TPB Reverses Previous Decision On I-270/Capital Beltway Toll Project

It decided to put it in its air quality analysis.









Washington DC (KM) The toll lanes project for Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway is back on track. This follows a vote on Wednesday by the Transportation Planning Board. The TPB voted to put this project  back into its air quality analysis which is a federally-require step for it  to move forward.

The I-270 and Capital Beltway toll lanes project was removed from the air quality analysis last month by the Board, which would have killed the toll lanes if the vote stood. . But pressure from the Governor and other supporters persuaded the TPB to reconsider.

In a statement, the Governor called the vote “a great victory for Marylanders who are sick and tired of being stuck in soul-crushing traffic.”

The project also generated some opposition. A day before the vote, Josh Tulkin, the President of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club, spoke to the Frederick County Council, urging the county’s  TPB representative to vote against the project. “The expansion on the scale that this project is calling for would undo all of the other significant advances that we have made in reducing transportation pollution, and would have significant land use affect,” he said.

Plans are to install toll lanes on both highways which would be operated by a private company. The revenue   collected would help pay for widening both roadways.

Recently, the Frederick County Council replaced its current representative on the TPB, Councilman Kai Hagen, who voted against the project during the Board’ s June meeting, with County Executive Jan Gardner, who seemed more supportive.

The TPB says the air quality analysis required by the federal government for this project is expected to be completed by June, 2022.



By Kevin McManus