Federal Planners Push Back at Hogan’s Plan to Add Toll Lanes on Beltway, 270

​Members of an influential federal panel expressed frustration with the Maryland State Highway Administration on Thursday, accusing the agency of failing to do a rigorous analysis of a proposal that — according to backers — could ease traffic congestion in Montgomery County by using existing roadways.

The panel, the National Capital Planning Commission, is crafting its official response to a key environmental report on the Hogan administration’s plan to widen the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) and Interstate 270.

During a lengthy discussion, commission members expressed many of the same criticisms that local leaders, state legislators and planning agency staff in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have leveled at SHA ever since Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced plans to add four “express toll lanes” to the two highways.