The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Will Be Briefed on I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study at May 1 Meeting

April 23, 2019

M-NCPPC staff will brief commissioners on Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study (ARDS) proposed by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration for the Interstate-495 and Interstate-270 Managed Lanes Study

SILVER SPRING, MD – The governing body of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) will be briefed by its staff on Wednesday, May 1 at 11 a.m. on status of the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) Interstate-495 and Interstate-270 Managed Lanes Study. The Managed Lanes Study is a MDOT SHA initiative to develop a traffic relief plan to reduce congestion on two of the state’s most heavily traveled highways.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, as the regional planning agency and the steward of the natural and built environments in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, is working with MDOT SHA as a Cooperating Agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Commission also will review the project as it moves through the regulatory process of mandatory referral review.

The briefing is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 1 at approximately 11 a.m. during the M-NCPPC full commission meeting in the auditorium of the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation Administration Building (6600 Kenilworth Avenue, Riverdale, MD). The community is invited to attend the briefing, but this meeting is not open for public comment.

Additional M-NCPPC Commission meetings may be scheduled in the future by the respective county planning boards. Visit the MDOT website for more information regarding upcoming community meetings hosted by MDOT SHA.

WHO:                The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

WHAT:              Briefing on I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study at M-NCPPC Full Commission Meeting

WHEN:              Wednesday, May 1, 2019

WHERE:           Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation Administration Building (6600 Kenilworth Avenue, Riverdale, MD)

About the I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study

This project is currently in the study stage. From the 15 preliminary alternatives, originally considered in July 2018, SHA has proposed to retain seven of those alternatives for detailed study (ARD). Public comment, agency comment and the result of more detailed analysis will ultimately determine the preferred alternative for design, construction and operation by a private entity.

Among the alternatives retained are combinations of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, and reversible lanes. The purpose of the briefing is for M-NCPPC staff to advise the M-NCPPC commissioners of the staff’s issues and comments with regard to those alternatives retained or eliminated from further consideration, and to hear any concerns from the commissioners in preparation for agency comment to MDOT SHA.

Additionally, the Montgomery County Department of Parks and the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation and Planning Department are reviewing any discrepancies with MDOT SHA on ownership and control of the existing right-of-way (ROW) to determine the potential impact to parkland, historic and cultural resources under their respective stewardship responsibilities.

Background

The I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study was initiated by MDOT SHA as the highway element of a broader plan to relieve traffic congestion on the busiest transportation routes in the region. The study considers improvements along I-495 (Capital Beltway), as well as along I-270 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Highway). The Managed Lanes Study will evaluate a range of alternatives within the specific area of I-495 from the Virginia side of the American Legion Bridge in Fairfax County to the Maryland side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and on I-270 from I-495 to I-370. A notice of intent to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Managed Lanes Study area was issued by the Federal Highway Administration on March 16, 2018.

MDOT SHA identified the purpose of the I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study to develop a travel demand management solution that addresses congestion, improve trip reliability on I-495 and I-270 within the study limits and enhance existing and planned multimodal mobility and connectivity. MDOT SHA has expressed its intent to utilize a public-private partnership (P3) in order to design, construct, operate and maintain any proposed infrastructure improvements.

Managed lanes are an option to provide travelers with a choice of single-occupant vehicle (SOV) travel in specific areas of roadways. Any selected build alternative is likely to have significant effects on parkland and the associated facilities, programs and natural and cultural resources in both counties, as well as significant community impacts. In order to address the impact of the alternatives, the Managed Lanes Study Area will ultimately evaluate properties and resources within approximately 300 feet of the existing I-495 and I-270 highway centerline. The magnitude of the impacts is currently being evaluated by staff in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and will be presented to the commissioners of M-NCPPC as details become available.

Learn more about the MDOT SHA Managed Lanes Study.

For more information
The public and other interested parties are encouraged to comment online at the study’s website (www.495-270-P3.com), by email at 495-270-P3@sha.state.md.us or hard copy during the public workshops held by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration. Hard copy comments can also be mailed to the I-495 and I-270 P3 Project Office at the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, 707 North Calvert Street, Mail Stop P-601, Baltimore, MD 21202.

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is a bi-county agency empowered by the State of Maryland in 1927 to acquire, develop, maintain and administer a regional system of parks within Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, and to provide land use planning for the physical development of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. In addition, the agency gained responsibility for the public recreation program in Prince George’s County in 1970.

Governing Body
The governing body of M-NCPPC consists of 10 members, five appointed by Montgomery County and five by Prince George’s County. The Commission coordinates and acts on matters of interest to both counties, and meets at least once a month. The members of the Commission from each county serve on separate county planning boards to facilitate, review and administer the matters affecting their respective counties.