New Poll Finds Small Majority Support for Bay Bridge and I-270 Expansions

A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll recent found that 55% of state residents favor the idea of adding a third span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and 51% back Governor Hogan’s plan to add express toll lanes to I-270 and the Maryland part of the Capital Beltway. The poll was conducted by phone Oct. 9-14 among a random sample of 860 Maryland residents. The overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Support for the I-270 expansion drops as income level falls with only about 4 in 10 people with a household income less than $50,000 supporting the idea, compared to 6 in 10 residents with a household income over $100,000. In counties where the highways are located, Maryland Matters reports that support lowers to a combined 45%.

According to the Washington Post:

Overall, Marylanders rank transportation as one of the state’s less pressing problems, with 10 percent citing road and transit issues as their chief concern. That is about even with those who consider taxes and affordable housing as the top issue and below those who name crime (22 percent) and public education (20 percent).

From Washington Post’s coverage:

The state is conducting a $5 million federally required study to assess the potential environmental effects of building a third span. It would augment the original two-lane span, built in 1952, that carries eastbound traffic and the three-lane westbound span that opened in 1973. Both are about four miles long.

State officials haven’t said how much a new crossing would cost or how the state would pay for it. However, a top state official told the Baltimore Sun in 2018 that it could cost up to $10 billion. The poll did not ask whether Marylanders would be willing to pay higher tolls or taxes to fund a bridge expansion but instead whether they would support the project when “considering state government budget priorities.”

With transportation projects in Maryland constantly evolving and roadway safety being essential for Marylanders to enjoy recreational and economic opportunities, it’s important to stay up to date on what solutions are out there and what the future could hold. Join us for a two sessions on (1) Contemplating Our Congestion Crisis and (2) No More Deaths: Vision Zero and Maryland’s Mission for Roadway Safety at #MACoCon this December.

Here are more details:

  • Title: Contemplating Our Congestion Crisis
  • Description: Everyone can agree that there is an issue with traffic congestion in Maryland. With new plans and projects being revealed every year, what transportation alternatives should be considered? Join this panel for a discussion on what the future holds. Panelists will discuss transit options and solutions such as telework, bikes, complete streets, and mass transit.
  • Speakers:
    • Dan Reed, Planner, Toole Design Group
    • Graham Young, Complete Streets Manager, Baltimore City
    • Travis Johnston, Director of Locally Operated Transit, Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration
    • Mark Belton, County Administrator, Charles County
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, December 4, 2019; 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm


  • Title: No More Deaths: Vision Zero and Maryland’s Mission for Roadway Safety
  • Description: From Mountain Maryland to the Eastern Shore, from expressways to comfortable conduits, safety on our roadways is essential to connecting all Marylanders to recreational and economic opportunities. Join our panelists to learn about the statewide effort to improve roadway safety with a goal of reaching zero vehicle-related deaths or serious injuries on the roadway by the year 2030. Explore how to make traffic safety an essential piece of your annual planning by developing local Strategic Highway Safety Plans and hear more about the tools available to complete this process.
  • Speakers:
    • Christine Nizer, Administrator, Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administrator
    • Bala Akundi, Principal Transportation Engineer, Baltimore Metropolitan Council
    • Monique Anderson-Walker, Council Member, Prince George’s County
    • Scott Flanigan, Director, Department of Public Works, Cecil County
  • Participating Moderator: The Honorable Julie Palakovich-Carr, Maryland House of Delegates
  • Date/Time: Thursday, December 5, 2019; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Winter #MACoCon on Twitter