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County:Montgomery Project Number:MO886_11
MD 0028 NORBECK ROAD/SPENCERVILLE ROAD MD 97 TO I-95

Frequently Asked Questions


Q:

What is the purpose of this study?

A:

The purpose of the MD 28/MD 198 Study is to:

- Relieve locally generated congestion while managing access;
- Improve safety and traffic operations for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians traveling along and across the MD 28/MD 198 corridor; and
- Preserve the rural and suburban quality of life relative to localized congestion while realizing the local planning visions for the communities along the corridor.

 

Q:

What is the need for this study?

A:

- Currently, portions of the roadways along the corridor are operating near capacity.
- Planned and future development is expected to result in increased congestion. Increased congestion is expected to lead to stop-and-go conditions.
- Several intersections are expected to experience failing conditions by the design year 2030. Intersection operations are constrained by lack of storage lanes for left and right turning vehicles.
- Several roadway segments between intersections will likely experience peak hour capacity constraints imposed by projected traffic volumes.
- Opposite direction, fixed object, truck related, injury, sideswipe, left turn, and wet surface crashes along portions of the corridor have occurred at rates significantly higher than the statewide average on similar roadways. The total crash rate along portions of the corridor is higher than the statewide average and conditions are expected to worsen as development occurs and congestion increases.
- Facilities for pedestrians and bicycles do not exist continuously along the corridor, and are not called for by design in portions of the master plans.

 

Q:

What are the limits of the study?

A:

The limits of the MD 28/MD 198 Study include MD 28 (Norbeck Road) from east of MD 97 to MD 182, Norbeck Road from MD 182 to MD 650, and MD 198 (Spencerville/Sandy Spring Road) from MD 650 to Sweitzer Lane.

 

Q:

What happened to the project schedule presented at the Alternates Public Workshop?

A:

After the Public Workshop in June 2002, the team developed a list of Alternates Retained for Detailed Study (ARDS). The regulating agencies concurred with the ARDS in Summer 2003. The team summarized the findings of the detailed studies in the Summer of 2004 after which the State identified the Intercounty Connector (ICC) Project Planning Study as its highest transportation priority. Because the two study areas overlapped, progress on the MD 28/MD 198 Corridor Improvement Study slowed. Since decisions have been reached on the ICC, work has resumed on the MD 28/MD 198 project.

 

Q:

Does the construction of the Intercounty Connector preclude the need for improvements to the MD 28/MD 198 corridor?

A:

No. Projected average daily traffic volumes in the 2030 No-Build conditions along the MD 28/MD 198 corridor, exceed the current roadway capacity of several portions along the corridor and operation on other portions of the corridor are predicted to deteriorate
even with the ICC in place.

 

Q:

Why are there so many options to the basic alternates?

A:

Based upon the public and agency comments received from the Alternates Public Workshop, various roadway typical section layouts, bikeway alignments, and locations for roundabouts were identified. The majority of the options can be "mixed and matched" with the
other options in the development of the selection of a preferred alternate.

 

Q:

Why is there such a large range of impacts in the preliminary alternates environmental impact table?

A:

The impacts shown in the table reflect a preliminary assessment of impacts, which could result from the alternates under consideration.
A more detailed evaluation and refinement of environmental impacts is being developed as part of the detailed study stage, which is the
current step of the project planning process.

 

Q:

What is the relationship between the MD 28/MD 198 Corridor Improvement Study and the Burtonsville Access Road Study?

A:

Montgomery County's Burtonsville Access Road Study will provide local traffic an alternate access to the businesses between Old Columbia Pike and US 29 on the north side of MD 198. SHA is coordinating with the County to ensure the design of the Burtonsville Access Road is compatible with the MD 28/MD 198 Corridor Improvement Study.

 

Q:

How does this study relate to the State's Smart Growth initiative?

A:

Portions of the project are outside designated Smart Growth Priority Funding Areas (PFAs). The preliminary alternates have been developed to manage and control access in order to meet the spirit of the Smart Growth initiative. The project will be evaluated by both Montgomery County and the Maryland Department of Planning before state funding of the construction phase can be programmed. If a build alternate is selected, this project would require approval for the Board of Public Works.

 

Q:

How have considerations been given to the protection efforts for the Upper Paint Branch Special Protection Area (SPA)?

A:

A Special Protection Area (SPA) is an area designated by the Montgomery County Council within a watershed where streams, wetlands, and related natural features are very high quality. The Upper Paint Branch SPA is located in the MD 28/MD 198 project corridor, mostly
south of MD 198 between MD 650 and US 29. This is the only watershed in Montgomery County that has supported a self-sustaining trout fishery for over 70 years (since 1930s).

The study team is aware of this sensitive resource and the protection measures (e.g. development requirements, designation of parkland, etc.) put in place by Montgomery County and has included a minimum impervious surface roadway typical section option within the SPA (Alternate 3 Option T1) as part of this study. We will work with the County staff to develop appropriate mitigation methods for impacts to
the SPA.

 


 
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