Hogan plan to widen I-270, Beltway, BW Parkway meets with opposition

Governor Larry Hogan has unveiled a new "clean car act" in Maryland to improve air quality, but the governor also has big plans to address cars that are stopped idling in traffic.

The plan involves widening I-270, the Beltway, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Some lawmakers, however, may be throwing up some roadblocks in the Governor's way.

The Governor's partnership between public and private stake holders - called P3 - could ease congestion.

Montgomery County Delegate Sara Love says that while she agrees that congestion needs to be fixed, additional lanes aren't the answer.

She's pushing a bill to block the state from seizing any homes for the widening project, even though the Governor has said they're not going to do that.

"The reason we're doing this is to hold the Governor and the Secretary of Transportation accountable. They've both said they have no intention of taking our resident's property, this just says 'great, we're glad you say that, now please stick to that," Love said.

This is one of three Democratic bills targeting the Governor's road widening project.

One bill would require an environmental study before any contract is signed, another would require county approval before the state could create any new toll lanes, which could be part of the proposal.

For Hogan's part, ever since he announced the plan, he's faced a line of Democrats - especially in Montgomery County - throwing up questions and concerns about the plan even though they agree traffic on the road is terrible.

The Governor has said the state will not be taking anyone's homes because all the work will take place on the highways within the existing footprint.

The Governor - again today - touted P3 as much needed relief for traffic that is driving people crazy.

"It's critically important. People have been desperately looking for traffic congestion on 270 for probably 30 years, it's the second worst traffic in America. I can tell you most people not only in Montgomery County but across Maryland want us to improve the traffic congestion in any way we can," the Governor said.

He made the expansion of the three roads a highlight of his State of the State message, declaring "Marylanders are sick and tired of spending countless hours of their lives sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic."

Love's bill is scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 26.