SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) — Many of those in our coverage area spend hours in traffic, that’s why Maryland officials are working to try to give drivers some relief.

There’s been back and forth for many years on traffic congestion in the area, and meanwhile drivers are still sitting in traffic.

“355 which is a state road cannot sustain that type of traffic so I ask that you reconsider,” said Tina E. Patterson, MNCPPC Planning Board Member.

 The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration briefed the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission on their managed lanes study for interstate 495 and 270, much of which runs through Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince Georges counties.

The state highway administration’s findings included responses to concerns raised by the commission and the public on issues like how they plan to add more traffic lanes would impact homes, parks, and the environment. Some at the meeting held up signs that read stop beltway expansion.

“We have other alternatives that we could use to actually reduce our traffic problems without disrupting parks and neighborhoods,” said Janet Berry, Montgomery County resident.

“We think the alternative is all day service on the MARC train,” said Ben Ross, Chair of Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition.

Some of the MNCPP board members felt MDOT SHA did not address concerns made previously. A suggestion was made to focus on one part of 270.  

“For us to focus on exit 9 and south only is a disservice to anyone who travels on 270,” said Patterson.

Both parties couldn’t seem to agree on the current plan, officials suggested another briefing to circle back on the plan at a later date.

The plan also has to align with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate potential environmental impacts arising from the action.