times in the country. Today on average, I-270 experiences seven hours of congestion daily. The duration is worse on I-495 with 10 hours of daily congestion.
For more information on the I-495 & I-270 P3 Program, visit the website at www.495-270-p3.com.
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION TRANSIT LEADERS’ COMMENTS
ON I-495 & I-270 MANAGED LANES TRANSIT WORK GROUP
“We appreciate the Secretary pulling together these important stakeholders on transit coordination. This only stands to benefit the process and the project going forward to make them better for everyone.” – Gregory Murrill, division administrator of the Federal Highway Administration
“I’m very grateful that transit is being considered. We’ll certainly participate in the work group and hopefully come up with some solutions.” – Al Roshdieh, director of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation
“I think this is very helpful because the future of economic growth in the region is going to depend on being able to move residents about the county. And we want to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to voice their opinion.” – Terry Bellamy, director of the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation
“This is really exciting, and we’re absolutely happy to be part of (the work group).” – Lyn Erickson, Department of Transportation Planning, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
“I really appreciate the effort of Secretary Rahn for bringing this group around the table to collaborate on this important effort of how transit can take advantage of managed lanes on I-495 and I-270.” – Paul J. Wiedefeld, general manager and chief executive officer of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
“I’m glad to see we are starting the process early – all as part of the same solution.” – Nancy Norris, director of Frederick County TransIT Services.
Original source can be found here.