HOT (Express) lanes in 495 beltway

At tonight’s meeting, the City Council will vote to send a letter with its concerns about the proposed additional toll or HOV lanes in 495 Beltway in north College Park.

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, the Transportation Planing Board (TPB) released a revised draft of the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan (RTPP) for public comment. This comment period will close on November 10, 2013.

You can see the RTTP draft document here. The RTTP draft proposes a express toll lanes (page 53) in order to reduce congestion.

The proposed new HOT or HOV lanes may take away homes in north College Park, especially those located in north Hollywood and south Sunnyside neighborhood.

A letter from the Mayor to the TPB says:

“We would like to express our concern about establishing, as a long-term priority, the addition of new lanes to existing roadways to establish High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) limited access lanes, and linking the expansion of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to the addition of these lanes. 

We support, in principle, the use of HOV and HOT lanes as a funding mechanism for road improvements, as well as the expansion of BRT.  However, BRT best serves the community on an urban grid of streets, and not on tolled highway lanes. 

Moreover, the addition of new lanes may have untold impacts on land use in the region and promote the use of automobiles as a means of transportation instead of serving the goal of reducing automobile use.”

Please let me know if you have any questions.