State seeking input on how to address congestion on northern portion of I-270

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is seeking ideas from the public about how to address congestion on northern portions of I-270 between Gaithersburg and Frederick.

The plans are being managed through a public-private partnership.

Dozens gathered Wednesday in Frederick to learn about the project and give their input. It remains in an idea phase before an environmental impact study, required by the federal government, begins.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced his support for new toll lanes on the Capital Beltway and I-270 from I-495 to I-370, a separate project.

But no decision has been made for congestion relief tactics on the portion of I-270 from I-370 to I-70.

Commuters in attendance at Wednesday's meeting called for mass transit options.

"We want them to build trains. Spend money on trains and mass transit," said commuter Frank Cantwell.

There was also opposition to toll lanes.

"The average person that commutes can not afford to do the toll lanes every day," said commuter LeAnna Wachter.

Both projects for the southern and northern portions of I-270 are on similar timelines, according to MDOT officials, with the goal of completion set for 2029 or 2030.

MDOT officials confirmed a short-term project to ease the highway's commute is about halfway complete through Montgomery County. It includes upgrading ramp technology with ramp metering to better control the flow of traffic on to the highway. That project should be complete in 2020.