Civic News
Innovation / Municipal government / Transportation

Maryland seeks tech solution to I-270 congestion

The state wants innovative ideas, so officials are turning the regular procurement process on its head.

Can tech help keep I-270 moving? (Photo by Flickr user Doug Kerr, used under a Creative Commons license)

Interstate 270 has some of the worst congestion in the D.C. ‘burbs. But now, according to the Washington Post, Maryland has a plan to reduce gridlock — and it involves tech companies.
In what officials believe is the first program of its kind, the state is setting a price — $100 million — and asking companies to pitch new high-tech ways to keep traffic moving. Indeed, other than that one requirement to keep traffic moving, Maryland is open to all of your ideas. This is a far cry from how the regular government procurement process works.
“We’re not excluding anything,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn told the Post. “We’re telling the world, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked in Maryland or even in the U.S. If you’ve gotten traffic to move in Shanghai or anywhere else, you can make it work here.”
The planning for the pitch and procurement process seems to be in the early stages. Rahn told the Post that a call for proposals will be released in June, but details beyond that have not been finalized.
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