State releases alternatives for I-270 construction

  • Published in Local

MD DOTLast week, state transportation officials released 15 different options for its plan to add lanes to I-270, as Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) plan to spend $9 billion on adding lanes on I-270 and other major roads moves forward.

In September, Hogan announced at a press conference in Gaithersburg that the state will spend $9 billion on reducing traffic in the County, among the nation’s most traffic-congested areas, by adding lanes on I-270 and I-495 through a P3 public-private partnership.


SHA holds open house on Hogan’s I-270 plan

  • Published in State

BETHESDA -- In September Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced his ambitious plan to fix traffic congestion on two of the County’s most important roadways by adding additional lanes.

In his proposal, Hogan promised to add toll lanes to I-270 and I-495 as way to clear traffic congestion with little cost to the taxpayer. Although Hogan promised his plan to widen I-270 and I-495 would be “transformative” for commuters around the state, some said they were skeptical of his plan.


A cautionary tale of the dreaded ‘yellow’ light

  • Published in Local

yellow light

It may not seem like a long time, but 3.5 seconds is the industry-accepted standard for all the time a driver needs to decide whether or not to speed up and make it before the traffic light turns to red.

Federal and state guidelines recommend that 3.5 seconds be the minimal interval for a light turning from yellow to red. The actual mathematical formula is determined by engineers who review the road’s speed limit, the incline of the road, speed limits at the nearby feeder roads and other factors.

However, not all of the County’s traffic light intervals are that long.

“It’s confusing, but we have always been in compliance with federal regulations,” said Richard Hetherington, manager of the County’s Traffic Enforcement Unit.


Moon warns Takoma Park of budget hole

  • Published in Local

Takoma Park Govt logo

TAKOMA PARK – The city’s 20th District delegates brought news of a state budget deficit to the City Council Tuesday in what Del. David Moon (D) approximated as a “billion dollar budget hole.”

Moon stated there will be cuts and limited funds will be prioritized but he did not elaborate on what would be cut.

However, Del. Sheila Hixson (D) stayed optimistic.

“I think that us asking for money, we don’t have to apologize for that, we don’t” said Hixson. “I mean when we go into these meetings, they say ‘You guys got it all’ and I say ‘Even if we do, it’s wearing out, so you’re going to have to help us.'”


Berliner 'skeptical' about Hogan's plan for tackling traffic woes

  • Published in Local

Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner (D-1) said he is not sure Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) call for adding $229 million for transportation infrastructure improvements will significantly alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

“I think many of us are skeptical that you can get a lot of change for $100 million,” said Berliner, a third-term council member who chairs the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee. “The proof will be in the pudding, it’s an innovative approach.”


Veirs Mill Road targeted for upgrades

  • Published in Local


Two government agencies have individual plans for improving Veirs Mill Road for pedestrian and bicyclist safety and to decongest traffic following two deaths of bicyclists there since December.

The State Highway Administration is planning to update their design plans to build a corridor to connect Montrose Parkway from MD-355 to Veirs Mill Road.

Meanwhile, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission plans to review the Veirs Mill corridor to potentially improve accessibility for residents to the future Bus Rapid Transit system.


Transparency Watch: DNC, DOJ blocks and transit praise

  • Published in Local

Transparency Watch

Each week The Sentinel staff will compile and report on the problems and promises of local, state and federal government officials as they provide us with public information.
We offer "Walls" to those who throw up roadblocks and "Windows to those who readily provide access.


*FBI Terrorist Screening Center spokesperson David Joly declined an interview request on behalf of Diane Kelleher, assistant director for the federal programs branch of the Department of Justice, regarding the terror screening database.

The DOJ nor the FBI will not be able to accept your request for an interview,” said Joly in an email to a reporter in reply to an interview request to Kelleher.


Vital repairs finished on Beltway bridge

  • Published in Local

DangerousbridgecourtesyphotoThe I-495 bridge over Jones Mill Road prior to repairs.   COURTESY PHOTO  

KENSINGTON – Road repair crews finished replacing a damaged deck on the Capital Beltway bridge over Jones Mill Road Monday as part of a $350, 000 project.

SHA spokesperson Charlie Gischlar said the SHA had crews repair the outer loop bridge in response to numerous complaints from motorists about a bumpy road and to prevent the bridge from becoming structurally deficient.

He said drivers called to complain their tires were “getting out of line” after driving across the bridge.

“It’s just an uncomfortable ride. We did it for ride quality,” he said.


Work begins on Sligo Creek

  • Published in Local


Sligo Creek bridge repairSligo Creek's bridge is being repaired in Takoma Park. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

The State Highway Administration recently awarded a $1.9 million contract to improve a section of a trail along Sligo Creek that is frequented by hikers and cyclists.

Work on the project began last week and is expected to be finished by the end of the year, said Christopher Bishop, a spokesperson for the State Highway Administration.

Between now and the project's completion, crews will be closing one lane in both directions intermittently.


Rockville Pike battle looms as residents fight expansion

  • Published in Local

Rockville 252 artist rendition from draft master plan 4-6-16-page-001An artist's rendition of the proposed widening of Rockville Pike as featured in the Rockville Pike Neighborhood Master plan latest draft.

ROCKVILLE – Opponents of the proposed Rockville’s Neighborhood Pike Plan told the mayor and City Council Monday they don’t want part of the road widened to 252 feet or building heights limited to 7 and 10 feet in the South Pike area.

The city would have to acquire parts of two or three private properties along the Pike, according to Planning Commissioner David Hill, including part of the PNC Bank site at Congressional Plaza between Halpine Road and Congressional Lane.

Existing curbs and sidewalks along Rockville Pike would also be removed in the widening area, though Hill noted the city and state “already own the right of way.”

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