Local Commuters Say I-270 Improvements Needed

Interstate 270 is on track to receive some upgrades in the coming years, and for some commuters, those changes can’t come soon enough.

Frederick, MD – The Maryland Board of Public Works has begun the process of improving traffic flow on 270, but whatever choices are made will affect the day-to-day life of commuters.

A WFMD reporter went out to the Urbana Park and Ride Lot to ask commuters their thoughts on possible ways to fix congestion on I-270. The Maryland Board of Public Work’s current proposal is widening the interstate to implement toll lanes and researching the viability of constructing a monorail track from Frederick to the Shady Grove station in Rockville.

“The monorail seems like the better option,” said Tanya Mercado who usually commutes to the Rockville and Silver Spring area. “Honestly I think we need all those options, they keep building without putting in enough lanes on the roads.”

With the proposed toll lanes on I-270 from Frederick to Montgomery County, the proposal includes the notion of allowing public buses to access the toll lanes.

“[Toll roads] will make it better it better in the short term,” said Rayh Koontz who regularly commutes on I-270 by bus. “But in the long term it will just be more people and more cars again.”

Nishanth, a student at College Park has takes the bus from Frederick to Silver Spring and said traffic usually adds more than 30 minutes to his commute.

“This bus should usually take only 55 minutes,” Nishanth said. “Definitely those toll lanes should help.”

Although the plan to build toll lanes and research a monorail has been approved by the Board of Public Works, construction on the $11 billion project will not begin until contract proposals have been finalized in Fall 2020.