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Author Topic: Maryland  (Read 121983 times)

jmacswimmer

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2225 on: December 30, 2021, 01:59:13 PM »

Another change at MDOT: just 2 years after Pete Rahn’s departure as Secretary, his replacement Gregory Slater will be leaving as well.  The MDTA director, James F. Ports Jr. will be taking a step up to be the next MDOT Secretary.

?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2226 on: January 07, 2022, 01:28:56 PM »

Pictures I took of the JFK construction yesterday morning:

Southbound just past MD 24.


Clayton Road overpass being rebuilt and notification of closed MD 152 park and ride.


Construction at Big Gunpowder Falls bridge, 70.3.


A close look at a crane just ahead of the previous photo.


Sound barrier being built approaching Joppa Road.
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epzik8

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2227 on: January 07, 2022, 01:29:36 PM »

The Old Joppa Road overpass near mile marker 73 has also completed reconstruction.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2228 on: January 13, 2022, 11:38:23 AM »

I don’t understand why the new toll gantries for the Fort McHenry Tunnel are being built next to the old toll plaza. Why not build them on the other side of the tunnel, in Locust Point, and avoid the complexities of staging both construction projects at the same site? The new Bay Bridge toll gantries were built on Kent Island so that the existing plaza could be demolished more easily, so why not do the same at the Fort McHenry Tunnel?
I guess it depends on what MDTA actually means by "just south of the existing toll plaza".  If they literally meant just south while the roadway is still widened out for the plaza, then I agree with your take.  But if the gantries will be installed closer to the tunnel portals (similar to what MassDOT did at the Sumner/Callahan Tunnels), then I'd think it becomes a non-issue.

Following up on this to note that the MDTA has created a project page for the FMT conversion with some before-and-after visuals...among other things, they show that the new gantries will indeed be close to the tunnel portals.

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2229 on: January 28, 2022, 11:44:21 AM »

A post about MD-193 (University Blvd) in Wheaton, that probably doesn't need its own thread:

https://mdot-sha-md193-amherst-to-arcola-shared-streets-maryland.hub.arcgis.com/


I attended a public hearing on Wednesday night.  Back in June-December, the MD State Highway Authority (SHA) did a 6 month pilot installing bike lanes along 1 mile of University Blvd, between Amherst and Arcola Avenues.  The road is 3 lanes in each direction, with a median and left turn pockets.  The pilot closed the right lane to all vehicles and turned it into a bike lane that was separated by plastic delineators.

 Transit buses were also prohibited from driving in the right lane, but could pull into the right lane to make stops to drop off and pick up passengers. Wednesday night's meeting was meant as a public forum to discuss SHA's findings, conclusions, and recommendations with regrad to the bike lane pilot.

At the meeting, the SHA staff members stated that they were not recommending reinstituting the bike lanes because there were not enough people using the bike lanes and there were numerous complaints from the local community with regard to safety and backups with right turns.


They invited folks to email other suggested locations for these hybrid bike lanes with bus stops.


shamd193bikelanes@mdot.maryland.gov




My personal thoughts: The bike lanes themselves did not really worsen traffic along University Blvd to any appreciable degree. But many commented (and I agree) that it is very hard to get an accurate reading on the traffic because so many are working from home due to the pandemic. My own observations from pre-pandemic times indicates that two lanes in each direction would not have been too problematic for traffic along this stretch.  This is especialy true westbound, where the right lane has forced traffic to turn right onto Arcola for a very long time, essentially restricting thru traffic flow on Univ WB to two lanes anyway.  However, 3 lanes are needed to transverse Four Corners and the Georgia Ave. intersection.  [Busy areas that are outside of the pilot corridor boundaries.]


A big source of backups, though were backups on Arcola, because the right turn channel was blocked during the pilot project. A lot of the complaints about the pilot were due to people living or commuting in Kemp Mill who noticed the backups along Arcola, where the block approaching University was shrunk from 3 lanes to 2 and right turners would essentially have to wait for a green light, since the right turn channel was closed. This also led to more difficulties for those on the side streets who wanted to turn onto Arcola.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/1111+University+Blvd+W,+Silver+Spring,+MD+20902/@39.0356734,-77.0261475,67m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b7cf6e73c2cf81:0xb8756125c14fdc9a!8m2!3d39.0371712!4d-77.0272102


While glad (and somewhat surprised) to see that SHA is not recommending the bike lanes here (despite strong support from most of the local politicians), I feel clearly that they would have been more accepted in the community if more notice were given to surrounding communities before the implementation and if the right turn channel from Arcola was not closed.  They received a lot of complaints from the community about Arcola, but oddly never actually studied the effects on Arcola directly.  This may be because University is a state highway, but Arcola is local, under the jurisdiction of the county DOT.


This section along University does get a lot of speeding, so it may be a good idea to block off the right lane from traffic. Perhaps if the right lane were reserved for buses and right turning and maybe parking, and no interference was made with the Arcola right turn channel, this would be more successful. A normal bus lane would still allow for people to make u-turns with the full width of the street and would also speed up buses.


Truthfully, the 1.3 mile segment of the pilot was too short to be meaningful for many bicyclists. However, it is pretty clear that Four Corners (US 29 / MD-193 intersection) is too busy and so no bike lane can extend down there, since all of the available lanes are needed for traffic. As it is, there are paths and side streets (Windham, Blueridge) connecting Sligo Creek to Wheaton. Those routes need to be paved up to comfortable standards for bikes and better signage is also needed. Bicyclists could use those routes instead of University Blvd.

Three lanes in each direction are needed to transverse the Wheaton business district and the Four Corners and Beltway intersections, but only two lanes are truly needed along the rest of the street between Langley Park and Connecticut Ave.  Given that, perhaps simply making the right lanes into bus only lanes (with right turns also permitted) would achieve the goals of speed reduction and safety, promote bus travel, while still maintaining adequate traffic flow on surrounding streets.
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epzik8

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2230 on: February 02, 2022, 08:05:53 AM »

?s=20&t=FSlCA7Fjw8sDBU2kBPYHDQ
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wriddle082

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2231 on: February 06, 2022, 11:07:04 PM »

A few weeks ago I incurred some EZPass tolls in Maryland.  On Monday 1/24, I drove the Ft. McHenry Tunnel NB and the I-95 toll plaza past the Susquehanna River NB.  And on Thursday 1/27, I drove the Nice Bridge SB.

Last October, I drove the Nice Bridge SB and it took approx. 10 calendar days for the transaction to hit my NC Quick Pass account.  Now it has been nearly 2 weeks and I still haven’t seen the charges come through.  I need to add them to an expense report so I can get reimbursed by my company since I was in a company rental car on company business.  How long has it generally been taking for MD to process EZPass transactions these days?  I have already seen other toll charges hit my account from PANYNJ, DelDOT, PTC, and DRJBC.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2232 on: February 07, 2022, 08:56:19 AM »

^

Thanks for presenting me an opportunity to rant about MDTA's toll processing  :banghead:

A recent trip on I-95/JFK Highway took exactly 2 weeks to post (transaction was on 1/21, toll posted on 2/4), so maybe you'll get lucky today?  I also took the Nice Bridge yesterday, so stay tuned on how long that takes...It's been all over the place since last April, when MDTA changed toll processing vendors.  It took almost a whole month for tolls to post immediately after the transition, gradually made it down to just under a week in July, and then has slowly gotten worse again since.

In addition to the vendor transition, there's also the matter of backlogged tolls that are still gradually being processed.  (During the initial stages of the pandemic, MDTA paused mailing all video tolls and paused posting E-ZPass transactions only on the ICC.)  They even issued a press release about it a month ago, in case you're interested:

https://mdta.maryland.gov/blog-category/mdta-news-items/maryland-tolling-update
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NJRoadfan

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2233 on: February 07, 2022, 04:32:35 PM »

Last time I crossed the Bay Bridge it took 18 days to post. One of the crossings last April never posted at all!
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2234 on: February 07, 2022, 04:41:30 PM »

My Bay Bridge crossing last year in August posted in just a few days.   Not too long.   My trip in 2020 never posted (or was charged, nor did I get any kind of violation notice).  I think a trip in 2018 took about two weeks to post.
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wriddle082

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2235 on: February 07, 2022, 10:59:54 PM »

The FMT $4 charge and JFK $8 charge finally hit today.  Exactly two weeks after the fact.  So this Thursday will be exactly two weeks since I drove the Nice Bridge, and by that logic I should hopefully see that charge on Thursday.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2236 on: February 16, 2022, 07:31:45 PM »

I also took the Nice Bridge yesterday, so stay tuned on how long that takes...

Update: 10 day lag for this one (posted this afternoon), so slight improvement from what wriddle082 noted.

I've actually come across several news articles regarding the topic since the above discussion, and apparently the situation has even been discussed in the Maryland Senate.  (Because, as often happens in politics, a senator was personally affected.)  Essentially, tons of Maryland residents (including said Maryland senator) are reporting receiving bills in the mail for the tolls from the March-October 2020 timeframe when MDTA paused processing video tolls, and in many cases the total is eclipsing 4 figures.  Sure makes me glad I've had E-ZPass and had my tolls continue to post the whole time, versus them accumulating for over a year plus fines...

As an example, here's a link to a Reddit post I came across in which the user was hit with 94 Hatem Bridge video tolls in one envelope. (And I think confirmed in a comment that they were supposed to be enrolled in the Hatem annual discount plan.)

And here's links to 2 recent articles on the topic - the first one has this little tidbit that confirms that the posting lag is due to MDTA juggling processing time between backlogged tolls & current tolls.  Also found it slightly humorous that the reporter reached out to VDOT, DelDOT, & NJTA to see how long they take to post tolls.

Quote
Sales said MDTA is taking a metering approach, which balances the pace of sending both backlog and current transactions. “During days when more backlog is processed, current transaction processing is slowed to minimize large balances from posting all at once,” Sales wrote in an email to WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii.

https://www.wmar2news.com/matterformallory/e-zpass-frustrations-backlogged-transactions-draining-drivers-accounts-long-call-wait-times-continue
https://www.wmar2news.com/matterformallory/new-legislation-targets-e-zpass-debacle-bill-waives-toll-penalties-allows-for-payment-plans

Not sure what other MD E-ZPass users on this forum have experienced, but I will note that I've had 3 minor issues since the vendor transition last April that were all easily disputed & resolved:

-Toll-by-plate posted on a 2-month lag when I was previously charged via E-ZPass for the same trip
-Toll-by-plate of someone else's car/plate not listed on my account (their plate was the same except for one character)
-E-ZPass charge as a 3-axle vehicle instead of 2 (not positive, but I might remember following a pickup towing a trailer thru the same lane, so their trailer must have been mistakenly attributed to me)
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"Now, what if da Bearss were to enter the Indianapolis 5-hunnert?"
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2237 on: February 25, 2022, 01:59:39 PM »

I just got a notice from Maryland for my Hatem Bridge toll from 12/26/2020 that did not go through on my EZPASS back then.  I guess they saw me shunpiking the US 301 toll on Sunday via Sassafras Rd/MD 282/DE 299 even though that money would have gone to DE.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2022, 03:13:32 AM by 74/171FAN »
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2238 on: April 10, 2022, 11:25:04 PM »

Why is the Beltway, and 295 in DC through Ft Meade so bad at PM rush hour, relative to the western Beltway and I-95 in MD?
Is it due to more essential workers and less transit east?
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2239 on: April 11, 2022, 08:51:36 AM »

Not sure what you're talking about.  The north and west legs of the Beltway are far worse than the south and east legs.
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Alps

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2240 on: April 11, 2022, 06:58:26 PM »

Not sure what you're talking about.  The north and west legs of the Beltway are far worse than the south and east legs.
295 itself is just not enough road for the demand

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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2241 on: May 09, 2022, 08:04:25 PM »

Why is the Beltway, and 295 in DC through Ft Meade so bad at PM rush hour, relative to the western Beltway and I-95 in MD?
Is it due to more essential workers and less transit east?

Well from what I could tell after making the mistake of sightseeing coming home from NC during the PM rush on a thursday, the merges aren't of sufficiant length (from what i could tell; I was in the left lane the whole time and couldn't see the other side of the road) and there no good alternative to get to I-95 besides going the long route of 395-Beltway.

Reminds me of the Van Wyck over here except 295 is a lot more scenic.


(EDIT: fix the y key, man!)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 10:30:30 PM by Alps »
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Re: Maryland
« Reply #2242 on: May 10, 2022, 12:05:04 PM »

Why is the Beltway, and 295 in DC through Ft Meade so bad at PM rush hour, relative to the western Beltway and I-95 in MD?
Is it due to more essential workers and less transit east?

Well from what I could tell after making the mistake of sightseeing coming home from NC during the PM rush on a thursday, the merges aren't of sufficiant length (from what i could tell; I was in the left lane the whole time and couldn't see the other side of the road) and there no good alternative to get to I-95 besides going the long route of 395-Beltway.

Reminds me of the Van Wyck over here except 295 is a lot more scenic.

Re the portion south of MD 175, you can thank the National Park Service.

https://www.nps.gov/bawa/index.htm
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