City of Rockville Asks MDOT To ‘Pause’ Widening of I-270, I-495

The City of Rockville wrote to the Maryland Department of Transportation June 30, requesting that it “put a pause” to the widening of interstates 270 and 495 in light of the global pandemic.

“It is not responsible to continue spending taxpayers’ money on preliminary design, environmental studies, and hiring a developer while the country is facing significant economic changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” it states in the letter.

The Rockville mayor and council members previously have come out against plans to widen the roads, citing concerns about the nine neighborhoods and area businesses that abut I-270 and would be affected by the project.

They also have expressed concern about the lack of mass transit alternatives offered by the state and excess noise.

In their letter, the city officials noted that since the global pandemic, more residents have been working from home and many are expected to continued teleworking “which will likely lower traffic volumes on I-495 and I-270.”

The road widening project involves about 70 miles of highway from the I-270, I-370 interchanges to the Capital Beltway, then west to the American Legion Bridge and east to Maryland 5 in southern Prince George’s County.

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Suzanne Pollak

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.

Comments

One Response to “City of Rockville Asks MDOT To ‘Pause’ Widening of I-270, I-495”

  1. Avatar
    On July 2, 2020 at 5:25 am responded with... #

    A fair question to ask would be… is Rockville calling for a pause on all initiatives… or just those that working people, bringing tax dollars into Maryland need to get to work? I understand their position on telework, and that seems sensible. But the news reports have shown numerous accidents continuing in the travel between 270 and 495, despite telework, and despite many working from home. It would seem more reasonable that some of this initiative would continue, but not all of it. It is very simple for many to dismiss working travel, but given the attitude in chasing away too many technology and professional services businesses from Montgomery County over past 20 years, it is important for Rockville and Montgomery County to remember that the people working in Northern Virginia businesses are a lifeline of necessary tax dollars and spending.

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