WASHINGTON -- In what could be a first, D.C. lawmakers are moving to come out against a major transportation project outside The District.
Tuesday, five members of DC Council introduced a “Sense of the Council” resolution opposing Maryland’s $9 billion plan to widen the Capital Beltway and I-270 in hopes of easing congestion.
If the resolution passes the 13-member council, the entire body’s official policy would be against the highway widening plan but there would be no change to Maryland plans or policies.
The resolution was introduced by Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1, who contends that adding lanes to highways does little to reduce congestion. The resolution instead advocates more public transit.
“Though divided into separate states and counties, transportation policy has region-wide effects,” said the resolution, which must first be considered by a committee.
“The additional trips that are induced by widened highways in Maryland and Virginia have direct and adverse consequences on District of Columbia residents and infrastructure.”
The resolution has not been shared with Maryland officials and a state spokesperson was unaware of the council action.
Earlier this month, Maryland unveiled new impact projections for each of seven possible highway design options. Construction on the first phase of the project, which spans I-495 from the George Washington Parkway to I-95 could cause 34 homes to be demolished.
The state is holding a series of public workshops over the next two months, including one Tuesday night in Greenbelt.
“We’re still at the early phases,” Lisa Choplin, director of I-270 & I-495 P3 Office, said. “This is an opportunity for people to come out and voice their concerns and their feedback.”
Read the full resolution here: