270 traffic spots

Traffic on Interstate 270 at Md. 80.

While debate continues over a Maryland plan to add toll lanes to Interstate 270, one effort to improve congestion on the busy highway is about to take effect.

The State Highway Administration’s ramp metering system will turn on Tuesday, meaning drivers on the southbound I-270 ramp at Md. 80 outside Urbana should soon see flashing yellow lights as the system prepares to go live on Sept. 15.

It’s part of the state’s I-270 Innovative Congestion Management project, a $132 million plan to deal with the traffic that often chokes the highway running from Frederick to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Other parts of the plan include adding more auxiliary lanes between interchanges, extending acceleration and deceleration lanes, and reconfiguring and restriping existing lanes.

Ramp metering uses sensors to determine traffic conditions in real time. Data is used to operate traffic signals that control the amount of traffic merging onto I-270 to regulate the amount of traffic on the road.

Once the system is active, motorists will stop when the beacons are flashing and can move onto the highway once the signal turns green, according to an SHA news release.

The activation process that begins Tuesday will unfold over the course of about a week, with groups of ramps being turned on each day.

The Md. 80 ramp is the only location in Frederick County among the 23 spots for ramp metering, SHA spokeswoman Shantee Felix said Monday. The other locations are in Montgomery County.

The signals will be able to operate from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day but are expected to be active during peak traffic hours and when the sensors detect congestion.

Along with the 23 spots on southbound I-270 that are being activated, SHA plans to install meters on 22 ramps to northbound I-270 in 2022, according to the release. In all, there are plans to have 45 meters at 18 intersections when the project is complete.

The congestion management project is separate from the Traffic Relief Plan that would stretch from the American Legion Bridge on I-495 between Maryland and Virginia to I-70 in Frederick.

The first step of that controversial initiative would replace the Legion Bridge and build two toll lanes from the bridge to I-370 near Gaithersburg.

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Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(17) comments


Better congestion plan would be extra investment in bringing more competition for internet providers to the area, and tax credits to any I-270 corridor companies for # of positions converted to full time / part time telework


Metering? ..So, what happens if you can't get on or are forced to wait in line for your turn? .If you can't get on the traffic will overflow onto local highways and cause even more problems. . Who thought of this and who approved the money?



These are actually pretty reasonable solutions that work well across the US


Experienced ramp metering in Atlanta, GA. I was skeptical st first but worked pretty well


Speed control would do wonders. People drive 70/80mph on the straight sections and then have to slow way down on curves and interchanges causing backups. Increase police presence to maintain traffic speeds many of the backup problems would go away.


Then ever place a police car sits, there is a backup.


A population growth relief plan would be cheaper and better for the environment. Unfortunately Biden's and the democrats' American Families Plan does the opposite

Greg F

Oh so now you blame population on Biden…FFS already. Your party are all about the importance of life with your anti abortion and birth control restrictions. Get real. Get lost.


Oh come on GregF, MD1756 did nothing of the kind. The population problem is pre-existing and needs mitigation for a myriad of reasons. The current American Families Plan does not provide such mitigation. It actually makes it cheaper to have more kids (and increasing the population) by subsidizing the costs of having a family of a size that many cannot afford. A flat tax rate on everyone, with no deductions (no mortgage deductions, no child deduction, no business deductions) is the fair taxation. It also gets rid of the "they should do something", because the "they" is "us", and we are all in it together.


Greg F, I hope you're not a product of the Maryland public school system. If you are and they graduated you from the 12th grade, we are in trouble.
First of all, I said nothing about Biden in my comment.
Second, I've gone on record a number of times in this forum saying I'm pro abortion I merely differ in that it is not simply a woman choosing to do what she wants with her own body since the intent is to kill another entity with slightly different DHA), but that certainly doesn't mean I'm against abortion.
Third, if read some of my previous posts, you'd know I'm registered as a democrat.
Fourth, I never voted for Trump and even though Biden is more liberal than I like, I voted for him in the last election.

Get a reading tutor. Get an education and put it to use to understand the link between our increasing human population and the various problems it causes.


Greg F, my mistake about my First statement, I did mention Biden specifically, but to make it clear, unlike many people, I can lie blame on a party I am registered with.


Anything but what is needed:

Six lanes to Frederick NOW!


The lights on ramps works horrifically in California, we shall see if it works better here.


And remember, when you are merging onto the highway PUT YOUR FOOT ON THE GAS! You should be at or exceeding the speed of traffic before you are in the merge area. This is NOT the time to try to save fuel by gently accelerating.

Greg F

And don’t be the moron who stops in the merge lane…good luck getting up to the stupid speeds of the cars passing that you’re hoping to merge with.



Greg F

This is way overdue. I've lived in a lot of differing metro areas and this is used to keep order in not having a train of unending cars all trying to merge without any gaps. Imagine 26 where it meets 15 before the lane extension. Imagine this on Motter or Rosemont on 15 where we get the constant backup caused by a train of cars let loose from the light so they all swarm on at once. This is why we currently see backups all over the place. NOBODY wants to let someone merge, while you have the other a-holes trying to race ahead to gain a second or better position before the merging lanes (like 26 and like 70 on to 15 N) who have to block you from even getting into a single line before you actually merge onto the next road. You know who you are. I just hope there is some enforcement on this because we all know the selfish pigs that will ignore the light meters and just ramble on through as if they weren't there.

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