Solution to I270 Traffic - Driving on the Shoulder? - NBC4 Washington

Solution to I270 Traffic - Driving on the Shoulder?

Shoulders would be open from Frederick to Clarksburg



    I-270 is one of the most congested corridors in the Washington area. A proposal would ease the gridlock by allowing commuters to drive on the shoulder. (Published Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012)

    It's no secret - the I270 corridor between the Beltway and Frederick is among Maryland's most congested stretches of roadway.

    High occupancy lanes help take up some of the rush hour volume below Clarksburg.  But during peak travel times in the morning and evening, the portion of 270 heading up to Frederick is packed.

    Frederick city transportation planner Tim Davis and city Alderwoman Carol Krimm just pitched a plan to give drivers an extra lane by driving in the shoulders, the Frederick News-Post reports.

    The idea was introduced at a transportation meeting of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

    From the paper:

    The proposal: On the 13-mile stretch of I-270 between the City of Frederick and the point in Montgomery County near Clarksburg where the northbound high-occupancy vehicle lane ends, the northbound shoulder would open to traffic during peak afternoon rush-hour, and the southbound shoulder would similarly open in the morning.

    "People who go to work (are) stuck in traffic, wasting their time, family time, and wasting money and gas," Krimm said. "There's just so much waste involved in traffic congestion."

    Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

    A Maryland State Highway official told the News-Post that several factors would need to be considered, including the strength of the pavement in the shoulder lanes, and the width of shoulder on bridges, which might be narrower than the normal roadway.

    In Virginia, the shoulders of portions of I66 are open during the rush hour.