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"Phase 1 South Toll Rate Range Setting Process"

Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370

Public Participation

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) held public hearings as part of the toll rate range setting process’ first public comment period for proposed High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes within Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370. Written and voicemail comments were accepted during the first public comment period from May 20, 2021 through 5 p.m. Thursday, August 12.

All public hearing materials were made available for public review and comment in a Virtual Information Room on May 20.  Public hearing materials, including the original tolling proposal, have been archived and may be accessed by visiting the Public Hearing Virtual Information Room Archive.  Information and studies used in the development of the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I 370 tolling proposal were also posted to the webpage on May 20.  *NOTE: The Public Hearing Virtual Information Room Archive reflects MDTA staff’s May 20 proposal. The minimum toll rate range (specifically as shown on Board 25 of 35) was lowered in MDTA staff’s September 30 Recommended Action (recommended toll rate ranges) based on feedback received from the first public comment period and was approved by the MDTA Board on November 18, 2021.

The MDTA held two in-person testimony hearing sessions from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 12, at the Hilton Washington D.C./Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center in Rockville. Two call-in testimony hearing sessions were held from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14.

The in-person testimony public hearing sessions on July 12 in Rockville provided for verbal public testimony for the record and were livestreamed. For those who wished, one-on-one testimony was presented via court reporter in a separate area. Limited printed copies of the informational boards presented in the Virtual Information Room were available. All MDTA staff and participants at the in-person hearing were required to follow CDC guidance with regards to COVID-19 precautions. During the sessions, a limited number of registrants were allowed, socially distanced, in the testimony room. Observers and others in the queue to present testimony were required to wait in a designated space to allow social distancing within the building.

The July 14 call-in testimony public hearing sessions allowed an opportunity for verbal public testimony via telephone (advanced registration was required to be admitted to the phone queue) and were livestreamed. The public was allowed to provide one-on-one testimony during the call-in hearing sessions, by calling 855-701-1977 and leaving a single voicemail message limited to three minutes.

Listen to the public hearing livestreams here (mp4):

View the public hearing testimony transcripts here (PDF):

In addition to listening to public testimony at the hearings, the MDTA received public comment via comment forms (electronic and hard copy), email at ALB270TollSetting@mdta.maryland.gov, and U.S. Mail at Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 Toll Rate Range Public Comment, Maryland Transportation Authority, 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224. A call-in testimony voicemail line was also available during the public comment period 24/7 where the public could call and leave a single voicemail limited to three minutes.

On August 26, 2021, the MDTA staff presented a summary and analysis of comments received during the public hearing comment period (May 20 to August 12, 2021) to the MDTA Board Members during an open meeting conducted via livestream.  This comment period served as the first of three public comment periods included in the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 toll rate range setting process. As a result of comments received during the first public-comment period from May 20 – August 14, 2021, the Recommended Action (recommended toll rate ranges) were revised to reflect a new base minimum per-mile toll rate of 17 cents/mile -- lower than the 20 cents/mile proposed in May. The 17 cents/mile is consistent with the base off-peak minimum per-mile toll rate for the MDTA’s Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200.

On September 30, 2021, the MDTA staff presented the Recommended Action (recommended toll rate ranges) for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 to the MDTA Board via a livestreamed meeting open to the public, and received approval to seek public comment on the recommendation.  This approval vote initiated the second public comment period, which spanned from September 30, 2021 through 5:00 PM on October 28, 2021. September 30 through Thursday, October 28 served as the second of three public comment periods included in the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 toll rate range setting process. During this second public-comment period, comments were accepted by the MDTA via voicemail, comment forms (electronic and hard copy), email, U.S. Mail.

On November 12, MDTA staff posted a summary and analysis of comments received during the second public comment period (and raw comment database) to MDTA’s web site. The comment summary also was presented during a livestreamed MDTA Board meeting that was open to the public on November 18, 2021 at 9 a.m. At this meeting, MDTA staff presented the final toll rate range recommendation to the Board, which included no changes to any elements of the Recommended Action (recommended toll rate ranges) that was presented on September 30. The Board accepted any additional public comment during the November 18th meeting prior to voting to approve the toll rate ranges. Pre-registration was required to comment on the final toll rate range recommendation during the November 18 MDTA Board Meeting, and those offering comments were required to attend the meeting in-person at the MDTA, 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224.

The public is welcome to watch all MDTA Board Meetings via livestream or attend in-person at 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, Maryland 21224.  

ALL COMMENTS received during the toll rate range setting process were given EQUAL CONSIDERATION.

If you are unable to access materials posted online, or if you require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or require language translation services (free of charge), please contact the MDTA’s Title VI Officer at mdtaeeo@mdta.maryland.gov or at 410-537-6720.

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