MDOT officials speak on traffic relief plans to city and county officials


FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Elected officials from both Frederick County and the city held a joint meeting to hear an update from Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) representatives on how they plan to address congestion and safety along Interstate 270, 495 and US-15.

“There is seven hours of congestion on I-270, every day, and 10 hours of congestion every day on I-495,” said Lisa Choplin, director of DBIA, “That is a significant amount of impact to the quality of life for individuals who live in this region.”

MDOT representatives introduced their impact studies, highlighting a need to hear feedback from local officials and residents.

“We want to hear from them,” said Jeff Folden, deputy director of DBIA, “We want to make sure we’re taking their thoughts and comments as we’re moving forward and try to develop the right solution to move traffic in the region. But also do it in a way where its palatable from a financial perspective.”

John Kane is a representative for Citizens 4 Traffic Relief, an advocacy group that wants to address congestion along I-270 as soon as possible, and he attended the meeting to support the project..

“We think — for too long — we’ve spent too much time talking about, what is the best solution,” said Kane. “And in fact, it’s all the above.”

In terms of addressing safety along US-15, MDOT introduced a plan to add J-turns in order to reduce angle crashes in the area. However, MDOT could not give a tentative schedule as funding is incomplete.

Frederick mayor Michael O’Connor expressed concerns over a stormwater study that is being conducted concurrently in the US-15 area.

“As a part of a project with Route 15, make sure we’re considering the climate change impacts that we know are here and that we’re going to have to deal with as we move forward,” said O’Connor.

MDOT plans on holding public forums throughout November to receive input from local commuters.

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