The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) today voted in favor of evaluating HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes along with other proposed projects to determine how they would affect the area’s air quality if they were added to the region’s long-range transportation plan.
The HOT lanes project submitted to the TPB would add four new toll lanes to the Capital Beltway on the northern Virginia side that would stretch from the Springfield Interchange (I-95 and I-395) to Georgetown Pike (Route 193). New lanes have not been added on the Virginia side of the beltway since the mid-1970s.
Supporters contend that the beltway is in desperate need of increased capacity and that HOT lanes will help relieve the region’s growing congestion problem.
Some HOT lanes opponents argue that widening roads without a primary focus on smart growth and development close to public transit will be a wasted effort.
The TPB will vote on including HOT lanes in the region’s long-range plan in the fall.
The TPB is the regional transportation planning organization for the Washington region. It includes local governments, state transportation agencies, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA), and members of the Maryland and Virginia General Assemblies.