A controversial plan to bring smoother commutes between Virginia and Maryland by adding toll lanes to parts of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 may not bring a big improvement to traffic flow during one busy travel period.
Computer models predicting driving speeds in 2045 from the George Washington Parkway to I-270 West Spur on the Inner Loop during the afternoon rush found that cars in the general travel lanes will only move at a snail’s pace, an average of 7 miles per hour, regardless of whether the toll project is built.
It also found the average travel speed for drivers who choose to pay to take the toll lanes would be 23 mph, despite promises from some transportation officials of 45 mph speeds on the HOT lanes.
The projections were done by the Metropolitan Council of Governments for the state’s updated draft environmental impact statement. The update is required by the federal government after the decision to not continue toll lanes from I-270 into Prince George’s County.