The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) approved new additions as well as changes to existing regional transportation projects for inclusion in an air quality analysis. The analysis is the the first step for the projects to become part of the region’s long-range transportation plan, Visualize 2045.
The analysis will determine if the projects meet air quality standards and ensure that future vehicle-related emissions remain below approved regional limits. The new projects that the TPB will study include submissions from the following:
- The Maryland Department of Transportation proposed adding managed toll lanes to I-495 and I-270, and reconstruction and widening of US 301, MD 201, and MD 97; reducing the scope of widening MD 29; and removing the widening of MD 27.
- Montgomery County proposed adding four segments to its Bus Rapid Transit network.
- The Virginia Department of Transportation proposed adding a secondary southbound lane on I-95 and widening US 15; and changing the completion date of the I-495 HOT Lanes project and the number of HOT lanes in each direction, as well as removing the planned Virginia Railway Express extension to Gainesville and Haymarket.
- The District of Columbia Department of Transportation proposed expanding its bicycle lane network with six additional segments and removing three segments of the planned streetcar network.
- WMATA submitted improvements to add capacity to the Metrorail system, such as running 100 percent 8-car trains during peak periods.
The project submissions were released for a 30-day public comment period on December 14, 2017. After the public comment period closed, Montgomery County requested adding the New Hampshire Bus Rapid Transit project, so the TPB approved an additional 30-day public comment period be initiated for this project. The TPB will vote to include this project in the air quality analysis at its February meeting.
The air quality analysis will be conducted between February and August. In October, the TPB will be asked to approve the results of the analysis and accept the projects for inclusion in Visualize 2045.
MORE: View additional information on the projects and analysis.