1. The main western arteries from both Washington, D. C. and Baltimore (i.e., I-270 & I-70) merge at Frederick.
2. Washington, D. C. and Baltimore are two of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation—combined they constitute one of the top 5 largest metropolitan areas.
3. The economy of the Washington-Baltimore region is one of the strongest, if not the strongest in the nation. This is in large measure because of the presence of the federal government. This ensures economic stability and growth in this region. And it also causes economic stability and growth in the surrounding areas—including Frederick County and the adjacent counties.
4. The location of the Potomac River creates a geographic boundary that causes the traffic coming from Washington, D. C. and Baltimore to funnel through Frederick. The convergence of I-70, I-270, U.S. 340, U.S. 40 and U.S. 15 at Frederick create a traffic bottleneck that affects all traffic going to areas west of Frederick.
5. The two main arteries going into Frederick from the east (I-70 and I-270) remain today at their 1960 sizes of two lanes each. This provided adequate capacity for about 40 years, but it is inadequate today. These roads reached critical mass several years ago—causing daily, and ever lengthening traffic congestion, especially during evening rush hours.
6. It is projected that the growth of Frederick will double within the next 20 years. In addition to this growth, the growth just beyond Frederick County—in Pennsylvania, in Washington County, in West Virginia and in Virginia is expected to exceed the growth in Frederick County. And the result of this growth will be doubled volume of traffic going through the Frederick bottleneck.
7. The congestion and disruption of lives caused by the Frederick bottleneck affects the lives of virtually all residents of Frederick County. It causes commuters to spend extra hours each week on the road; it stifles commerce during rush hours; it causes a lot of wasted travel time for almost all county residents; and it discourages new businesses from settling in Frederick.
To relieve the congestion in the Frederick bottleneck, Frederick County’s two principal needs are (1) for the North/South Parallel Road to be built and (2) for U.S. 15 to be expanded to three lanes in both directions.