Monorail Study Moves Forward in Maryland

A plan to widen Interstate 270 in Maryland was approved earlier this year under the condition that the state also study a plan to build a monorail along the route.

December 17, 2019, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Dan Malouf writes: "Maryland will officially study a proposal to build a monorail along I-270, from Shady Grove to Frederick. Let’s examine whether that’s a crazy idea, or if monorail is a legitimate and practical possibility."

As noted by Malouf, the monorail feasibility plan is a component of a larger plan to widen I-270, approved by the Maryland Public Works Board in June 2019.

"If built, the foundation’s plan would see a 27-mile monorail, mostly along I-270, with six stops: Frederick, Urbana, Comsat (Clarksburg), Germantown, Metropolitan Grove, and Shady Grove. They say the elevated monorail would take 31 minutes to get from Frederick to Shady Grove, carry between 39,000 and 55,000 riders per day, and cost around $3.4 billion to build," explains Malouf.

Malouf digs into the strengths (e.g., lighter, cheaper, and aesthetic above ground) and weaknesses (e.g., must be elevated, can't switch tracks, potentially more expensive).

The High Road Foundation, the advocates behind the proposal, "seem most keen to provide a direct transit connection between Frederick and Montgomery County, according to Malouf, so the article also considers the potential of other modes (e.g., bus rapid transit, Metro rail, light rail, Diesel Multiple Units) to meet the need.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 in Greater Greater Washington

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

View from middle of street in downtown Telluride, Colorado with mountains in background

Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity

A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.

August 5, 2022 - Governing

Rendering of downtown Milwaukee sports stadium with soccer field

Sports Stadiums Bring Few Economic Benefits

While their developers often tout jobs and local economic development as benefits of major stadium projects, research shows these venues often make little impact on local economies.

46 minutes ago - Urban Milwaukee

Dallas Freeways

A How-To for ‘Freeway Fighters’

Ten recommendations for effective freeway removal advocacy.

1 hour ago - Strong Towns

Rendering of elevated rail ine

Miami Rapid Transit Project Moves Forward

The county completed the draft environmental impact study for a monorail and people mover planned as part of its rapid transit system.

2 hours ago - The Next Miami

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.