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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: Alex on August 27, 2009, 12:06:04 AM

Title: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on August 27, 2009, 12:06:04 AM
Md. warns of I-95 delays for overnight ICC work

LAUREL, Md.
Maryland highway officials are warning late-night motorists to expect delays on Interstate 95 between Baltimore and Washington as crews build the interchange with the Intercounty Connector.

The closings on the interstate between Route 198 in Laurel and Route 212 in Beltsville began this week.

Construction of the 18-mile ICC that will connect U.S. Route 1 with Interstate 270 began in spring 2007, but much of the work so far has taken place along the path of the toll road.

State highway officials say weeknight closures in southbound lanes could start as early as 7 p.m. and northbound lanes could close as early as 8 p.m. Southbound lanes are expected to reopen by 6 a.m. and northbound lanes by 7 a.m.
Title: Re: Maryland
Post by: Alex on August 27, 2009, 12:09:32 AM
Connector Road Inches Along (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/15/AR2009081502715.html?hpid=topnews)

The 18.8-mile toll road is expected to cost almost $2.6 billion by the time its final link is completed between Interstate 270 in Montgomery County and Route 1 in Prince George's County. The highway, projected 25 years ago to cost $216 million, found its origins in a long-abandoned plan to create a second outer beltway around Washington.

The western end of the project is on schedule, and parts of it should open in a little more than a year, according to state construction supervisors. Inching eastward, the next two segments are expected to be finished late next year or early in 2011.

Despite its grandeur in size, technology and expense, the highway that will open section by section over the next two years is little more than half as long as the one promised in 1958. That one was to stretch in a 32-mile arch through Maryland suburbia, from a point just north of Potomac around to Bowie.

Planners envisioned that most of it would be finished by 1970.
Title: Re: Maryland
Post by: Chris on August 27, 2009, 09:12:53 AM
So construction prices have boomed in the U.S. too... In the seventies you could do 1 mile of freeway for $ 1 million in NL. Now that's closer to 10 - 20 million. Really much more than just inflation.
Title: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on September 24, 2009, 10:13:14 AM
WTOP reports (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=30&sid=1769474) and the ICC website confirms (http://www.iccproject.com/tolling-proposed-plan.php) that the proposed tolling schedule for the InterCounty Connector (ICC, or MD 200) has been announced, thus starting the 60 day comment period.

There will be congestion pricing built into the toll in that a higher toll will be charged during peak hours...6-9am and 4-7pm M-F (excluding holidays).  Though this will be a static toll vice a dynamic toll (like what you see on HO/T lanes).

Peak toll will range from 25-35 cents/mile for 2-axle passenger vehicles, with non-peak tolls ranging from 20-30 cents/mile.  Multi-axle vehicles will have much higher rates (potentially up to $2.63/mi for 6+ axle vehicles during peak hours).

The rates will initially be static (i.e. 28 cents/mile).  If it's determined by the MDTA Excecutive Secretery that rates need to go up or down, there will be a 10-day public notice made before the rate chane goes into effect.  If the toll rate change falls outside the previously set parameters (i.e. less than 25 cents/mile or greater than 35 cents/mile for peak-period passenger vehicles), a public comment period is required.

The plan is for the road to be all electronic tolling...no toll booths.  EZPass-compatible of course.  For those without EZPass, licence plate photos will be taken and the vehicle owner will be sent the bill, plus a $3 service fee "for the process of taking the picture, finding who the vehicle belongs to, and sending out a bill".

First phase of the ICC (I-370 to MD 97/Georgia Ave) is expected to open late next year (2010), with the rest of the ICC opening in late 2011 or early 2012.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on September 25, 2009, 09:27:48 PM
Interesting, I did not know this was intended to be a toll road.

I made this (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111595727668495324446.00044ba36626c6c3e8a0b&z=11) a year and a half ago.
Good to hear the project's still moving on schedule.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on September 29, 2009, 12:47:15 PM
So I can  keep my EZ Pass account and pay an extra $1.50 in fees each month on top of the ICC tolls, or I can terminate the account and pay an extra $3 in fees on each ICC trip. Or I can use I-495 without fees and hefty tolls and cross my fingers that traffic won't be bad. Or I can just tolerate traffic lights  on the surface roads.

So many suboptimal options...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mightyace on September 29, 2009, 06:33:15 PM
So I can  keep my EZ Pass account and pay an extra $1.50 in fees each month on top of the ICC tolls, or I can terminate the account and pay an extra $3 in fees on each ICC trip. Or I can use I-495 without fees and hefty tolls and cross my fingers that traffic won't be bad. Or I can just tolerate traffic lights  on the surface roads.

So many suboptimal options...

<sarcasm>
Welcome to life in 21st century America!  :poke:
</sarcasm>

<rant>
I don't know whether I'm just on my way to becoming a cranky old man or what, but that seems to be happening more and more in my life.  I look at a situation and the available options and I don't like any of them.
</rant>
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on September 29, 2009, 07:06:06 PM
Well the problem is multifold.  To oversimplify:

- We (and I'm speaking about America in general) want good roads, but don't want to pay for them.

- We complain about toll roads, and we complain when proposals to raise the gas tax are floated, so the two main sources of road funding get whittled down as a result.

- For various myriad reasons, oil, concrete, and steel prices have shot up markedly in recent years, meaning that transportation revenue buys less now than it did even 5 years ago.

- We allowed developers and elected leaders to build us to the point where most of us have no choice but to drive to get anywhere and sit in traffic in the process.

- And for those who like the suburban cul-de-sac type of development, too many either fail to understand or don't care that it A) requires more driving, and B) concentrates traffic on fewer routes, than more traditional development, which is both more walkable and has a grid-system of streets to spread traffic out.

I could wax poetic for weeks on the subject, but that's the main points right there...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: flaroads on September 29, 2009, 07:16:11 PM
Well put, Froggie. I could not agree more with your synopsis described above.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mightyace on September 29, 2009, 07:30:00 PM
Well the problem is multifold.  To oversimplify:

- We (and I'm speaking about America in general) want good roads, but don't want to pay for them.

Agreed. We want to have our cake and eat it too.  But, one way or another our government spending needs to match its income.  I think most of us can agree on that.

Of course, when you try to decide how much to spend and on what, that's when we open the political can of worms.  :sombrero:
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on November 26, 2009, 11:48:02 PM
Bridge over ICC to open this week (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/23/AR2009112301798.html)

Quote
Monday, November 23, 2009; 12:02 PM

A newly built bridge that carries Old Columbia Pike over the Intercounty Connector project is to open this week.

The Maryland State Highway Administration said work crews would finish painting roadway markings on the bridge Monday. The bridge is part of the Contract C of the ICC, a section of the expressway that reaches from just west of U.S. 29 to just east of Interstate 95. That portion of the roadway is scheduled to open late next year or in early 2011.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on November 26, 2009, 11:51:47 PM
Jump in Md. tolls likely after 2010 (http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/commuting/bal-md.cm.authority16nov16,0,2764380.story)
Transportation agency hit by falling revenues, ICC's rising cost
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mightyace on December 18, 2009, 09:02:31 PM
Maryland ICC to toll cars 10c to 35c/mile - first all-electronic tollroad in eastern US (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4499)

and tolls for Trucks and vehicles with Trailers will be MUCH steeper.

Quote
toll rates over 2 axles go up sharply
3-axles=3.0x 2-axle rate,
4-axles=4.5x 2-axle rate,
5-axles=6.0x 2-axle rate,
6-axles=7.5x 2-axle rate.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on January 16, 2010, 05:32:40 PM
The US 29 interchange has some ramp bridges taking shape above and around US 29. There is a VMS promising 15-min closures of US 29 in the near future.  It's interesting how close this interchange is to the new Briggs Chaney Rd. interchange.  It appears that they planned to build the MD 200 interchange just barely far enough away to not have to reconfigure part of the BCRd interchange.

From the MD 97 interchange, you can see a lot of mud in the shape of ramps and the mainline.  Going NB, MD 97 looks like the shoulders have been rebuilt to allow the beginning few yards of the ramps down to MD 200.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 24, 2010, 05:48:24 PM
The rain and snow this winter has apparently put ICC construction behind schedule, according to WTOP (http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=30&sid=1896346).  Though they still plan to open the first phase this fall.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: njroadhorse on May 16, 2010, 05:48:03 PM
Quick report about ICC progress.  Yesterday, I was coming home up 95 North, and was presently surprised to see the interchange between the ICC and 95 well underway.  Currently IIRC, the overpass for the ICC is up and over 95, and construction on the flyover between ICC east and 95 North is about half done.  There might have been another ramp under construction, but I couldn't tell. 

One question, when the ICC is done completely, will it be signed as MD 200 or as an I-370 extension?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on May 16, 2010, 06:11:45 PM
MD 200.

That interchange has been underway for about a year or so now...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lamsalfl on May 30, 2010, 02:52:49 AM
Well the problem is multifold.  To oversimplify:

- We (and I'm speaking about America in general) want good roads, but don't want to pay for them.

- We complain about toll roads, and we complain when proposals to raise the gas tax are floated, so the two main sources of road funding get whittled down as a result.

- For various myriad reasons, oil, concrete, and steel prices have shot up markedly in recent years, meaning that transportation revenue buys less now than it did even 5 years ago.

- We allowed developers and elected leaders to build us to the point where most of us have no choice but to drive to get anywhere and sit in traffic in the process.

- And for those who like the suburban cul-de-sac type of development, too many either fail to understand or don't care that it A) requires more driving, and B) concentrates traffic on fewer routes, than more traditional development, which is both more walkable and has a grid-system of streets to spread traffic out.

I could wax poetic for weeks on the subject, but that's the main points right there...


Coming from a non-tolled state, I used to despise the thought of toll roads when I traveled.  Most of this traveling was in Florida.  Then I became highly irritated with toll booths... toll booths malfunctioning by not taking my change and red lights and a buzzer sounding that I bought a SunPass.  Ever since I bought a SunPass my views have changed completely.  When I drive on a toll road in Florida (OOCEA, Tpk, MDX, etc) I know I can expect a road of the highest quality including elaborate landscaping.  Also, OOCEA and Florida's Turnpike have excellent websites to find out more information including road histories. 

I know toll roads are not always in the greatest shape in other states (I'm looking at you, Oklahoma), but with the ease of SunPass (and other states' transponders) paying the toll is very well worth it because you get necessary expansions and new routes much faster than waiting for a piece of funding from Washington or allocated state resources.  "BUILD (or widen) THE DAMN ROAD ALREADY!" is sometimes what we say when we're begging for improvements to non-tolled facilities. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mgk920 on May 30, 2010, 12:38:07 PM
Well the problem is multifold.  To oversimplify:

- We (and I'm speaking about America in general) want good roads, but don't want to pay for them.

- We complain about toll roads, and we complain when proposals to raise the gas tax are floated, so the two main sources of road funding get whittled down as a result.

- For various myriad reasons, oil, concrete, and steel prices have shot up markedly in recent years, meaning that transportation revenue buys less now than it did even 5 years ago.

- We allowed developers and elected leaders to build us to the point where most of us have no choice but to drive to get anywhere and sit in traffic in the process.

- And for those who like the suburban cul-de-sac type of development, too many either fail to understand or don't care that it A) requires more driving, and B) concentrates traffic on fewer routes, than more traditional development, which is both more walkable and has a grid-system of streets to spread traffic out.

I could wax poetic for weeks on the subject, but that's the main points right there...


Coming from a non-tolled state, I used to despise the thought of toll roads when I traveled.  Most of this traveling was in Florida.  Then I became highly irritated with toll booths... toll booths malfunctioning by not taking my change and red lights and a buzzer sounding that I bought a SunPass.  Ever since I bought a SunPass my views have changed completely.  When I drive on a toll road in Florida (OOCEA, Tpk, MDX, etc) I know I can expect a road of the highest quality including elaborate landscaping.  Also, OOCEA and Florida's Turnpike have excellent websites to find out more information including road histories. 

I know toll roads are not always in the greatest shape in other states (I'm looking at you, Oklahoma), but with the ease of SunPass (and other states' transponders) paying the toll is very well worth it because you get necessary expansions and new routes much faster than waiting for a piece of funding from Washington or allocated state resources.  "BUILD (or widen) THE DAMN ROAD ALREADY!" is sometimes what we say when we're begging for improvements to non-tolled facilities. 

It used to be in the first few decades after WWII that fuel taxes were able to cover the costs of building and maintaining most of the nation's roads, but due to the failure to set it up as a percentage-based tax instead of the fixed dollars per unit volume that it is now, inflation destroyed that and such tolls are now politically needed for many of these projects.

That said, you haven't seen a FANTASTIC road until you've driven the just rebuilt Tri-State Tollway (I-94) in Lake County, IL.  I was totally blown away by how GOOD it was, especially when compared to its 'before' situation, when I first drove it late last year.

BTW, I don't know if the 'cashless' ICC will even 'ding' a vehicle with Louisiana plates, nor my vehicle with Wisconsin plates, should I ever drive it without an EZPass-compatible transponder (toll plus a small service charge photo-collected for non-EZPass users).  Many/most of Florida's 'Sunpass-only' roads don't.

Mike
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NJRoadfan on May 30, 2010, 01:19:36 PM
BTW, I don't know if the 'cashless' ICC will even 'ding' a vehicle with Louisiana plates, nor my vehicle with Wisconsin plates, should I ever drive it without an EZPass-compatible transponder (toll plus a small service charge photo-collected for non-EZPass users).  Many/most of Florida's 'Sunpass-only' roads don't.

Mike

So thats why I saw so many non-Sunpass equipped cars with out of state plates blasting through the Sunpass only lanes on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lamsalfl on May 30, 2010, 05:20:08 PM
So thats why I saw so many non-Sunpass equipped cars with out of state plates blasting through the Sunpass only lanes on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge...

I live in New Orleans and I have a Sunpass!  Maybe I was one of those out of state plates.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on June 05, 2010, 08:22:09 PM
Here are the new I-370 WB lanes at the MD 200 interchange:
(http://cmap.m-plex.com/images/i370wbatmd200.jpg)
They're now a 30 mph loop ramp.

Will I-370 be truncated to MD 200 when the ICC is opened?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on August 30, 2010, 12:54:42 PM
Md. to close southbound I-270 for sign work (http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=delawareonline&sParam=34402923.story)

Quote
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — The Maryland State Highway Administration says all southbound lanes of Interstate 270 will be closed for brief periods early Tuesday morning in the Gaithersburg area so that crews can install an overhead sign structure.

The SHA said Friday that all four lanes south of Exit 10 will be shut down for two, 15-minute intervals between midnight and 4 a.m.

The agency is urging motorists to uses alternate routes such as state Route 355 during that time.

The SHA says the work is part of the Intercounty Connector, a six-lane toll road that will run between Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on August 30, 2010, 06:35:27 PM

Will I-370 be truncated to MD 200 when the ICC is opened?
I don't know exactly where the changeover occurs, but I do know the parking lot end of I-370 will no longer be the Interstate.  It may be unnumbered, 200, or an unsigned spur like 970.  370-200 will be the mainline.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on September 09, 2010, 01:07:08 PM
MTA is planning a 5K run/walk (http://www.wtop.com/?sid=2048547&nid=25) on the first segment (expected to open by or before January).  The 5K is planned for October 17.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on September 09, 2010, 05:49:21 PM
MTA is planning a 5K run/walk (http://www.wtop.com/?sid=2048547&nid=25) on the first segment (expected to open by or before January).  The 5K is planned for October 17.
"The race will take place on about 1.5 paved miles of the first segment."  I guess the race goes for 1.5 miles, loops to the other side, and goes back to the start?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on September 09, 2010, 08:54:52 PM
Probably.  Definitely some sort of out-and-back.  3 miles is about 5km.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Eth on November 14, 2010, 10:05:49 AM
Md. to close southbound I-270 for sign work (http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=delawareonline&sParam=34402923.story)

Quote
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — The Maryland State Highway Administration says all southbound lanes of Interstate 270 will be closed for brief periods early Tuesday morning in the Gaithersburg area so that crews can install an overhead sign structure.

The SHA said Friday that all four lanes south of Exit 10 will be shut down for two, 15-minute intervals between midnight and 4 a.m.

The agency is urging motorists to uses alternate routes such as state Route 355 during that time.

The SHA says the work is part of the Intercounty Connector, a six-lane toll road that will run between Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

As of Friday, there were still no signs present on these sign bridges (about three of them, IIRC), nor has there been any sign of modifications to the existing BGSes for I-370.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on December 07, 2010, 10:08:06 AM
WTOP is reporting (http://www.wtopnews.com/?sid=2190580&nid=30) that the opening of the first segment has been pushed into 2011 due to recent rain and cold weather.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on December 12, 2010, 08:22:18 PM
I spotted some new signs on I-270's express lanes today.  In each direction, there is a big green sign that is mostly blank but with an I-370 shield in the lower left.  Probably these will say something like "370  TO  TOLL 200" later, to explain the offset I-370 shields.  There are no MD 200 shields anywhere on I-270, I-370, nor at the metro station aside from the years-old project signs.

VMSs are announcing a planned lane shift to come on Dec. 18. Perhaps this will take the present median-shifted lanes and put them back on the usual through lanes pavement.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on December 17, 2010, 10:05:22 PM
Presumably the inclusion of the ICC in http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tollpage/t1part3.htm (rather than http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tollpage/t1part4.htm) is incorrect?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Eth on December 31, 2010, 11:31:53 AM
Decided to make a quick run by the ICC area this morning.  Observations:

Saw the signs treichard mentioned.  The rest of each of those signs is currently greened out.  It looks to me like there's no longer any mention on southbound I-270 of the Metro station with respect to this interchange, unless it's up past the MD 124 exit.

They're finally numbering the exits on I-370.  Eastbound, the gore point sign at the MD 355 north exit now reads "exit 2".  There are also exit 3A and 3B gore signs for what I'm thinking will be the Shady Grove Road and Metro station exits, respectively.  The I-370 mainline currently departs to the right a little before that exit 3A sign.  Westbound, some of the new BGSes have exit tabs, indicating exit 2 for MD 355 and exit 1 for I-270.  Given that northbound is a right exit and southbound is a left exit, I would assume these will ultimately be 1B and 1A, but I saw no indication of such today.

Visible from the westbound lanes of I-370 (through the 270-degree turn) is a BGS on the MD 200 mainline reading "END TOLL [200] BEGIN (370)".  Based on this, it seems most likely that the connector to the Metro station will no longer have a (signed) route number.

All new signs are, of course, in Clearview.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on December 31, 2010, 05:30:18 PM
If the connector remains under SHA maintenance, it'll still have a route number for "bookkeeping" purposes.  Given precedent elsewhere, I see it being one of the following:  remaining I-370, SPUR I-370, I-370X, or MD 200A (or another letter suffix).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on January 01, 2011, 03:03:49 AM
If the connector remains under SHA maintenance, it'll still have a route number for "bookkeeping" purposes.  Given precedent elsewhere, I see it being one of the following:  remaining I-370, SPUR I-370, I-370X, or MD 200A (or another letter suffix).

Not sure it's remaining MDSHA maintenance though, from what I've heard.  It's definitely not I-370, and I don't see it being SPUR because it's not equal to the other "leg" of the route.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: rickmastfan67 on January 04, 2011, 12:40:54 AM
Maybe Business Spur I-370 then?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 07, 2011, 01:00:35 PM
It's announced. (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/TollFacilities/ICC.html)  First segment of the ICC, between I-370 and Georgia Ave (MD 97) will open February 22.  Toll collection begins March 7, though the $3 service fee for non-EZPass customers is waived until April 6.

Also mentioned on the schedule is that the rest of the ICC out to I-95 (the extension to US 1 was deferred due to the financial situation) is definitely pushed into 2012 now.  There had previously been hope that it'd open in late 2011.

With this in mind, if we want to have a meet that takes full advantage of the toll-free status, our options are narrowed down to only two weekends.  I'll make a post on this in the meets folder.

(EDIT) Here's the thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4120.0) for discussing a potential meet.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Henry on February 07, 2011, 03:47:51 PM
It's announced. (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/TollFacilities/ICC.html)  First segment of the ICC, between I-370 and Georgia Ave (MD 97) will open February 22.  Toll collection begins March 7, though the $3 service fee for non-EZPass customers is waived until April 6.

Also mentioned on the schedule is that the rest of the ICC out to I-95 (the extension to US 1 was deferred due to the financial situation) is definitely pushed into 2012 now.  There had previously been hope that it'd open in late 2011.

With this in mind, if we want to have a meet that takes full advantage of the toll-free status, our options are narrowed down to only two weekends.  I'll make a post on this in the meets folder.

(EDIT) Here's the thread (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4120.0) for discussing a potential meet.


It'll be interesting how this turns out. Hopefully, they won't lose too much money on it, like South Carolina did with the toll section of I-185! :)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: MDRoads on February 09, 2011, 12:11:20 AM
If the connector remains under SHA maintenance, it'll still have a route number for "bookkeeping" purposes.  Given precedent elsewhere, I see it being one of the following:  remaining I-370, SPUR I-370, I-370X, or MD 200A (or another letter suffix).

Not sure it's remaining MDSHA maintenance though, from what I've heard.  It's definitely not I-370, and I don't see it being SPUR because it's not equal to the other "leg" of the route.

We'll only know for certain when SHA releases the new Highway Location Reference in July, reflecting conditions at year-end.  Because no part of the ICC is open at that time, it may take an additional year for the final designation changes to appear after opening.  Even though it will be under MDTA (toll) maintenance, SHA is the sole keeper of the route log, and changes in maintenance along routes are noted.  Every road and street in the state is entered into the database (~65 MB), with the same detail, no matter who maintains it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 15, 2011, 12:23:58 PM
Some local news media folks are tweeting that the speed limit will be 55 MPH.

Also, here's a photo of one of the overhead toll collection assemblies:  http://plixi.com/p/77611873
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: rmichael87 on February 18, 2011, 05:31:11 PM
I can't wait to drive on this - it's been a long time coming!

One question I had was about the existing MD 355 interchange. They have been doing a lot of work in that area. Right now, traffic on MD 355 has no direct access to I-370 (future MD 200) eastbound, which made sense because I-370 ended a mile down the road at the Metro Station.

But I've looked at the maps and it seems like they are not adding any new ramps? It looks like the only new movement will be that westbound MD 200 traffic will be able to go south onto MD 355 using a new traffic light at the current off-ramp. But will traffic on MD 355 have to turn east onto Shady Grove Road and drive to the current I-370 interchange to pick up MD 200 eastbound? That is a long detour. I know that space is constrained in that area but it seems like they could have tried to allow direct access to the ICC eastbound from MD 355.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 18, 2011, 05:38:10 PM
I can't wait to drive on this - it's been a long time coming!

One question I had was about the existing MD 355 interchange. They have been doing a lot of work in that area. Right now, traffic on MD 355 has no direct access to I-370 (future MD 200) eastbound, which made sense because I-370 ended a mile down the road at the Metro Station.

But I've looked at the maps and it seems like they are not adding any new ramps? It looks like the only new movement will be that westbound MD 200 traffic will be able to go south onto MD 355 using a new traffic light at the current off-ramp. But will traffic on MD 355 have to turn east onto Shady Grove Road and drive to the current I-370 interchange to pick up MD 200 eastbound? That is a long detour. I know that space is constrained in that area but it seems like they could have tried to allow direct access to the ICC eastbound from MD 355.
Your observations are correct. There's no room for an onramp east of the interchange due to the next offramp to the Metro Station. About the only place you could shoehorn one in is west of the interchange next to the other ramp, and not only is it tight, but the offramp to 355 NB is right there. Just doesn't work - the WB offramp has barely enough weaving room.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: rmichael87 on February 18, 2011, 05:46:40 PM

Your observations are correct. There's no room for an onramp east of the interchange due to the next offramp to the Metro Station. About the only place you could shoehorn one in is west of the interchange next to the other ramp, and not only is it tight, but the offramp to 355 NB is right there. Just doesn't work - the WB offramp has barely enough weaving room.

My idea would be to close the EB loop off-ramp altogether. Have EB I-370 traffic wishing to go NB on MD 355 to use the existing off-ramp to Shady Grove Road (right now people are directed to use that ramp to get to SB 355).

Then, you add a spur off the current NB 355 -> WB 370 ramp that would utilize the disused undercrossing to connect with EB 200. Add a signal (or combine with the new one about to go into operation) to allow for SB 355 traffic to turn left to access this on-ramp. Then this on-ramp would split off into two directions: left to go EB towards Laurel or right to go WB to I-270. You might have to widen the undercrossing a bit to allow for this new ramp to go in the right direction.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on February 21, 2011, 12:40:30 AM
They're finally numbering the exits on I-370.  Eastbound, the gore point sign at the MD 355 north exit now reads "exit 2".  There are also exit 3A and 3B gore signs for what I'm thinking will be the Shady Grove Road and Metro station exits, respectively.  The I-370 mainline currently departs to the right a little before that exit 3A sign.  Westbound, some of the new BGSes have exit tabs, indicating exit 2 for MD 355 and exit 1 for I-270.  Given that northbound is a right exit and southbound is a left exit, I would assume these will ultimately be 1B and 1A, but I saw no indication of such today.

WBAL made a photo tour of the nearly completed ICC:
http://www.wbaltv.com/slideshow/slideshows/26881990/detail.html

The MD 97 interchange has Exits 9A-B.  Using the Google Pedometer, the centerline crossing of this interchange is about 8 miles from the centerline crossing of I-270 and I-370, so the exit numbers don't reset at the I-370 - MD 200 transition.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 21, 2011, 12:29:09 PM
Tonight's expected wintry mix is delaying the opening until Wednesday (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dr-gridlock/2011/02/icc_opening_delayed_until_wedn.html).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on February 21, 2011, 02:15:16 PM
Any reason why "Wheaton" is in such huge text (compared to Olney) on the exit 9A-B sign pictured in that WBAL slideshow?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: iwishiwascanadian on February 21, 2011, 02:24:21 PM
Any reason why "Wheaton" is in such huge text (compared to Olney) on the exit 9A-B sign pictured in that WBAL slideshow?

I dunno, but i've noticed that before with a few signs in Maryland. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: KillerTux on February 22, 2011, 11:41:33 AM
Any reason why "Wheaton" is in such huge text (compared to Olney) on the exit 9A-B sign pictured in that WBAL slideshow?

I dunno, but i've noticed that before with a few signs in Maryland. 
Larger text is for the immediate exit. They do that for route shields too, which is just ugly.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 23, 2011, 07:42:47 AM
And it's open (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dr-gridlock/2011/02/icc_toll_road_opens_to_traffic.html#more)...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: rickmastfan67 on February 23, 2011, 08:11:43 AM
Just was watching the traffic cams @ MM 2.2.  Saw at least 45 near misses in less than 8 minutes. :wow:

Saw at least 10 people dive from the left lane over 3 lanes of traffic just to exit. :ded:  It's just crazy.

http://www.chart.state.md.us/video/video.asp?feed=c50024ab00ad0059004d06363d235daa
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Eth on February 23, 2011, 05:50:26 PM
Just got back from driving it, since I live all of two miles away.

Hit the road eastbound around 4:30pm; there were a decent number of vehicles on the road, but not enough to slow anything down.  I do wonder why the speed limit is only 55 instead of 65; that said, drivers seemed to be taking it a little slower on the ICC than I generally see on most DC-area freeways.

Exit 9 (MD 97) eastbound, I can tell, is going to be a problem for drivers still getting used to the road.  The combination of signage and lane markings seemed to be confusing to the driver in front of me attempting to reach MD 97 NB (exit 9B), as he first got into the proper exit lane, then changed lanes back onto the mainline shortly before the exit, then ultimately had to cross the gore to make the exit.

The temporary westbound beginning at MD 28 features what might be the largest reassurance shield I've ever seen.

The transition between I-370 and MD 200 is seamless, especially westbound.  Both I-370 and MD 200 now feature 1/10-mile markers over the whole route.  These mile markers do not reset at the route number change, which occurs around MM 2.4, IIRC.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: MDRoads on February 23, 2011, 11:22:57 PM
Got to drive it both ways this afternoon, both to get pictures and GPS tracks.  It's about time, after the Presidents' Day ribbon cutting that really wasn't, then the 24 hour snow delay.  :colorful:

my ICC photo album:
http://www.mdroads.com/pics/gallery/ICC_Opening/ICC_Opening_2011.html
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Chris on February 24, 2011, 12:03:24 PM
Is this the first full tollway in the D.C. area? As far as I know there were toll lanes (HOT?) but no full toll roads with no free lanes, right?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on February 24, 2011, 01:16:58 PM
Is this the first full tollway in the D.C. area? As far as I know there were toll lanes (HOT?) but no full toll roads with no free lanes, right?

Dulles Greenway.  Dulles Toll Road (treating the free but airport-traffic-only Dulles Airport Access Road, in the DTR's median, as a separate freeway).  DTR has HOV lanes, but HOV traffic still has to pay the same toll as other users.

No HOT lanes down here yet, but some are under construction on part of the I-495 beltway.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on February 24, 2011, 03:03:59 PM
my ICC photo album:
http://www.mdroads.com/pics/gallery/ICC_Opening/ICC_Opening_2011.html

Photo #45 shows a sign saying that I-370 ends at MD 200.   Then the next photo (#46) has a sign saying that I-370 ends at Shady Grove Road, 1/4 mile further than MD 200.  Is the latter an old sign?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on February 24, 2011, 03:09:10 PM
It might be a "logical end" sign like on I-70 where the sign says it ends at I-695.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Ian on February 24, 2011, 03:18:55 PM
my ICC photo album:
http://www.mdroads.com/pics/gallery/ICC_Opening/ICC_Opening_2011.html

Very cool photos! Can't wait until I get to see this for myself!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Eth on February 24, 2011, 06:14:42 PM
my ICC photo album:
http://www.mdroads.com/pics/gallery/ICC_Opening/ICC_Opening_2011.html

Photo #45 shows a sign saying that I-370 ends at MD 200.   Then the next photo (#46) has a sign saying that I-370 ends at Shady Grove Road, 1/4 mile further than MD 200.  Is the latter an old sign?


Yes, it's an old sign (notice it still uses FHWA series fonts rather than Clearview).  They basically mean the same thing in practice, but there really doesn't seem to be a need for both signs.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 24, 2011, 07:22:10 PM
Got to drive it both ways this afternoon, both to get pictures and GPS tracks.  It's about time, after the Presidents' Day ribbon cutting that really wasn't, then the 24 hour snow delay.  :colorful:

my ICC photo album:
http://www.mdroads.com/pics/gallery/ICC_Opening/ICC_Opening_2011.html
Very nice photos! Looks like the Metro station is just signed as a ramp from both highways, not a route in its own right, but then coming out of the station it still looks like part of I-370. I thought that was off the table?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 24, 2011, 07:50:00 PM
From a rather hot-headed post I made on Yahoo, when I found out the projection was for a gradual increase to 27,500 vehicles per day:

Roadway capacity: 2,250 cars per hour per lane at 55 MPH, which would be roughly 2,200 vehicles per hour per lane (assuming a fairly low truck mix). Times 3 lanes = 6,600 vehicles per hour in each direction, 13,200 vehicles per hour total.

6 AM to 9 AM: Total traffic, both directions, 5,618. Average per hour: 1,873. That's about 14% of capacity.
9 AM to 1 PM: Average per hour: roughly 2,000. That's about 15% of capacity.
4 PM to 7 PM: Total traffic, eastbound, 5,389. Average per hour: 1,796. That's about 27% of capacity.
5 PM to 6 PM: Total traffic, eastbound, 1,907. That's about 29% of capacity.

The road was running at 14-15% all morning long. In the peak direction during the PM peak period, it made it up to about double that. A healthy freeway ought to be running at least 40% of capacity during the day, or roughly 2,500 vehicles per hour in three lanes. (In the urbanized Northeast, I'd expect more like 3,000+.) Peak period may be closer to 75%-80% of capacity, or roughly 4,500 to 5,000 vehicles per hour in three lanes. For reference, this correlates well with other roadways whose data I've run through before.

The ICC ended up with a first day count of 39,000 vehicles total in both directions. A lot of people took it because it's the first day, but a lot didn't take it early in the day, so let's say that balances out. Let's be generous and say 40,000 vehicles total in both directions. It's an urban area, so figure peak hour is no more than 9% of that, or 3,600 vehicles per hour. (Note that this works out pretty well with the 5-6 PM figure.) That's 600 vehicles per lane per hour, which is still Level of Service A!!! You should never have LOS A or even B on an urban highway during rush hour. A well designed freeway should hit LOS C, which is roughly 1,500 vehicles per lane per hour. That's easily accommodated by the roadway design and allows plenty of room for growth. Back that out to 9,000 vehicles per hour and divide by 9%. You get 100,000 vehicles per day.

When will the ICC hit 100,000 vehicles per day? When will it even hit HALF that? This should have been a four-lane parkway at best. In fact, even a FOUR LANE AT GRADE BOULEVARD would function adequately, and a six-laner would have no problems whatsoever. This supports the "waste of money" argument. Don't see how costs will ever be recouped.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on February 24, 2011, 08:19:11 PM
When will the ICC hit 100,000 vehicles per day? When will it even hit HALF that? This should have been a four-lane parkway at best. In fact, even a FOUR LANE AT GRADE BOULEVARD would function adequately, and a six-laner would have no problems whatsoever. This supports the "waste of money" argument. Don't see how costs will ever be recouped.

I wouldn't make much of the first-day traffic counts on a freeway that's only about one-third finished.  Once it is completed, and connects I-270 to I-95, volumes might improve a lot. 

As for six lanes rather than four, the Dulles Greenway started off as four lanes, which seemed to match demand at first.  Then they had to go back later to add a lane in each direction for the eastern part of the highway.  Since adding lanes to a road in use is more expensive than adding them before the road opens, the Greenway experience may have encouraged ICC planners to make the ICC six lanes from the outset. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Zmapper on February 24, 2011, 08:54:29 PM
Then why not just build 4 lanes and leave space for 2 more lanes when traffic volumes warrant expansion?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: akotchi on February 24, 2011, 10:00:42 PM
If I recall, a similar phenomenon occurred (low traffic volumes) when 895 opened up south in Richmond, VA.  I'm still not sure it has increased significantly since 2002, though I have not tracked it.

This will be more telling, in my opinion, if volumes remain where they are when the rest of the highway is finished.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: iwishiwascanadian on February 24, 2011, 10:14:25 PM
Is this the first full tollway in the D.C. area? As far as I know there were toll lanes (HOT?) but no full toll roads with no free lanes, right?

Dulles Greenway.  Dulles Toll Road (treating the free but airport-traffic-only Dulles Airport Access Road, in the DTR's median, as a separate freeway).  DTR has HOV lanes, but HOV traffic still has to pay the same toll as other users.

No HOT lanes down here yet, but some are under construction on part of the I-495 beltway.

And on I-95 South of Springfield. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mightyace on February 25, 2011, 12:16:26 AM
I don't have my 2011 Rand McNally handy.  But, I just noticed that the 2010 editions shows the ICC under construction but as a free highway.

Does the 2011 edition show any part as complete and/or as a toll road?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on February 25, 2011, 06:45:56 AM
Is this the first full tollway in the D.C. area? As far as I know there were toll lanes (HOT?) but no full toll roads with no free lanes, right?

Dulles Greenway.  Dulles Toll Road (treating the free but airport-traffic-only Dulles Airport Access Road, in the DTR's median, as a separate freeway).  DTR has HOV lanes, but HOV traffic still has to pay the same toll as other users.

No HOT lanes down here yet, but some are under construction on part of the I-495 beltway.

And on I-95 South of Springfield. 

Planned, but not yet under construction.  The I-95/395 HOT lanes project was stalled for awhile, but it's back on the table now that the I-395 HOV lanes inside the Beltway will no longer be part of the HOT conversion.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: PAHighways on February 25, 2011, 06:41:15 PM
MD TOLL 200?  "Toll" has a negative connotation for travelers which is what I was told by a PTC employee as the reason "PA TOLL" shields were replaced by "PA TURNPIKE" shields.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on February 25, 2011, 09:33:16 PM
This isn't in Pennsylvania. (Also the MUTCD now specifies the yellow toll banner - note that it's mostly only on entrances to the road, not on the road itself.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: PAHighways on February 25, 2011, 09:37:22 PM
This isn't in Pennsylvania.

Thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on February 25, 2011, 11:01:02 PM
Not a problem. Perhaps you thought this was a PTC project?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: PAHighways on February 26, 2011, 10:38:06 AM
Not at all.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on February 26, 2011, 03:50:43 PM
Then you must like non sequiturs. Cheers.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: J N Winkler on February 26, 2011, 05:03:44 PM
The ICC ended up with a first day count of 39,000 vehicles total in both directions. A lot of people took it because it's the first day, but a lot didn't take it early in the day, so let's say that balances out. Let's be generous and say 40,000 vehicles total in both directions. It's an urban area, so figure peak hour is no more than 9% of that, or 3,600 vehicles per hour. (Note that this works out pretty well with the 5-6 PM figure.) That's 600 vehicles per lane per hour, which is still Level of Service A!!! You should never have LOS A or even B on an urban highway during rush hour. A well designed freeway should hit LOS C, which is roughly 1,500 vehicles per lane per hour. That's easily accommodated by the roadway design and allows plenty of room for growth. Back that out to 9,000 vehicles per hour and divide by 9%. You get 100,000 vehicles per day.

I wouldn't contend the ICC is overbuilt.  At the time it was being planned (late 1990's), its corridor was exurban at best.  LOS warrants for freeway design vary somewhat and are ultimately up to a state DOT, but the old Caltrans rule of thumb was LOS B for rural freeways, LOS D for urban freeways, calculated in both cases on the basis of design hourly volume.  Plus a basic lane count of six lanes leaves more room for various types of planning default:

*  Feeder developments being authorized for densities higher than those contemplated when traffic volumes for the ICC were being forecast.

*  Future widenings being rejected for environmental reasons.

*  The ICC eventually becoming part of an Outer Beltway (again, at the time the ICC was being planned, funding for the Techway connector had not yet been cut, and this could easily have turned into another leg of an Outer Beltway).

These considerations aside, I would bet the DHV projected for the ICC is a good bit higher than the thirtieth highest hourly volume corresponding with an AADT of 27,500 VPD.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: PAHighways on February 27, 2011, 09:29:03 PM
Then you must like non sequiturs. Cheers.

Meh
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 28, 2011, 09:12:22 PM
This isn't in Pennsylvania. (Also the MUTCD now specifies the yellow toll banner - note that it's mostly only on entrances to the road, not on the road itself.)
Wrong. Every shield on the mainline, as well as every milepost (not tenth-mileposts), has TOLL.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 28, 2011, 09:14:46 PM
These considerations aside, I would bet the DHV projected for the ICC is a good bit higher than the thirtieth highest hourly volume corresponding with an AADT of 27,500 VPD.

They were talking about roughly that number as the design volume for this road, from what I'd read, which is what prompted my reaction. Maybe that would warrant 6 lanes in some Midwestern city, but here in the east, you'd want about that much per direction to consider 6 lanes.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on February 28, 2011, 09:20:20 PM
This isn't in Pennsylvania. (Also the MUTCD now specifies the yellow toll banner - note that it's mostly only on entrances to the road, not on the road itself.)
Wrong. Every shield on the mainline, as well as every milepost (not tenth-mileposts), has TOLL.
That must have changed since MDRoads drove it; see photos 10 and 101 in his slide show (http://www.mdroads.com/pics/gallery/ICC_Opening/ICC_Opening_2011.html).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 28, 2011, 09:54:35 PM
This isn't in Pennsylvania. (Also the MUTCD now specifies the yellow toll banner - note that it's mostly only on entrances to the road, not on the road itself.)
Wrong. Every shield on the mainline, as well as every milepost (not tenth-mileposts), has TOLL.
That must have changed since MDRoads drove it; see photos 10 and 101 in his slide show (http://www.mdroads.com/pics/gallery/ICC_Opening/ICC_Opening_2011.html).
Yeah, you're right, there's one each direction that doesn't. But there's one each direction that does, plus all the MPs.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: J N Winkler on February 28, 2011, 10:04:03 PM
Admittedly, we are building the US 54 Kingman bypass (four-lane freeway) for sub-10,000 design year AADT--I think about 8,500 VPD in this case.  But we are not completely insane.  I-235 has AADT north of 50,000 with widening projects only just now coming into the pipeline.

Out East, people have to light $20 bills for heat, so there must be a tendency to design for the hundredth highest hour (not that this is a purely Eastern phenomenon--Cooper River Landing in Alaska comes to mind).

On a more serious note, I have never actually seen a design year AADT estimate for the ICC.  I have a hard time believing it is as low as 27,500--I would have expected mid five figures at the very least, and probably close to 100,000 (not much higher because tolls are charged).  I will have a look and see if I can find an estimate in the official documentation.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on March 01, 2011, 09:55:58 AM
Buried within Chapter 7 of the Final EIS are some projected 2030 ADTs.  They're in bar graph format, so the numbers I show below might be a little off (plus or minus 3K):

At I-270:  128K
At MD 97/Georgia Ave:  96K
At MD 182/Norwood Rd:  64K
At US 29:  67K
At I-95:  76K
At US 1:  30K

The FEIS also mentions that traffic modeling suggests only 5% of morning peak-hour trips would be taking the ICC all the way between 270 and 95.

Meanwhile, some more ICC photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/beyonddc/sets/72157626171896772/with/5488222450/) from an associate of mine.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on March 01, 2011, 10:43:03 AM
The ICC ended up with a first day count of 39,000 vehicles total in both directions. A lot of people took it because it's the first day, but a lot didn't take it early in the day, so let's say that balances out. Let's be generous and say 40,000 vehicles total in both directions. It's an urban area, so figure peak hour is no more than 9% of that, or 3,600 vehicles per hour. (Note that this works out pretty well with the 5-6 PM figure.) That's 600 vehicles per lane per hour, which is still Level of Service A!!! You should never have LOS A or even B on an urban highway during rush hour. A well designed freeway should hit LOS C, which is roughly 1,500 vehicles per lane per hour. That's easily accommodated by the roadway design and allows plenty of room for growth. Back that out to 9,000 vehicles per hour and divide by 9%. You get 100,000 vehicles per day.

I wouldn't contend the ICC is overbuilt.  At the time it was being planned (late 1990's), its corridor was exurban at best.  LOS warrants for freeway design vary somewhat and are ultimately up to a state DOT, but the old Caltrans rule of thumb was LOS B for rural freeways, LOS D for urban freeways, calculated in both cases on the basis of design hourly volume.  Plus a basic lane count of six lanes leaves more room for various types of planning default:

*  Feeder developments being authorized for densities higher than those contemplated when traffic volumes for the ICC were being forecast.

*  Future widenings being rejected for environmental reasons.

*  The ICC eventually becoming part of an Outer Beltway (again, at the time the ICC was being planned, funding for the Techway connector had not yet been cut, and this could easily have turned into another leg of an Outer Beltway).

These considerations aside, I would bet the DHV projected for the ICC is a good bit higher than the thirtieth highest hourly volume corresponding with an AADT of 27,500 VPD.
Another consideration supporting six lanes -- it helps, to get people to pony up the rather hefty tolls that help pay for the project, to build enough capacity that most of the time its level of service will be markedly superior to that of local non-toll freeways.  Especially if the incremental costs of six lanes vs. four (if built at the outset, rather than added more expensively later) is fairly low.

Perhaps they could've saved money by building a pair of two-lane bridges over Rock Creek, with room to add two lanes in the median later.  But that was an environmentally-difficult part of the project, and the thinking might've been to get that all out of the way immediately in hopes of not ever having to do more heavy construction in that area. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on March 01, 2011, 03:51:42 PM
I don't have my 2011 Rand McNally handy.  But, I just noticed that the 2010 editions shows the ICC under construction but as a free highway.

Does the 2011 edition show any part as complete and/or as a toll road?

The 2011 also shows it under construction as a free route.

Speaking of which .. it's now March 1, 2011. Isn't it time for the 2010 Rand McNally atlas to come out? Didn't this year's come out in April of last year?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: PAHighways on March 05, 2011, 01:15:57 PM
I just got the 2011-2012 Maryland official today.  The ICC is shown as a complete, undivided toll road from I-370 to MD 97 and then an undivided highway under construction from there to I-95.  The interchanges in the latter section are colored green rather than the yellow for toll, so I am guessing only segments where there is a toll gantry will be colored yellow.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: flaroads on March 05, 2011, 02:33:23 PM
I don't have my 2011 Rand McNally handy.  But, I just noticed that the 2010 editions shows the ICC under construction but as a free highway.

Does the 2011 edition show any part as complete and/or as a toll road?

The 2011 also shows it under construction as a free route.

Speaking of which .. it's now March 1, 2011. Isn't it time for the 2010 Rand McNally atlas to come out? Didn't this year's come out in April of last year?

From doing some random searching yesterday, I did see a couple of websites already listing the 2012 Rand as coming out in April, with the Motor Carrier version coming out in June. Not sure of why the time lapse between the different issues, but I would suspect they are giving themselves extra time to finish their research/updates for the extra commercial truck info they insert into those atlases.
Title: On Google, the ICC is open all the way to I-370
Post by: Dougtone on March 25, 2011, 08:31:07 PM
On Google, the ICC is open all the way to I-370

On Google World, the 41.9-mile trip from Baltimore to Gaithersburg takes all of 48 minutes along the brand new Intercounty Connector. Just take Interstate 95 south, hop on the ICC and you’re virtually there.

On Planet Earth, most of the ICC hasn’t opened yet. The 12 miles between I-95 and the Montgomery County high-tech hotbed is largely a muddy track where bulldozers are still doing what bulldozers do.

Oops.

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/2011/03/on_google_the_icc_is_open_all.html (http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/2011/03/on_google_the_icc_is_open_all.html)
(Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun)
Title: Re: On Google, the ICC is open all the way to I-370
Post by: MDRoads on March 26, 2011, 01:05:44 AM
Meanwhile, Google had it right on the I-70 Wheeling Tunnel when closed.  Couldn't set routes through it, even to figure out total mileages.  Only bad thing about that, no information that the tunnel was closed, and that's why it wasn't going through.
Title: Re: On Google, the ICC is open all the way to I-370
Post by: Alps on March 26, 2011, 01:25:45 AM
CA 52 "opened" early, allowing me to route myself along it and alter my trip plan. Trouble is that these roads (52, ICC) aren't shown on the map, so you have to know they're there before you can use them. (Only works, in other words, if you use Google's routing instead of forging your own way.) Re: closed roads, it's a definite annoyance - a lot of missing segments that ought not be. For example, one I can speak to recently, MA 138 south of I-195/MA 79. Missing piece right there, but the road's definitely open.
Title: Re: On Google, the ICC is open all the way to I-370
Post by: vdeane on March 26, 2011, 11:51:26 AM
Where is this stuff coming from?  Google Maps doesn't have any part of the ICC, and as far as I know, never has.
Title: Re: On Google, the ICC is open all the way to I-370
Post by: NE2 on March 26, 2011, 12:03:41 PM
Where is this stuff coming from?  Google Maps doesn't have any part of the ICC, and as far as I know, never has.
http://maps.google.com/maps?geocode=FRGGVwIdo_1u-ym3g_TWrgPIiTFY5yNCqJZIBA%3BFRFIVQIdJgBm-ym1E8okNi22iTE1cq2AgVqP4w&q=baltimore,+md+to+gaithersburg,+md&aq=&sll=39.121804,-77.014503&sspn=0.221338,0.528374&ie=UTF8&ll=39.103157,-77.033043&spn=0.221397,0.528374&z=12&saddr=baltimore,+md&daddr=gaithersburg,+md
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Eth on March 26, 2011, 11:27:32 PM
In addition to that weirdness, looking at what is in fact visible on the map, it appears that Google has also decided that I-370 is no longer a freeway (shown in yellow instead of orange).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: MDRoads on March 27, 2011, 12:13:14 AM
In addition to that weirdness, looking at what is in fact visible on the map, it appears that Google has also decided that I-370 is no longer a freeway (shown in yellow instead of orange).

No worse than the new 2011-12 Maryland official map, which shows the ICC as just another secondary divided highway, but with yellow added to indicate toll.  Looks weird and last-minute, nothing like the other toll roads. It also has the ICC meeting 370 directly east from the Shady Grove Road interchange, not north of it where it is in fact.  It's like this on both sides, the statewide and the B/W metro area.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on March 27, 2011, 09:59:11 AM
The online map doesn't show the ICC as yellow (http://www.marylandroads.com/Index.aspx?PageId=833) but it does show that strange divided highway look. The back detail also shows it coming straight out of Shady Grove, not even 370. (As I look at their maps page - the Byways map is temporarily out of stock, don't know how temporary that would be.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on March 27, 2011, 02:21:12 PM
Where is this stuff coming from?  Google Maps doesn't have any part of the ICC, and as far as I know, never has.
http://maps.google.com/maps?geocode=FRGGVwIdo_1u-ym3g_TWrgPIiTFY5yNCqJZIBA%3BFRFIVQIdJgBm-ym1E8okNi22iTE1cq2AgVqP4w&q=baltimore,+md+to+gaithersburg,+md&aq=&sll=39.121804,-77.014503&sspn=0.221338,0.528374&ie=UTF8&ll=39.103157,-77.033043&spn=0.221397,0.528374&z=12&saddr=baltimore,+md&daddr=gaithersburg,+md
Why on earth does Google use different map data for giving directions than what they display on the map?  As far as I'm concerned, Google Maps just got even less logical and more bad than before.  Sadly it somehow manges to still be better than anything else out there.  Why are good maps so hard to find these days?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on March 27, 2011, 04:51:02 PM
Why are good maps so hard to find these days?
Because OSM doesn't have enough good people working on it? MDRoads and others seem to have done a good job with the ICC: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=39.1208&lon=-77.0889&zoom=13&layers=M
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: CanesFan27 on March 27, 2011, 10:19:47 PM
My photos from the recent roadmeet that toured the ICC:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15530177@N05/sets/72157626367937952/

I'll blog about it later this week.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: PAHighways on March 28, 2011, 10:09:17 AM
In addition to that weirdness, looking at what is in fact visible on the map, it appears that Google has also decided that I-370 is no longer a freeway (shown in yellow instead of orange).

They did the same thing with the newest part of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: qguy on April 11, 2011, 12:39:58 PM
From Tollroadsnews: "Maryland in push to complete Intercounty Connector tollroad to US1 combines two contracts"

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5257

SHA is combining contracts D&E so as to construct that portion before, oh say, 2050. (You may recall that contract D was deferred until 2017—at least—and contract E was deferred indefinitely.)

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on April 18, 2011, 12:38:12 AM
The BGS for the Briggs Chaney Road interchange from MD 200 EB is visible from US 29. It is posted as Exit 17.

Overhead guide signs for MD 200 are also erected along US 29, but they are covered up.  It's clear though that there are no exit tabs for those signs for this interchange, similar to how there are none at adjacent interchanges along US 29.  I find this odd because higher exit numbers are posted along US 29 at interchanges north of MD 198. 

Part of the US 29 & MD 200 interchange construction involves modifying access between Fairland Road and US 29.  Presently, those roads meet at a signalized intersection.  Next week, the ramp from US 29 SB to Fairland Road will open, and the existing right-turn lane will be closed.  The date was shown on a variable message sign.  This access change is necessary to avoid a conflict between traffic entering from MD 200 and exiting to Fairland Road.  The MD 200 on-ramp will pass over the new off-ramp from US 29 to Fairland Road. Looking at the construction progress shown in the Google satellite view, this might be the only access change for Fairland Road.  One could only hope that another set of traffic signals could disappear as more of US 29 is made a freeway.

I am also curious why the construction zone for the I-95 & MD 200 interchange is worthy of a photo-enforced speed zone, but the US 29 & MD 200 construction zone is not.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on July 01, 2011, 10:10:57 PM
The Dec. 31, 2010 Highway Location Reference is available from the SHA:
http://www.roads.maryland.gov/pages/hlr.aspx?PageId=832&d=37

They note several ICC-related changes in the Montgomery  County chapter.

Quote
IS 370 – Realigned to connect with MD 200, IS 370 was shortened from 3.13 to 2.54 miles.
Part of old alignment is now MD 200-A, Metro Access Rd. The interchange at MD 355 (former
Exit 1) is now Exit 2. The new interchange at MD 200/MD 200-A is Exit 3.

MD 28 – Temporary intersection with MD 200 added at milepoint 28.216.

MD 97 – The new interchange at MD 200 (Exit 9) with its associated ramps is now open to
traffic. The ramps will be maintained by MdTA.

MD 200, Intercounty Connector – Contract A from IS 370 to the temporary intersection at MD
28 is now open to traffic and will be maintained by the Maryland Transportation Authority.
The milepoint sequence on MD 200 will be consistent with (i.e. a continuation of) IS 370’s
milepoints.

MD 200-A, Metro Access Rd – Newly assigned route; was part of the old alignment of IS 370,
and will be maintained by SHA. The interchange at Shady Grove Rd (former IS 370, Exit 2) is
renumbered as MD 200-A, Exit 1.

MD 200-A is the ~0.5 mile freeway from I-370 & MD 200 to the Shady Grove Road interchange. Does "EXIT 1" now appear on signs at the Shady Grove Rd interchange? 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Eth on July 01, 2011, 11:25:00 PM
Last time I checked it was still unnumbered, but that was about a month ago (and since I recently moved out of the area, I can't check that in person anymore).

Interesting that they mention old exit numbers for MD 355 and Shady Grove.  Were those numbers ever actually signed?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: MDRoads on July 04, 2011, 08:42:22 PM
Went through there today, and the "End I-370" shield is still there near the Metro entrance.   No exit tabs on the Shady Grove interchange.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on July 05, 2011, 07:36:12 PM
If they're anything like NYSDOT, we'll be waiting a while for those signs to be removed.  There are a TON on NY 17 and NY 15 signs in the southern tier that shouldn't be there and and the newer portions of I-86 (Horseheads to Jerusalem Hill and I-81 to NY 79) even have some signs that refer to NY 17 oblivious to the I-86 designation.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: ShawnP on October 12, 2011, 09:28:58 PM
Staying Rockville just off I-370/MD-200 Toll. Reading back on the thread. I can understand why folks wouldn't want Toll all over the road. It just seems kinda monolithic to me. So where does one get a transponder? Will Maryland take money out if I don't use? With the Louisville bridges coming online soon. It's a investment that will be needed to be made.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on October 12, 2011, 09:59:13 PM
Depends on if the Louisville Bridges will be compatible with EZPass.  Maryland uses EZPass.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NJRoadfan on October 12, 2011, 10:38:44 PM
Depends on if the Louisville Bridges will be compatible with EZPass.  Maryland uses EZPass.

Going by the project's website, it looks like they are going with E-ZPass (logical because E-ZPass is already in use in Indiana).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on October 13, 2011, 09:48:54 AM
With the Louisville bridges coming online soon. It's a investment that will be needed to be made.

Soon? Aren't you the optimistic one?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: ShawnP on October 16, 2011, 08:45:43 PM
Hey I suffer in Sherman Minton he!! everyday. So yes I'm hopeful this little cluster fudge kicks both states in on this project.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on October 17, 2011, 10:53:55 AM
One good thing that may come of this is that perhaps it will shut the 8664 people up.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Revive 755 on October 17, 2011, 08:48:53 PM
One good thing that may come of this is that perhaps it will shut the 8664 people up.

Due to congestion on the I-65 bridge, or due to showing that there's a lot of through traffic on I-64?

For some reason I halfway expect the closure to make the 8664 people louder.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: ShawnP on October 17, 2011, 09:33:43 PM
I'd like to 86 those losers from 8664.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: DeaconG on October 18, 2011, 11:37:02 AM
Just came back from the ICC website...is there any coherent reason WHY they are dragging their feet on ending the ICC at US 1?  It doesn't seem to make any sense why they would end it on the street prior to US 1-wouldn't that cause a problem later on?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on October 18, 2011, 12:49:40 PM
For the time being, the ICC will end at I-95, not at some local street.  The segment from I-95 to US 1 is deferred until some future point as a cost-saving measure.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: DeaconG on October 18, 2011, 10:10:41 PM
For the time being, the ICC will end at I-95, not at some local street.  The segment from I-95 to US 1 is deferred until some future point as a cost-saving measure.

Just sayin.
http://www.iccproject.com/contract-d-e.php
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on October 19, 2011, 04:08:03 AM
Virginia Manor Road is planned to be part of the MD 201 corridor. Hardly a local street.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: codyg1985 on October 19, 2011, 08:57:17 AM
From Steve Anderson:

Hairline cracks found in three Intercounty Connector overpasses

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/hairline-cracks-found-in-three-intercounty-connector-overpasses/2011/10/18/gIQAzf5ZvL_story.html?wprss=rss_local

THIS is why you don't blindly follow models for engineering calculations. If your assumptions are bad, then the model is flawed.

"The State Highway Administration reviewed the engineering calculations that the designs were based on, she said, but not the actual computer model that designers used. The design firm's model made inaccurate assumptions about how the pier caps would attach to the bridges, she said."
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NJRoadfan on October 19, 2011, 05:39:57 PM
For the time being, the ICC will end at I-95, not at some local street.  The segment from I-95 to US 1 is deferred until some future point as a cost-saving measure.

Maybe they'll have a grand plan to extend the loop east/southeast to US-50 by then..... or not.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on October 19, 2011, 09:56:19 PM
That 'grand plan' existed in the '60s and '70s, but officially died about a decade ago.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on October 19, 2011, 11:13:28 PM
Virginia Manor Road is planned to be part of the MD 201 corridor. Hardly a local street.
Huh? Where's 201 going?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on October 20, 2011, 03:20:26 AM
Virginia Manor Road is planned to be part of the MD 201 corridor. Hardly a local street.
Huh? Where's 201 going?
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=39.05112&lon=-76.89336&zoom=15&layers=M
http://www.sheladia.com/strans/717/us1md-201-corridor-study (Alternative 4)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 24, 2011, 07:17:01 PM
Virginia Manor Road is planned to be part of the MD 201 corridor. Hardly a local street.
Huh? Where's 201 going?

Please see this link on the Maryland SHA Web site: MD 201 Extended (Kenilworth Avenue)/US 1 (http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/ProjectInformation.aspx?projectno=PG9491116)

Post Merge: December 31, 1969, 06:59:59 PM
WTOP Radio: Full Intercounty Connector to open soon; tolls not yet set (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=52&sid=2604441)

Post Merge: December 31, 1969, 06:59:59 PM
That 'grand plan' existed in the '60s and '70s, but officially died about a decade ago.


Adam, as I understand it, SHA planned on studying the ICC at least as far east and south as U.S. 50 (John Hanson Highway) when it started the ill-fated 1992 DEIS process.  I have been told from a reliable source (former SHA staff engineer) that State Sen. Leo E. Green (D-23) (http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/05sen/former/html/msa12147.html), now retired, went to then-SHA administrator Hal Kassoff and informed Kassoff that there would be issues raised in the General Assembly regarding the SHA budget if the ICC was studied anywhere east of U.S. 1, and Kassoff agreed to truncate the study at U.S. 1.

In the 1970's and 1980's, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) put Maryland DOT and SHA on notice that it objected to the ICC being built east of U.S. 1 as well (the routing would have been through parts of the USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and perhaps part of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center).  The National Park Service also said that it did not want a new interchange between the ICC and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (and the late 1980's early 1990's Prince George's County master plan maps show the ICC crossing the Parkway without an interchange, and the connection being made Breezewood-style via arterial Md. 197 (Laurel-Bowie Road)).  When the M-NCP&PC Master Plan for the area (Subregion 1) was updated in the past 5 years, I believe the ICC (Route A-44 on the planning maps) was removed east of U.S. 1.

What was lost in all of the above is the deadly nature of Md. 197 between the B-W Parkway and the north side of Bowie, where the road is a winding two-lane arterial highway with heavy volumes of traffic, and a fair number of fatal or injury crashes as a result. 

Post Merge: December 31, 1969, 06:59:59 PM
Virginia Manor Road is planned to be part of the MD 201 corridor. Hardly a local street.

Agreed.  The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the ICC shows a grade-separated half interchange at Virginia Manor Road and the ICC (exit from eastbound ICC to V-M Road and entrance from V-M Road to westbound ICC).

Even today, the future ramp from Virginia Manor Road to the westbound ICC has been built - for now, it will serve as a two-way access road (posted "Authorized Vehicles Only") for the MdTA Police and MdTA maintenance forces to get to and from the MdTA's ICC Eastern Operations Center (which is under construction).

Post Merge: December 31, 1969, 06:59:59 PM
Just came back from the ICC website...is there any coherent reason WHY they are dragging their feet on ending the ICC at US 1?  It doesn't seem to make any sense why they would end it on the street prior to US 1-wouldn't that cause a problem later on?

The ICC's Request for Proposals for Contract D-E says that the new ICC segment will come at least as far east as Virginia Manor Road, with a grade-separated half-interchange at Virginia Manor road and an at-grade signalized intersection at U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) "optionally" part of the contract.

I think the option depends on available money to build the (short) segment from Virginia Manor Road to U.S. 1.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2011, 08:52:26 AM
The Washington Post is reporting (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/full-intercounty-connector-to-open-nov-22/2011/10/27/gIQALD7mNM_story.html) that the ICC will open to I-95 on November 22.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on October 28, 2011, 07:14:04 PM
I heard a rumor that there will be another toll-free period for this ICC opening, but haven't found any substantiation. Tolling reportedly starts the first Sunday in December.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on October 28, 2011, 07:39:13 PM
Perfect! I'm going to be driving by there on the 25th. I think I just acquired a little detour.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 28, 2011, 08:11:28 PM
I heard a rumor that there will be another toll-free period for this ICC opening, but haven't found any substantiation. Tolling reportedly starts the first Sunday in December.

This morning's paper suggested they'll just maintain the current toll for a time rather than raising it to factor in the added distance.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2011, 08:47:22 PM
According to today's press release (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/News/NewsReleases2011#10282011), there will indeed be a toll-free period where all of the completed ICC is toll-free, through December 4.  Full tolling begins December 5 at the same rates-per-mile as the existing segment (25c/mi peak, 20c/mi off-peak, 10c/mi overnight).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 29, 2011, 11:50:01 AM
Baltimore Sun coverage:

Fully open ICC to be free Nov. 22-Dec.4 (http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/2011/10/fully_open_icc_to_be_free_nov.html)

ICC opening to bring regions closer (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-icc-opening-20111028,0,4196639.story)

Post Merge: October 30, 2011, 03:30:52 AM
TOLLROADSnews:

Maryland's Inter County Connector to open fully Nov 22 - linking two interstates (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5582)

Quote
Design-build cost of the first segment was $479m and the second segment $1074m. The first DB team was led by Granite and the second by Kiewit (Contract B) and by Shirley (Contract C).  Bartlett told us that competitive pricing plus good management of the construction should allow them to move forward soon on the third and last segment of the project which adds collector distributor-lanes 2.4 miles up I-95 from the ICC ramps and repaves I-95 in the vicinity (Contract D) and does a short 0.9 mile extension of the ICC from I-95 east to US1 (Contract E.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 02, 2011, 08:34:25 AM
From WTOP Radio:  Full length of ICC to be well traveled (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2616770)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 02, 2011, 09:10:29 AM
From WTOP Radio:  Full length of ICC to be well traveled (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2616770)

The point made there about how traffic counts aren't particularly useful until the whole road opens is a very valid point. Right now the road is really of fairly limited value to most drivers due to its truncation on the eastern end. On the other hand, WTOP's headline is poorly-written as well. Nobody knows whether the road will be well-travelled when it's done. The headline is merely reporting what a Maryland official said, and a proper headline would reflect that (recognizing that the format for WTOP's website seems to allow only limited headline space).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 02, 2011, 10:43:52 AM
From WTOP Radio:  Full length of ICC to be well traveled (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2616770)

The point made there about how traffic counts aren't particularly useful until the whole road opens is a very valid point. Right now the road is really of fairly limited value to most drivers due to its truncation on the eastern end. On the other hand, WTOP's headline is poorly-written as well. Nobody knows whether the road will be well-travelled when it's done. The headline is merely reporting what a Maryland official said, and a proper headline would reflect that (recognizing that the format for WTOP's website seems to allow only limited headline space).

It should be well-travelled, given its position in the highway system.

I wondered if western VA-288 would carry much traffic, when they changed the alignment westward into Goochland County.  After opening, it carried plenty of traffic.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 02, 2011, 04:58:15 PM
There's a big difference:  VA 288 isn't tolled.

It'll be somewhat travelled....the main thing it impacts is east-west travel across central MoCo, Norbeck Rd and the western part of MD 198 in particular.  It's not going to do much for the Beltway, though...wrong travelshed and too far north.  And the ICC will increase traffic on some of the north-south roads as drivers maneuver to access it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 02, 2011, 10:33:00 PM
There's a big difference:  VA 288 isn't tolled.

It'll be somewhat travelled....the main thing it impacts is east-west travel across central MoCo, Norbeck Rd and the western part of MD 198 in particular.  It's not going to do much for the Beltway, though...wrong travelshed and too far north.  And the ICC will increase traffic on some of the north-south roads as drivers maneuver to access it.

Adam, there are roads in greater Richmond that are tolled, including Va. 76, the Pohwhite Parkway and Va. 195, the Downtown Expressway - which seem to do pretty well as a toll road.

The ICC is too far north at the west end (roughly west of Md. 182 (Layhill Road)) thanks to NIMBYs in the Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County, who, with help from the Queen NIMBY, the late Idamae Garrott (a member of the Montgomery County Council, then the Maryland House of Delegates and finally the Maryland Senate), got the land reserved for the so-called Rockville Facility, the western part of which (west of Md. 586, Viers Mill Road) is now the Montrose Parkway, east of Md. 586 it was converted to something called Matthew Henson State Park, which is pretty useless as a park. She and her supporters and followers tried (and ultimately failed) to get the ICC's alignment (which is what the road follows today) removed from the planning maps.

Having said that, much traffic wanting to go east-west on Md. 198/Norbeck Road/Md. 28 or Md. 115 (Muncaster Mill Road) or Randolph Road (in combination with Montrose Road and Md. 212 (Powder Mill Road), the only four-lane road that runs all the way from I-270 to U.S. 29 and I-95 north of I-495) is going to find free-flowing Md. 200 mighty attractive. 

Perhaps even more so in the near future, when the re-decking job of the massive bridge that carries I-495 over the deep gorge that is the Northwest Branch (of the Anacostia River) in Silver Spring really gets going.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 03, 2011, 03:12:11 PM
Metro D.C. has 5 times the population of Metro Richmond.

ICC will also greatly improve the access between Metro Baltimore and the Rockville/Gaithersburg/technology corridor.

There's a big difference:  VA 288 isn't tolled.

It'll be somewhat travelled....the main thing it impacts is east-west travel across central MoCo, Norbeck Rd and the western part of MD 198 in particular.  It's not going to do much for the Beltway, though...wrong travelshed and too far north.  And the ICC will increase traffic on some of the north-south roads as drivers maneuver to access it.

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 03, 2011, 04:56:22 PM
....

Perhaps even more so in the near future, when the re-decking job of the massive bridge that carries I-495 over the deep gorge that is the Northwest Branch (of the Anacostia River) in Silver Spring really gets going.

That project struck me as a reason why having the ICC open in time for Thanksgiving weekend is a nice move. I'm not someone who's ever going to use the ICC very much simply because I have no reason to do so due to where I live, although naturally I'll go exploring during the toll-free period. But it does strike me as a route that people might find useful as a bail-out route precisely when some other road gets backed up due to construction, an accident, whatever. The incident that pops to my mind was when that bus flipped over the side of the overpass at the I-270 Spur's merge into the mainline sometime within the past year or so. If I were heading up to Frederick from south of the District in that situation, I could definitely see the advantage of taking I-95 to the ICC to I-270.

Given Maryland's political climate, which makes further significant new roads or road improvements in that area unlikely aside from repairs to what already exists, I don't doubt that the ICC will become popular over time. I wouldn't be surprised if it's not popular at first, though, or if people squawk about the toll rates but eventually decide they're worth it. The obvious local example that comes to mind is the Dulles Toll Road. When the Toll Road opened back in 1984, everyone complained about how expensive the tolls were (50¢ at the main toll plaza, 25¢ at the ramps except for VA-28, where it was 35¢). Compared to the then-current rates on the New Jersey Turnpike, the Dulles Toll Road WAS expensive. But obviously it became quite successful when people realized that paying the toll was still better than sitting on VA-7, Hunter Mill Road, or Lawyers Road.

Of course that's not a perfect parallel. The ICC is a cross-county route more in the nature of the Fairfax County Parkway, whereas the Dulles Toll Road functions more as part of a radial system. I guess the Pocahontas Parkway near Richmond (VA-895) might be a more apt comparison in terms of a tolled connector route, but I don't know enough about that road's popularity to comment on it. I've used it two or three times, but that's about it. (It does serve RIC Airport, which might help generate business.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 03, 2011, 05:59:36 PM
ICC will also comprise a segment of a partial Washington outer beltway between I-270 near Gaithersburg and the US-50/US-301 freeway near Annapolis, utilizing ICC/MD-200, a segment of I-95, a segment of the MD-3 freeway, and a segment of I-97.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 03, 2011, 06:08:34 PM
Route 895 carries about 17,000 AADT with about 1% large trucks.

The competing closest toll-free routes such as I-95 and I-64, or I-95, VA-10 and I-295, are considerably longer but not particularly congested.


Of course that's not a perfect parallel. The ICC is a cross-county route more in the nature of the Fairfax County Parkway, whereas the Dulles Toll Road functions more as part of a radial system. I guess the Pocahontas Parkway near Richmond (VA-895) might be a more apt comparison in terms of a tolled connector route, but I don't know enough about that road's popularity to comment on it. I've used it two or three times, but that's about it. (It does serve RIC Airport, which might help generate business.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 05, 2011, 07:53:04 PM
ICC will also comprise a segment of a partial Washington outer beltway between I-270 near Gaithersburg and the US-50/US-301 freeway near Annapolis, utilizing ICC/MD-200, a segment of I-95, a segment of the MD-3 freeway, and a segment of I-97.

I got the following in e-mail.  I'd like to attend, but I don't think I can make it.

In any event, I will be making a round trip between the Eastern Shore and Frederick on Thanksgiving Day, and that would be an ideal time to ride it.  I can use the above route, which is only a few miles longer than the most ideal route (I-97, I-695, I-70).

--------------------------------------

The state of Maryland invites you to the Intercounty Connector Ribbon Cutting
November 21, 2011 • 10:30 a.m.

Next Segment of the ICC (MD 97/Georgia Ave. to I-95) to open to traffic, November 22 by 6:00 a.m., weather permitting.
 
RSVP REQUIRED BY 11/17/2011

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on November 05, 2011, 08:16:49 PM
RSVP? Anytime I have done a ribbon-cutting or groundbreaking, it's been open invitation for anyone who wanted to come.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 05, 2011, 10:28:42 PM
You're also a case where you can fit your entire state's population within the DC metro with room to spare.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on November 06, 2011, 09:11:29 AM
You're also a case where you can fit your entire state's population within the DC metro with room to spare.

Still, I can't imagine a road ribbon-cutting to be THAT big of a deal.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 06, 2011, 04:01:36 PM
You're also a case where you can fit your entire state's population within the DC metro with room to spare.

Still, I can't imagine a road ribbon-cutting to be THAT big of a deal.

More likely, someone specifically wants me to come ...

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 07, 2011, 05:00:36 PM
You're also a case where you can fit your entire state's population within the DC metro with room to spare.

Still, I can't imagine a road ribbon-cutting to be THAT big of a deal.

The ribbon-cutting for the Contract A section of the ICC in February 2011 was a pretty big deal (given that it was the first section of freeway-class highway in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. to open since the late 1980's - when the tiny I-370 "stump" (which now connects to the western end of Md. 200) was completed about 1989).

In addition to the U.S. and Maryland Secretaries of Transportation being there and speaking, the Governor of Maryland, the County Executives of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties were there and spoke, as were several members of Congress and the Maryland General Assembly.

The only highway project of a similar scale involving Maryland's part of the D.C. area in recent years has been the reconstruction of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 07, 2011, 11:03:01 PM
You're also a case where you can fit your entire state's population within the DC metro with room to spare.

Maryland could do that ...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 11, 2011, 09:18:55 AM
Though the title of this is slightly misleading since the easternmost part of the highway (I-95 to U.S. 1) won't be done for a few more years yet.

WTOP Radio: Full Intercounty Connector to open in two weeks (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2626076)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 11, 2011, 09:21:43 AM
Washington Post:

During no-toll period for ICC's next segment opening, traffic on local Md. roads could be swamped (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/traffic-on-local-md-roads-could-be-swamped-during-iccs-no-toll-period/2011/11/09/gIQAO08R6M_story.html)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Mr_Northside on November 11, 2011, 01:06:22 PM
Though the title of this is slightly misleading since the easternmost part of the highway (I-95 to U.S. 1) won't be done for a few more years yet.

It may not be done for a few more years, but the Washington Post link in your next post says they're staring construction on that in the spring.  (Though that article didn't state when it was believed that section would be done.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 11, 2011, 10:27:27 PM
Washington Post:

During no-toll period for ICC's next segment opening, traffic on local Md. roads could be swamped (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/traffic-on-local-md-roads-could-be-swamped-during-iccs-no-toll-period/2011/11/09/gIQAO08R6M_story.html)

Why would the comPost think that to be the case?  A new freeway typically removes part of the traffic from the local roads.


Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 12, 2011, 07:33:56 AM
The routes parallel to the ICC perhaps (mostly Norbeck).  But don't be surprised if this indeed increases traffic on the crossroads that junction with the ICC, namely Georgia and New Hampshire.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2011, 09:02:02 AM
The routes parallel to the ICC perhaps (mostly Norbeck).  But don't be surprised if this indeed increases traffic on the crossroads that junction with the ICC, namely Georgia and New Hampshire.

In general, there was some reduction in volume forecast on the roads that run east-west in the study area, notably the Md. 198/Norbeck Road/Md. 28 corridor.  But I also believe that Md. 115 (Muncaster Mill Road), and the combination of Bel Pre Road/Bonifant Road/Good Hope Road/Briggs Chaney Road (much of which is made up of residential streets) and Montrose Road/Randolph Road/East Randolph Road will derive some benefit. 

And for some motorists, the ICC will save huge amounts of time compared to the Capital Beltway (I-495).  Will it be enough to make a dent in traffic there? I cannot say, but consider that even a relatively small amount of traffic diversion can have big (and favorable) results. And I say that even though the ICC's EIS documents state clearly that the project is not about providing relief for the Capital Beltway between I-270 and I-95.

Regarding Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue), I believe that yes, there will be some increase in traffic there for ICC drivers wanting to reach Md. 28 (Norbeck Road) and get to the downtown area of Rockville.  The State Highway Administration has been looking at grade-separating this failing intersection for many years, which is needed with (or without) the ICC, though it will be expensive ($140 million is one estimate I have seen).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on November 14, 2011, 09:01:45 PM
I look at roads like MD 32 and MD 100, and think about how those untolled freeways function, and then look at the ICC as serving a similar corridor (east-west between the two Beltways) and having tolls. I'm fairly certain that 200 could have been built with 4 lanes and never touched again.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 14, 2011, 09:46:08 PM
I look at roads like MD 32 and MD 100, and think about how those untolled freeways function, and then look at the ICC as serving a similar corridor (east-west between the two Beltways) and having tolls. I'm fairly certain that 200 could have been built with 4 lanes and never touched again.

Assuming that the ICC is never extended, probably so.  If extended to VA-7/VA-28, and to US-50 at Bowie, it will need all of those lanes.  Best to build for the future, IMHO.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 14, 2011, 10:36:22 PM
If Konterra ever gets built, that would drive a not-insignificant chunk of the traffic forecast for the ICC.  And I'd place much more stock in Konterra getting built than in any possible extension of the ICC.  There's **BIG** money in Potomac that's against any new river bridge in that vicinity, and you have both the USDA Agricultural Research Center and the Patuxent Research Refuge blocking any extension to the east of the BW Pkwy.  As it is, the only way you could get it TO the BW Pkwy is by threading it through existing development along a power line ROW (which would necessitate relocating high-tension power lines).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 15, 2011, 09:04:21 AM
If Konterra ever gets built, that would drive a not-insignificant chunk of the traffic forecast for the ICC.  And I'd place much more stock in Konterra getting built than in any possible extension of the ICC.  There's **BIG** money in Potomac that's against any new river bridge in that vicinity, and you have both the USDA Agricultural Research Center and the Patuxent Research Refuge blocking any extension to the east of the BW Pkwy.  As it is, the only way you could get it TO the BW Pkwy is by threading it through existing development along a power line ROW (which would necessitate relocating high-tension power lines).

That's too bad.  The people opposing the ICC and ICC extension are obstructionists, and need to cease and desist.  We desperately need more Potomac River crossings in the metro area.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 15, 2011, 03:35:54 PM
If Konterra ever gets built, that would drive a not-insignificant chunk of the traffic forecast for the ICC.  And I'd place much more stock in Konterra getting built than in any possible extension of the ICC.  There's **BIG** money in Potomac that's against any new river bridge in that vicinity, and you have both the USDA Agricultural Research Center and the Patuxent Research Refuge blocking any extension to the east of the BW Pkwy.  As it is, the only way you could get it TO the BW Pkwy is by threading it through existing development along a power line ROW (which would necessitate relocating high-tension power lines).

A few thoughts:

(1) I believe that Konterra will eventually get built.  The Gould family, owners of the lands that make up Konterra do not owe any mortgage money to anyone else, so they can wait.

(2) Not just big money in Potomac. Ever heard of Virginia's Piedmont Environmental Council? The PEC was very involved in raising objections to the ICC, though it did not participate in the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the  District of Maryland.

(3) The BARC (USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center) was never enthused about the ICC, but the real objections back in the 1970's and 1980's were from the Fish and Wildlife Service's Patuxent River Research facility (staff from Fish and Wildlife were also opposed to the ICC that eventually was approved and built, but they were overruled).

(4) There are indeed PEPCo high-tension lines that (pretty closely) follow the old master-planned alignment of the ICC from U.S. 1 between Laurel and Beltsville all the way east and south to Upper Marlboro (there is some divergence south of U.S. 50).  That right-of-way carries four 230,000 volt AC circuits on two towers most of the way (there's a through section in Bowie where there are six circuits on three towers).  But those circuits could be undergrounded under an ICC (there are similar 230,000 volt circuits under the George Washington Memorial Parkway between Alexandria and the monumental core of D.C. which have operated for decades).  Other possibilities might be to convert those four 230,000 volt circuits to one 500,000 volt or 765,000 volt circuit (though I am not an electrical engineer and don't know what the cost or practical implications of that would be).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on November 17, 2011, 11:07:08 PM
Breaking news now... Melinda Peters, who oversaw ICC construction, will now head MDSHA. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/icc-director-appointed-to-lead-state-highway-agency/2011/11/17/gIQAtW6lVN_story.html
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 18, 2011, 10:41:28 AM
Breaking news now... Melinda Peters, who oversaw ICC construction, will now head MDSHA. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/icc-director-appointed-to-lead-state-highway-agency/2011/11/17/gIQAtW6lVN_story.html

Baltimore Sun's Michael Dresser writes:
ICC chief to head State Highway Administration (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-sha-peters-20111117,0,4624338.story)

Peter Samuel of TOLLROADSnews adds some personal comments about Melinda Peters:
Maryland ICC tollroad builder Peters promoted to head state highway administration (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5615)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 19, 2011, 02:05:30 PM
Prince George's County Fire Department public information officer's blog:  Firefighter/Medics Familiarize Themselves with MD Route 200 (http://pgfdpio.blogspot.com/2011/11/firefightermedics-familiarize.html)

Quote
Prince George's County Firefighters and Medics have had the opportunity over the past week to travel on a new highway to become familiar with the road and pre-plan their responses in the event of an emergency.   The Intercounty Connector (ICC) is scheduled to open to the public on or about November 22.  The ICC, Maryland Route 200, will link existing and proposed development areas between the I-270/I-370 and I-95/US 1 corridors within central and eastern Montgomery County and northwestern Prince George's County with a state-of-the-art, multi-modal east-west highway that limits access and accommodates the movement of passengers and goods.
 


Quote
Prince George's County Firefighters and Medics have recently had the opportunity to tour and pre-plan the Prince George's County portion of of the ICC which is referred to as Contract "C."  This portion covers almost four miles of new, limited access highway with three interchanges, two of which are in Montgomery County; Route 29 and Briggs Chaney Road.  The third intersection is in Prince George's County at Interstate Route 95 which includes a sprawling area of long on/off ramps and a combination of elevated overpasses and underpasses.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 21, 2011, 09:10:41 AM
Washington Post: User’s guide to Intercounty Connector (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/users-guide-to-intercounty-connector/2011/11/17/gIQAih0RcN_story.html)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 21, 2011, 09:12:28 AM
Washington Post: ICC neighbors report problems with cellphone service (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/icc-neighbors-report-problems-with-cellphone-service/2011/11/15/gIQA5CAERN_story.html)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 21, 2011, 09:14:46 AM
Quote
Washington Post: ICC neighbors report problems with cellphone service

Curiously, I am on a Verizon Wireless broadband connection right next to the ICC as I type this.  Working fine, at least at this location.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 22, 2011, 02:20:15 PM
Baltimore Sun: Drivers rejoice as ICC cuts Laurel to Gaithersburg travel in half - Highway joining interstates 95 to 270 open to traffic (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-icc-opens-20111121,0,1007162.story)

Washington Post: Most of Intercounty Connector opens to traffic (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/most-of-intercounty-connector-opens-to-traffic/2011/11/22/gIQAECARlN_story.html)

Washington Post:
ICC puts strain on Maryland’s transportation funds (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/icc-puts-strain-on-marylands-transportation-funds/2011/11/15/gIQAb2k7iN_story.html)

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 23, 2011, 02:02:32 PM
WTOP Radio: I-270 to I-95 takes 20 min. on ICC (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2642734)

Quote
WTOP's Kristi King drove the stretch Tuesday morning, the first morning the toll road is fully open. Going the posted 55 mph speed limit, she clocked the Montgomery County to Prince George's County trip at well under a half hour.

Quote
Without the ICC, getting from Gaithersburg to Laurel took 47 minutes.

Quote
Through Dec. 4, you'll be able to travel the ICC without paying tolls.

Quote
The toll you pay will depend on what time of day you use the ICC.

Quote
After that, E-ZPass will be required. Drivers who do not use E-ZPass will receive a bill by mail for 150 percent of the original toll.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 23, 2011, 05:04:13 PM
ADC blog: “This is a Transportation Miracle” (http://www.adcblog.org/blog/?p=2483)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 24, 2011, 10:05:59 AM
Quote
After that, E-ZPass will be required. Drivers who do not use E-ZPass will receive a bill by mail for 150 percent of the original toll.

that's actually reasonable.  is this information going to be posted?  I would presume that there will be a non-trivial minority of out-of-state drivers who a) lack EZ-Pass, b) would like to use that road.  if the 50% markup covers the extra administrative fees of paper billing, then I say advertise this fact.  

if not, and the markup that would cover this is reasonable, say a 100-150% markup at most, then increase the markup to that.  paying, say, $7 - and accepting the hassle of a written bill - for a $3 electronic toll would be something I'd consider given the alternates.  

(paying $125 fine for a $3 toll, as California threatens... not so much!)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 24, 2011, 10:20:01 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Celebration in Maryland as new pike opens fully - ICC links I-95 to the heart of Montgomery Co (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5627)

Quote
It was London weather, fog, drizzle, persistent light rain, a day without the sun, Tuesday Nov 22, but Marylanders in Montgomery Co, the state's most populous county immediately north of the District of Colombia, celebrated. They'd overcome the naysayers, the 'green' obstructionists who put the supposed needs of fish or fowl ahead of people… this crew had lost out in the opening in the early hours of Tuesday morning of the 19 mile long 2x3 lane toll expressway known as the Inter County Connector (ICC.) Officially it is now MD200.

Quote
They told the story Tuesday of how the Environmental Defense Fund's Michael Replogle had declared to leading senior elected officials ten years ago: "You are wasting your breath (advocating the ICC), we'll make sure it never gets built."

Quote
They tried everything to stop it - repeated lawsuits, heavy lobbying and sustained scaremongering - but they failed.

Quote
Finally there's a direct east-west connector of I-270 and Montgomery County with I-95 and Prince George's County and a way for the people of Gaithersburg and Rockville to drive comfortably and directly to BWI airport, to Columbia, to Baltimore and points northeast to Philadelphia or New York or east to Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore. Until now they have had the lousy alternatives of looping south to the crowded Capital Beltway or traveling at 15mph on a disjointed network of 2-lane local roads that wind their way through Montgomery County shopping centers and past thousands of driveways and schools and businesses - waiting through twenty or so sets of traffic signals.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 24, 2011, 10:39:12 AM
Quote
After that, E-ZPass will be required. Drivers who do not use E-ZPass will receive a bill by mail for 150 percent of the original toll.

that's actually reasonable.  is this information going to be posted?  I would presume that there will be a non-trivial minority of out-of-state drivers who a) lack EZ-Pass, b) would like to use that road.  if the 50% markup covers the extra administrative fees of paper billing, then I say advertise this fact.

It isn't signed now, and it should be. 

I found an excellent example of what the signage might look like from Ontario's Highway 407 on Jason Tsang's blog (no, I do not know him) - scroll down to the second image on this page:
What a difference one punctuation mark can make...  (http://blog.jasontsang.ca/2008/11/what-difference-one-punctuation-sign.html)


Quote
if not, and the markup that would cover this is reasonable, say a 100-150% markup at most, then increase the markup to that.  paying, say, $7 - and accepting the hassle of a written bill - for a $3 electronic toll would be something I'd consider given the alternates.
 

Quote
(paying $125 fine for a $3 toll, as California threatens... not so much!)

Since it will be perfectly legal to use the ICC without a transponder, it's not a fine, but a service charge.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 24, 2011, 11:10:29 AM
Since it will be perfectly legal to use the ICC without a transponder, it's not a fine, but a service charge.

honestly, from the perspective of my wallet, it doesn't make a difference what they call it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mgk920 on November 24, 2011, 11:13:11 AM
Quote
After that, E-ZPass will be required. Drivers who do not use E-ZPass will receive a bill by mail for 150 percent of the original toll.

that's actually reasonable.  is this information going to be posted?  I would presume that there will be a non-trivial minority of out-of-state drivers who a) lack EZ-Pass, b) would like to use that road.  if the 50% markup covers the extra administrative fees of paper billing, then I say advertise this fact.  

if not, and the markup that would cover this is reasonable, say a 100-150% markup at most, then increase the markup to that.  paying, say, $7 - and accepting the hassle of a written bill - for a $3 electronic toll would be something I'd consider given the alternates.  

(paying $125 fine for a $3 toll, as California threatens... not so much!)


That's still a far better deal for 'no transponder' than the Illinois Tollways - cash tolls there are 200% of transponder tolls.

Mike
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 24, 2011, 11:46:36 AM
Since it will be perfectly legal to use the ICC without a transponder, it's not a fine, but a service charge.

honestly, from the perspective of my wallet, it doesn't make a difference what they call it.

Agreed.  I don't know the provisions of the CVC, but in Maryland not having a transponder is akin to a "service charge," not a fine.  The critical thing here is that "service charges" do not appear on a driving record and there are no demerit "points" associated with them, though I believe that MdTA can request that the Motor Vehicle Administration (what most other states call a "DMV") withhold registration renewals if a vehicle has unpaid tolls outstanding.

Over time, as toll interoperability spreads, I would think that one state would have the authority to ask the motor vehicle department of another state to withhold registration renewal for unpaid tolls, but I am not sure how widespread it is now.  This may be more relevant to a relatively small state like Maryland, with a lot of traffic on its highways from adjoining and nearby states than it is to California, where all of its major cities are relatively far from state borders (with the exception of San Diego, I suppose, which adjoins the state of Baja California ;-) ).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 24, 2011, 10:34:52 PM
It's all open, as I used it in both directions today. :-)  Plenty of traffic, at times all 3 lanes were spoken for.  Nice road, a number of long bridges in the mainline, that's probably part of the reason for the high construction cost.

Granted, per traffic volumes, we will have to see what happens after tolls are instituted Dec. 5th.  No tolls until then.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2011, 09:42:17 AM
Nice road, a number of long bridges in the mainline, that's probably part of the reason for the high construction cost.

Those bridges are indeed part of the (higher) cost. 

Compare and contrast the long and high bridges that carry Md. 200 over the Paint Branch and Little Paint Branch [of the Anacostia River] with the way that they flow under the Capital Beltway some miles to the south in College Park.  The streams (which have a confluence near the University of Maryland campus) flow under the Beltway in relatively small culverts that would not be noticed by most persons, except for a sign.

Post Merge: November 25, 2011, 07:44:43 PM
Washington Post Letter to the Editor: For a speedy commute, the ICC is A-OK (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/for-a-speedy-commute-the-icc-is-a-ok/2011/11/22/gIQAwBxKtN_story.html)

Quote
On Tuesday morning, I drove the Intercounty Connector (ICC) from Shady Grove to Interstate 95 to see if the ICC would be helpful on a drive to Baltimore or Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. You betcha, as Minnesotans would say. From now on, I will drive the ICC if my route calls for it. In fact, I used it Thursday to travel to my daughter’s apartment in Baltimore for Thanksgiving.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: WahooBill on November 25, 2011, 12:20:23 PM
When will someone post some photos of the new section?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 25, 2011, 12:30:29 PM
Someone's video westbound from I-95 to US 29:
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on November 25, 2011, 12:54:38 PM
When will someone post some photos of the new section?

Mike Pruett (webmaster of mdroads.com) posted photos of the new section yesterday on the MDRoads Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150398530187605.366171.139158172604&type=1).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on November 25, 2011, 01:07:06 PM
With the extension of the ICC to Interstate 95, what is the status of the c/d roadways to be built along Interstate 95? Looking at aerials (http://maps.google.com/?ll=39.073111,-76.900692&spn=0.020956,0.052142&t=h&z=15&vpsrc=6), I see graded areas stubbing out just north of the MD-200 interchange, but no earth turned northward to MD-198. Is this work now pushed back to a later phase or onto a separate project?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Mr_Northside on November 25, 2011, 01:26:49 PM
Quote
After that, E-ZPass will be required. Drivers who do not use E-ZPass will receive a bill by mail for 150 percent of the original toll.

I get that they want to charge a fee for non-E-ZPass users, and as long as it's reasonable, I have no problem with that.

But shouldn't it be just a flat fee, and not a percent of the toll?
I mean, whether it's a $2 toll (which would result in a $1 fee), or a $7 toll ($3.50 fee), isn't the "cost" to administer the fee going to be the same?  
Is the postage higher to mail the $7 toll than a $2 toll?
Do they need to use more paper for a higher toll?  A bigger envelope?  A different system (cameras, computers & that)?

If the at-cost of non-transponder collection is the same whether you travel the distance for a $2 toll, or $7, there is no excuse to collect an extra $2 just for driving more.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on November 25, 2011, 01:46:15 PM
With the extension of the ICC to Interstate 95, what is the status of the c/d roadways to be built along Interstate 95? Looking at aerials (http://maps.google.com/?ll=39.073111,-76.900692&spn=0.020956,0.052142&t=h&z=15&vpsrc=6), I see graded areas stubbing out just north of the MD-200 interchange, but no earth turned northward to MD-198. Is this work now pushed back to a later phase or onto a separate project?

It's "deferred" indefinitely (Contract D).  The ICC will probably be extended first (Contract E) past I-95, to at least Virginia Manor Rd. and maybe all the way to US 1.  http://www.iccproject.com/project-area.php
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2011, 10:57:52 AM
With the extension of the ICC to Interstate 95, what is the status of the c/d roadways to be built along Interstate 95? Looking at aerials (http://maps.google.com/?ll=39.073111,-76.900692&spn=0.020956,0.052142&t=h&z=15&vpsrc=6), I see graded areas stubbing out just north of the MD-200 interchange, but no earth turned northward to MD-198. Is this work now pushed back to a later phase or onto a separate project?

It's "deferred" indefinitely (Contract D).  The ICC will probably be extended first (Contract E) past I-95, to at least Virginia Manor Rd. and maybe all the way to US 1.  http://www.iccproject.com/project-area.php

I respectfully disagree.  ICC Contract D (I-95 C-D roadways north of ICC) and Contract E (ICC from I-95 to U.S. 1) have merged into one construction contract to be let in the near future, with completion scheduled for 2014.

Post Merge: November 28, 2011, 09:08:06 PM
With the extension of the ICC to Interstate 95, what is the status of the c/d roadways to be built along Interstate 95? Looking at aerials (http://maps.google.com/?ll=39.073111,-76.900692&spn=0.020956,0.052142&t=h&z=15&vpsrc=6), I see graded areas stubbing out just north of the MD-200 interchange, but no earth turned northward to MD-198. Is this work now pushed back to a later phase or onto a separate project?

What you see is preliminary work for ICC Contract D/E (they were merged), though I don't think that a winning bidder for Contract D/E has been announced yet.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2011, 11:00:23 AM
Blog posting via Washington Post: The unofficial outer beltway (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/post/the-unofficial-outer-beltway/2011/03/09/gIQAeroVpN_blog.html)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 26, 2011, 12:53:36 PM
Quote
After that, E-ZPass will be required. Drivers who do not use E-ZPass will receive a bill by mail for 150 percent of the original toll.

I get that they want to charge a fee for non-E-ZPass users, and as long as it's reasonable, I have no problem with that.

But shouldn't it be just a flat fee, and not a percent of the toll?
I mean, whether it's a $2 toll (which would result in a $1 fee), or a $7 toll ($3.50 fee), isn't the "cost" to administer the fee going to be the same? 
Is the postage higher to mail the $7 toll than a $2 toll?
Do they need to use more paper for a higher toll?  A bigger envelope?  A different system (cameras, computers & that)?

If the at-cost of non-transponder collection is the same whether you travel the distance for a $2 toll, or $7, there is no excuse to collect an extra $2 just for driving more.

The current (new) percentage-based system is actually an improvement for the most part over what they had previously in place.  Beforehand, it was a flat $3 charge.  With the new percentage-based system, the only tolls for regular cars that matches the level of the old system are the Susquehanna crossing tolls (I-95 and US40).  All others have a net lower non-EZPass fee.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 26, 2011, 02:59:47 PM
Blog posting via Washington Post: The unofficial outer beltway (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/post/the-unofficial-outer-beltway/2011/03/09/gIQAeroVpN_blog.html)
SR 28 is mislabeled (it should be freeway, except near I-66).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on November 27, 2011, 10:07:25 PM
On I-270 SB approaching I-370, there is a variable sign showing the current EZPass toll rate to get to two highways via I-370 and MD 200.  So you can see before entering I-370 how much it will cost to use MD 200 all the way to I-95 or part way to [another highway I couldn't read in time].

I wished for all 16 miles of MD 200 that the speed limit would have been 65 instead of 55.  But the low traffic level was a relief after dealing with I-270 traffic from Frederick at dusk on an (abnormal?) Sunday. I had given up on the I-270 SB jam as soon as I reached MD 85, checked out the curious "one sign is still enough" Business MD 355 in Urbana, and rejoined I-270 at MD 109.

From the EB-to-NB on-ramp at the MD 200 & I-95 interchange, one can see the completed (but closed) NB C/D lanes: lane striping, covered BGSs on a sign bridge, and all.  But I couldn't see where those lanes ended as a stub.  
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 27, 2011, 11:26:47 PM
On I-270 SB approaching I-370, there is a variable sign showing the current EZPass toll rate to get to two highways via I-370 and MD 200.  So you can see before entering I-370 how much it will cost to use MD 200 all the way to I-95 or part way to [another highway I couldn't read in time].

It read $0.00 when I went through there on Thanksgiving Day!  Nice to have no tolls for a few more days...

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 28, 2011, 06:34:07 AM
Quote
On I-270 SB approaching I-370, there is a variable sign showing the current EZPass toll rate to get to two highways via I-370 and MD 200.  So you can see before entering I-370 how much it will cost to use MD 200 all the way to I-95 or part way to [another highway I couldn't read in time].

Georgia Ave/MD 97, IIRC.

Quote
From the EB-to-NB on-ramp at the MD 200 & I-95 interchange, one can see the completed (but closed) NB C/D lanes: lane striping, covered BGSs on a sign bridge, and all.  But I couldn't see where those lanes ended as a stub.

The C/D roads end just past the point where the flyover ramp touches down.  It's weird seeing fully signed and striped C/D lanes just abruptly stop like that.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2011, 09:35:40 AM

Quote
From the EB-to-NB on-ramp at the MD 200 & I-95 interchange, one can see the completed (but closed) NB C/D lanes: lane striping, covered BGSs on a sign bridge, and all.  But I couldn't see where those lanes ended as a stub.

The C/D roads end just past the point where the flyover ramp touches down.  It's weird seeing fully signed and striped C/D lanes just abruptly stop like that.

They will be extended north to Md. 198 as part of Contract D/E, along with a new interchange between I-95 (C-D lanes only) and Contee Road Extended (what is now marked as Van Dusen Road).  The developer of Konterra is paying some of the costs associated with the new interchange at Contee Road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on November 28, 2011, 10:51:16 PM
It read $0.00 when I went through there on Thanksgiving Day!  Nice to have no tolls for a few more days...

Yeah... it's weird, actually. On my statement I have three charges for $0.00. One with both entrance and exit listed with the code "I10" (and the same timestamp, 09:02:37), one with both entrance and exit listed with the code "I08" (also same timestamp, 09:04:34), and one with the entrance listed as "I06" and the exit listed as "I02" (with timestamps 09:07:08 and 09:11:40, 4 minutes and 32 seconds apart). What's up with that? I assume the codes are all even numbers since the odd numbers are for eastbound while I was driving westbound, but then why did it skip "I04"? There are five toll "booths", so did one somehow miss reading me? Or are the western three strung together in some odd way while the eastern two are independent?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 28, 2011, 10:56:10 PM
It read $0.00 when I went through there on Thanksgiving Day!  Nice to have no tolls for a few more days...

Yeah... it's weird, actually. On my statement I have three charges for $0.00. One with both entrance and exit listed with the code "I10" (and the same timestamp, 09:02:37), one with both entrance and exit listed with the code "I08" (also same timestamp, 09:04:34), and one with the entrance listed as "I06" and the exit listed as "I02" (with timestamps 09:07:08 and 09:11:40, 4 minutes and 32 seconds apart). What's up with that? I assume the codes are all even numbers since the odd numbers are for eastbound while I was driving westbound, but then why did it skip "I04"? There are five toll "booths", so did one somehow miss reading me? Or are the western three strung together in some odd way while the eastern two are independent?

I've never gotten the detailed E-ZPass statement ... there would be an extra fee.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on November 29, 2011, 06:46:07 AM
You can't even read it online?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on November 29, 2011, 10:47:43 AM
I had to request a monthly statement from West Virginia. I was not getting one via mail until I did so, and there was no provision to read it online. That printed and mailed statement came in handy when I got zinged for two supposed violations from Pennsylvania. All I had to do was send a copy of that statement and they waived the penalties they were trying to assess me.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 29, 2011, 12:20:19 PM
Gazette editorial: ICC: ‘game-changer’ or boondoggle? (http://www.gazette.net/article/20111125/OPINION/711259755/-1/icc-game-changer-or-boondoggle&template=gazette)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on November 29, 2011, 12:32:54 PM
I had to request a monthly statement from West Virginia. I was not getting one via mail until I did so, and there was no provision to read it online. That printed and mailed statement came in handy when I got zinged for two supposed violations from Pennsylvania. All I had to do was send a copy of that statement and they waived the penalties they were trying to assess me.

In Virginia you would request a detailed monthly statement, and there is a fee of a few dollars.  I'm not interested enough to do that.  In over 10 years of use I have not had any problems.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on November 29, 2011, 01:33:14 PM
New York has been providing not only online statements but the ability to set up and modify an account online for years free of extra charge. I can log in and request another tag, discontinue a tag, change what car tags are registered to, make payments online, etc. Virginia needs to get with the program!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on November 29, 2011, 02:03:10 PM
New York has been providing not only online statements but the ability to set up and modify an account online for years free of extra charge. I can log in and request another tag, discontinue a tag, change what car tags are registered to, make payments online, etc. Virginia needs to get with the program!

I hope the program doesn't include monthly fees just to maintain an account.  Virginia, so far, is fee-free if you can live without statements.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 29, 2011, 02:20:06 PM
New York has been providing not only online statements but the ability to set up and modify an account online for years free of extra charge. I can log in and request another tag, discontinue a tag, change what car tags are registered to, make payments online, etc. Virginia needs to get with the program!

Virginia lets you do all those things. I added a second E-ZPass, and also added my wife's car to my account, after we got married. An online quarterly account statement is free; an online monthly detailed statement costs $1 a month; a paper statement via US Mail costs $2 a month for each set of up to three transponders. Or you can just have it display the last six months' transactions.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: qguy on November 29, 2011, 03:18:50 PM
New York has been providing not only online statements but the ability to set up and modify an account online for years free of extra charge. I can log in and request another tag, discontinue a tag, change what car tags are registered to, make payments online, etc. Virginia needs to get with the program!

Virginia lets you do all those things. I added a second E-ZPass, and also added my wife's car to my account, after we got married. An online quarterly account statement is free; an online monthly detailed statement costs $1 a month; a paper statement via US Mail costs $2 a month for each set of up to three transponders. Or you can just have it display the last six months' transactions.

The PA Turnpike's E-ZPass system lets you do all that online as well. In addition, it allows you to view an updated electronic statement any time. I don't know about fees for a hardcopy version. Never cared enough to even read the info about it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 30, 2011, 05:00:14 PM
I took a roundtrip on the ICC this afternoon. Nice road. My videos came out poorly because I attempted to clip my iPhone to the passenger sun visor in a different way only to mess up how I did it, so one of them is upside-down and the other is rotated 90° somehow. I'll try to get some screen captures. The first video is also blurry because apparently the phone's camera focused on the dashboard as I put the phone into the holster at 60 mph on I-270.

My primary impression is that it was in many ways more like a parkway than a conventional freeway, six-lane design notwithstanding. They did a very nice job with the overpass facings (and, for that matter, the facings for the overpass supports). The gantries for the signs and the toll collection equipment are a dark brown rounded-off design as well. The other new signage I routinely see around here are the ones going up along the widened Beltway in Virginia, and those have a very functional, almost industrial look to them (the gantries they're using are of a particularly boxy design), whereas the Maryland ones' brown color seems more in tune with the sort of brown signs you see on some parkways (though the big green signs certainly don't fit that description).

As others have said, the 55-mph speed limit is way too slow. I saw at least three cops on my way eastbound; one of them was pacing me for a bit and didn't stop me (I had my cruise control set so I was right about on the 100 km/h line on the speedometer gauge). There seems to be no reason why it can't be at least 60 mph. Some of the curves might be a reason for not going to 65. But I will concede that the Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock makes a valid point when he says that if they're going to err in setting a speed limit on a new road, it makes more sense to err by setting it too low because they can easily raise it. There's logic in that. But the counterargument that setting it too low just encourages people to ignore the speed limit is valid as well.

I've never paid attention to what (if anything) is in the portions of Montgomery and PG Counties served by that road, but I found it a little bit odd that the signs on I-270 and I-95 don't list any sort of control city. They just list US-29 and either I-95 or I-270. I would have thought maybe Olney on the top line coupled with Laurel (eastbound) or Gaithersburg (westbound) might have made sense.

The advance signage on southbound I-95 could have been better. The first sign indicates a single exit lane, the rightmost lane, as an exit-only. So everyone gets in that lane. When you get close to the actual exit point, it turns out the second lane from the right is an optional-exit lane. Naturally the people in the exit-only lane had slowed down. Posting the first advance sign to indicate that two lanes exit would have been nice.

I also agree with the folks who said there ought to be signs indicating that toll-by-plate is an option.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on November 30, 2011, 06:01:46 PM
New York has been providing not only online statements but the ability to set up and modify an account online for years free of extra charge. I can log in and request another tag, discontinue a tag, change what car tags are registered to, make payments online, etc. Virginia needs to get with the program!

I hope the program doesn't include monthly fees just to maintain an account.  Virginia, so far, is fee-free if you can live without statements.

There is no monthly fee so long as you are a New York state resident. Out of state residents get a $1.00 per month fee, although this only applies to new out of state applicants. Out of state users who registered before the fee was implemented (my parents, for instance) are not subject to it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 30, 2011, 09:57:29 PM
The advance signage on southbound I-95 could have been better. The first sign indicates a single exit lane, the rightmost lane, as an exit-only. So everyone gets in that lane. When you get close to the actual exit point, it turns out the second lane from the right is an optional-exit lane. Naturally the people in the exit-only lane had slowed down. Posting the first advance sign to indicate that two lanes exit would have been nice.
Blame the new MUTCD for this shite.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on December 05, 2011, 12:27:59 PM
The advance signage on southbound I-95 could have been better. The first sign indicates a single exit lane, the rightmost lane, as an exit-only. So everyone gets in that lane. When you get close to the actual exit point, it turns out the second lane from the right is an optional-exit lane. Naturally the people in the exit-only lane had slowed down. Posting the first advance sign to indicate that two lanes exit would have been nice.
Blame the new MUTCD for this shite.

Interesting. Thanks. That's an example of an utterly stupid regulation, then. If two lanes exit, it only makes sense for the advance signage to advise of that fact so drivers will use all available lanes.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 06, 2011, 11:52:48 AM
WTOP Radio: Tolls mean drop in traffic on Intercounty Connector (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=46&sid=2657847)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on December 06, 2011, 08:31:32 PM
WTOP Radio: Tolls mean drop in traffic on Intercounty Connector (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=46&sid=2657847)
Well, yes, but let's give it a few months (not just weeks) for traffic to first even out and then reroute based on the new baseline. Traffic will shift off the ICC, then discover traffic is bad again, then shift back, eventually reaching an equilibrium between fast travel and free travel. Then we can evaluate how many lanes the ICC really needed...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: J N Winkler on December 06, 2011, 09:25:00 PM
Interesting. Thanks. That's an example of an utterly stupid regulation, then. If two lanes exit, it only makes sense for the advance signage to advise of that fact so drivers will use all available lanes.

I don't think this example proves that the new MUTCD provision is "utterly stupid."  The same provision also calls for the use of an arrow-per-lane diagrammatic to indicate the option lane.  The main objective of the changed rules regarding down arrow usage is to prevent multiple down arrows pointing to the same lane.  If there is no indication whatsoever that the option lane exists, then the signing for the exit fails to follow the recommendations of the 2003 and 2009 editions of the MUTCD.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 06, 2011, 09:26:06 PM
WTOP Radio: Tolls mean drop in traffic on Intercounty Connector (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=46&sid=2657847)
Well, yes, but let's give it a few months (not just weeks) for traffic to first even out and then reroute based on the new baseline. Traffic will shift off the ICC, then discover traffic is bad again, then shift back, eventually reaching an equilibrium between fast travel and free travel. Then we can evaluate how many lanes the ICC really needed...

I agree with you about the "balancing" and "shifting" process, which will take some months to get worked-out among users of the highway network. 

I am also very curious to see what the westbound Md. 200 volumes are when there is a crash (with injuries) on Outer Loop of I-495 between I-95 and I-270/Md. 355 during the morning commute period.  In the past, I have frequently observed east-west arterial roads in eastern Montgomery County (E. Randolph, Fairland, Briggs Chaney and Md. 198) instantly fill with "bail-out" traffic when such an incident is reported on the radio.

Though I also think that 6 lanes was appropriate all the way from  I-370 to I-95 (and 4 lanes from I-95 to U.S. 1). 

Don't forget that there are some moderately steep grades that the traffic on this road has to climb - eastbound from the Northwest Branch bridge up to Md. 650 and from the Paint Branch bridge up to U.S. 29.  Westbound from Little Paint Branch to U.S. 29; from Paint Branch to Md. 650; and from the  Northwest Branch most of the way to Md. 97.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: MASTERNC on December 06, 2011, 09:52:06 PM
New York has been providing not only online statements but the ability to set up and modify an account online for years free of extra charge. I can log in and request another tag, discontinue a tag, change what car tags are registered to, make payments online, etc. Virginia needs to get with the program!

I hope the program doesn't include monthly fees just to maintain an account.  Virginia, so far, is fee-free if you can live without statements.

There is no monthly fee so long as you are a New York state resident. Out of state residents get a $1.00 per month fee, although this only applies to new out of state applicants. Out of state users who registered before the fee was implemented (my parents, for instance) are not subject to it.

Or those who register with an in-state address and then change it back.  I did that with a Thruway tag I picked up while in New York and I have not been charged any fees thus far.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 07, 2011, 09:57:07 PM
Washington Post: Drivers remain curious about Intercounty Connector (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/drivers-remain-curious-about-intercounty-connector/2011/12/07/gIQAydgUcO_blog.html)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 08, 2011, 02:35:06 PM
Gazette: Future Laurel development plans triggers Contee Road changes (http://www.gazette.net/article/20111208/NEWS/712089923/1029/future-laurel-development-plans-triggers-contee-road-changes&template=gazette)
Quote
The county’s Department of Public Works and Transportation presented plans to more than 100 community members Tuesday for the realignment of Contee Road, currently a two-lane undivided road. Contee Road will be realigned to intersect with Virginia Manor Road east of Interstate-95 and expand the road to a divided four-lane roadway with sidewalks, medians and bike lanes. The $20 million project is expected to begin in the summer of 2014 and last for about two years, said Susan Hubbard, spokeswoman for the department.
Quote
Virginia Manor Road will be similarly realigned and expanded to accommodate increased traffic from expected developments, including the $3 billion, 2,200-acre mixed-use Konterra development just north of the Intercounty Connector which is expected to break ground in 2012.
Quote
The planned extension of the ICC to U.S. 1, which is expected to open to traffic in early 2014, will include a partial interchange at Virginia Manor Road, bringing more traffic to what is currently a two-lane undivided road. The Maryland State Highway Administration also is in the planning phase for an I-95 interchange at Virginia Manor Road, north of the ICC.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 30, 2011, 10:53:31 PM
D.C. Examiner: In Maryland, Intercounty Connector use meets officials' expectations (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2011/12/icc-use-meets-officials-expectations/2045371)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on December 30, 2011, 11:51:12 PM
D.C. Examiner: In Maryland, Intercounty Connector use meets officials' expectations (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2011/12/icc-use-meets-officials-expectations/2045371)

12,000 ADT is low for a 6-lane freeway ... and what is the large truck percentage?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on December 31, 2011, 12:08:33 AM
D.C. Examiner: In Maryland, Intercounty Connector use meets officials' expectations (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2011/12/icc-use-meets-officials-expectations/2045371)

12,000 ADT is low for a 6-lane freeway ... and what is the large truck percentage?

The quoted article says the ADT in the first two weeks after the freeway was completed to I-95, and toll collections began on the new segment and resumed on the old segment, was 21,000 (not 12,000) and expected to increase to 30,000 in a few months.   
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on December 31, 2011, 01:12:24 AM
D.C. Examiner: In Maryland, Intercounty Connector use meets officials' expectations (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2011/12/icc-use-meets-officials-expectations/2045371)

12,000 ADT is low for a 6-lane freeway ... and what is the large truck percentage?

The quoted article says the ADT in the first two weeks after the freeway was completed to I-95, and toll collections began on the new segment and resumed on the old segment, was 21,000 (not 12,000) and expected to increase to 30,000 in a few months.   

Sorry ... I meant to post 21,000.

21,000 ADT is low for a 6-lane freeway ... and what is the large truck percentage?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 31, 2011, 04:57:02 PM
D.C. Examiner: In Maryland, Intercounty Connector use meets officials' expectations (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2011/12/icc-use-meets-officials-expectations/2045371)

12,000 ADT is low for a 6-lane freeway ... and what is the large truck percentage?

The quoted article says the ADT in the first two weeks after the freeway was completed to I-95, and toll collections began on the new segment and resumed on the old segment, was 21,000 (not 12,000) and expected to increase to 30,000 in a few months.   

Sorry ... I meant to post 21,000.

21,000 ADT is low for a 6-lane freeway ... and what is the large truck percentage?

By my informal observations, less than 5%, and maybe less than 2%.

I have seen some UPS "feed" trucks (tractor-trailers), a few tank trucks carrying petroleum products and an occasional Giant Food tractor-trailer combination (which makes sense, since most of Giant's warehouse and distribution facilities are now in Jessup, Howard County). 

But give it time. I think that the ICC will be serving more trash and recycling trucks (and I have suggested that MdTA should reach out to these haulers) - especially those trucks with routes in Eastern Montgomery County and Olney will save time, fuel and wear and tear on their fleets - if they use the ICC to get to the county's Solid Waste Transfer Station located on Shady Grove Road just east of Md. 355. 

I believe that the Transfer Station was sited there back in the 1980's in part because it was near the western end of the (long-planned) ICC and next to the CSX Transportation Metropolitan Subdivision, so that the trash could be hauled away by rail (which it currently is - there is a humorous (and accurate) description of the way that Montgomery County's trash is shipped a few miles up the Metropolitan Sub to the incinerator at Dickerson on the Pacer Farm site here (http://www.pacerfarm.org/d765/d765.htm)).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 09, 2012, 01:43:46 PM
Washington Post: Take the ICC and exit at Norwood — where? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/take-the-icc-and-exit-at-norwood--where/2012/01/04/gIQAoo7SfP_story.html)

Quote
Drivers leaving the newly opened Intercounty Connector at Exit 10 for Layhill Road have a choice listed on the big, green overhead sign: They can head south onto Layhill to go to Glenmont or travel north to go to Norwood.

Quote
Norwood?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 09, 2012, 02:37:41 PM
This was posted to the Greater Greater Washington site last week (sorry for not posting it sooner):
Why is the ICC so empty? How long will it stay that way? (http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/13216/why-is-the-icc-so-empty-how-long-will-it-stay-that-way/)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on January 09, 2012, 08:10:46 PM
Washington Post: Take the ICC and exit at Norwood — where? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/take-the-icc-and-exit-at-norwood--where/2012/01/04/gIQAoo7SfP_story.html)

Quote
Drivers leaving the newly opened Intercounty Connector at Exit 10 for Layhill Road have a choice listed on the big, green overhead sign: They can head south onto Layhill to go to Glenmont or travel north to go to Norwood.

Norwood?

Looking at the map, I'd have said Sandy Spring, given that the other two choices are taken by the adjacent exits. It's more than just Layhill Rd. at this exit, it's MD 182 (unless Google lies), and the two separate just south of Sandy Spring. At least that's a place name.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 09, 2012, 10:43:18 PM
Washington Post: Take the ICC and exit at Norwood — where? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/take-the-icc-and-exit-at-norwood--where/2012/01/04/gIQAoo7SfP_story.html)

Quote
Drivers leaving the newly opened Intercounty Connector at Exit 10 for Layhill Road have a choice listed on the big, green overhead sign: They can head south onto Layhill to go to Glenmont or travel north to go to Norwood.

Norwood?

Looking at the map, I'd have said Sandy Spring, given that the other two choices are taken by the adjacent exits. It's more than just Layhill Rd. at this exit, it's MD 182 (unless Google lies), and the two separate just south of Sandy Spring. At least that's a place name.

Norwood is not far north of the Md. 200/Md. 182 (Layhill Road) interchange.

The intersection where they intersect (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=norwood+road+and+ednor+road,+ashton,+md&hl=en&ll=39.126065,-77.026906&spn=0.017978,0.028238&sll=39.183826,-76.817486&sspn=0.574817,0.903625&vpsrc=6&hnear=Norwood+Rd+%26+Ednor+Rd,+Colesville,+Montgomery,+Maryland&t=h&z=15) (separate?) is known to locals where the "Red Door Store" general store was located (now closed, building still there).

Md. 182 goes to the south as Layhill Road.

County road Ednor Road goes to the north and east.

County road Norwood Road heads to the south and east.

In the other direction, Md. 182 goes to the north and (slightly) west as Norwood Road.



Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on January 30, 2012, 12:11:19 PM
Amongst other transportation points made (like a proposal to extend the sales tax to gasoline purchases), Gov. O'Malley was on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" this morning and mentioned that they're looking at increasing the ICC speed limit to 65 MPH (http://wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2727383) (about 3/4 down the page).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2012, 03:21:38 PM
Amongst other transportation points made (like a proposal to extend the sales tax to gasoline purchases), Gov. O'Malley was on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" this morning and mentioned that they're looking at increasing the ICC speed limit to 65 MPH (http://wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2727383) (about 3/4 down the page).

I heard that.

I was told by a personal friend on the staff of the MdTA (who I very much trust and respect) that the design speed of the road is only 60, which is why the speed limit signs read 55, though in my personal opinion, it could easily be posted at 65.

In  a perfect world, and since the ICC is so "wired" for electronic toll collection and the like, I would suggest that MdTA post New Jersey Turnpike-style variable speed limit signs - 65 (or even 70 in the overnight hours) when the road is dry, and a lower limit when there's rain or snow falling, or in the event of an incident.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NJRoadfan on February 04, 2012, 09:01:23 PM
Raising the speed limit would be a good thing on this road, its way over patrolled with MdTA police!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Henry on February 06, 2012, 10:22:44 AM
Amongst other transportation points made (like a proposal to extend the sales tax to gasoline purchases), Gov. O'Malley was on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" this morning and mentioned that they're looking at increasing the ICC speed limit to 65 MPH (http://wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2727383) (about 3/4 down the page).

I heard that.

I was told by a personal friend on the staff of the MdTA (who I very much trust and respect) that the design speed of the road is only 60, which is why the speed limit signs read 55, though in my personal opinion, it could easily be posted at 65.

In  a perfect world, and since the ICC is so "wired" for electronic toll collection and the like, I would suggest that MdTA post New Jersey Turnpike-style variable speed limit signs - 65 (or even 70 in the overnight hours) when the road is dry, and a lower limit when there's rain or snow falling, or in the event of an incident.
That's a great idea!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on February 07, 2012, 11:18:06 PM
If the higher speed limit is implemented, would this be the first freeway in Maryland with both a state route number and a speed limit above 55 mph?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2012, 04:35:07 PM
If the higher speed limit is implemented, would this be the first freeway in Maryland with both a state route number and a speed limit above 55 mph?

Yes, at least for now, it would be the only non-Interstate highway with posted limit above 55 MPH, though I can think of some others that could use a higher limit, including most of the limited-access sections of Md. 4, 5, 10, 32 and 100.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2012, 04:36:15 PM
The Washington Post's Maryland Politics blog: Montgomery lawmakers ask state to raise speed limit on ICC (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/maryland-politics/post/montgomery-lawmakers-ask-state-to-raise-speed-limit-on-icc/2012/02/08/gIQALgXYzQ_blog.html)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 09, 2012, 05:50:08 PM
Quote
Yes, at least for now, it would be the only non-Interstate highway with posted limit above 55 MPH

The US 13/50 bypass of Salisbury is 65 MPH.  But it'd definitely be the first state route to go above 55.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on February 09, 2012, 06:41:35 PM
Quote
Yes, at least for now, it would be the only non-Interstate highway with posted limit above 55 MPH

The US 13/50 bypass of Salisbury is 65 MPH.  But it'd definitely be the first state route to go above 55.

I think the freeway segment of US-340 south of Frederick is is 65 mph.  Other than those, I don't think there are any other non-Interstate routes in Maryland that is above 55 mph.  (Counting US-50/unposted I-595 as an Interstate, it is 65 mph).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on February 09, 2012, 11:32:14 PM
You're correct about US-340 being posted at 65.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: treichard on February 10, 2012, 02:11:53 PM
Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 10, 2012, 02:42:29 PM
Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?

None, as best as I know.

The to-be-built eastern end of the easternmost section, at U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) will be a non-Interstate-standard at-grade signalized intersection.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: agentsteel53 on February 10, 2012, 03:34:48 PM
The to-be-built eastern end of the easternmost section, at U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) will be a non-Interstate-standard at-grade signalized intersection.

lots of interstates end at traffic lights.  I didn't think this would be a problem.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on February 10, 2012, 03:39:14 PM
Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?

Is the western portion before and after the tunnel perhaps considered a bit too twisty? (I don't know, I'm just hazarding a guess.) On the whole, though, I think the ICC is far superior to many Interstates I've driven, though of course some of that is due to many Interstates I drive regularly being old or having been upgraded in a seemingly haphazard manner over the years.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on February 10, 2012, 03:48:06 PM
The to-be-built eastern end of the easternmost section, at U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) will be a non-Interstate-standard at-grade signalized intersection.

lots of interstates end at traffic lights.  I didn't think this would be a problem.
It isn't, especially because any Interstate designation would likely end at I-95 (like I-370 ends at I-270).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 12, 2012, 10:17:11 PM
Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?

Is the western portion before and after the tunnel perhaps considered a bit too twisty? (I don't know, I'm just hazarding a guess.) On the whole, though, I think the ICC is far superior to many Interstates I've driven, though of course some of that is due to many Interstates I drive regularly being old or having been upgraded in a seemingly haphazard manner over the years.
I think some of the curvature is not to 70 MPH design speed, but a 60 MPH design speed is plenty. I'd be curious - is it the superelevation, some of the bridge clearances, the shoulder width, length of accel/decel lanes? Something even more minute invisible to the naked eye?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2012, 06:24:24 AM
Deadly virus hits turtles, tadpoles in Montgomery County (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/2012/02/01/gIQA5O0Z9Q_story.html)

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Maryland biologists study­ing box turtles rescued from the bulldozers on the Intercounty Connector construction site have made a grisly find: An alarming number of the tiny turtles later died, and biologists say their demise appears to be unrelated to the highway.

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Worse yet, the cause of their death — an animal disease called ranavirus taking root across the United States — also is believed to have killed nearly every tadpole and young salamander in the study area in Montgomery County’s North Branch Stream Valley Park since spring 2010.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2012, 06:37:53 AM
Some recent ICC speed limit articles mention that the ICC was not built to Interstate standards.  Which parts of the highway's design are substandard?

Is the western portion before and after the tunnel perhaps considered a bit too twisty? (I don't know, I'm just hazarding a guess.) On the whole, though, I think the ICC is far superior to many Interstates I've driven, though of course some of that is due to many Interstates I drive regularly being old or having been upgraded in a seemingly haphazard manner over the years.
I think some of the curvature is not to 70 MPH design speed, but a 60 MPH design speed is plenty. I'd be curious - is it the superelevation, some of the bridge clearances, the shoulder width, length of accel/decel lanes? Something even more minute invisible to the naked eye?

Curvature (most of which is a direct consequence of federal environmental regulators demanding deviation from the original master-planned route, which dates to the 1950's and 1960's - to reduce impacts on waterways) could be a reason. 

Maryland DOT policy requires any bridge over a public road with a height of less than 16 feet to be posted - there are no such bridges over Md. 200.

Shoulder widths seem to be at least 12 feet.

Acceleration and deceleration lanes also seem to be fine, though some of them have rather sharp curves, especially at the U.S. 29 and I-95 interchanges.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2012, 09:08:58 AM
WJLA-TV (ABC7): Maryland considers ICC speed increase (http://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/02/maryland-considers-icc-speed-increase--72636.html)

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State lawmakers who represent Montgomery County are asking the Maryland Transportation Authority to increase the speed limit on the Intercounty Connector—from 55 to 65 miles per hour.

Quote
The MDTA says it is considering a study of the proposal, but it's unclear when such a study would happen.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2012, 11:31:39 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Maryland spends $2.5 billion, builds beautiful ICC highway with 75mph design speed, posts it for 55mph (IDIOCY) (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5760)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 15, 2012, 01:45:54 PM
From my experience, it's not a 75 MPH design speed.  Several documents on the ICC website suggest 60 MPH, which is in line with what CP posted earlier.

A few other things he's in error on:  there is police enforcement...a fair bit of it.  And because of that, in my experience, the average speed is low 60s.  And that "50 MPH" isn't a speed limit.  It's a recommended speed for that curve.

I know you know the guy, CP, but it's posts like these which are why I can't take him very seriously.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 15, 2012, 07:47:24 PM
From my experience, it's not a 75 MPH design speed.  Several documents on the ICC website suggest 60 MPH, which is in line with what CP posted earlier.

A few other things he's in error on:  there is police enforcement...a fair bit of it.  And because of that, in my experience, the average speed is low 60s.  And that "50 MPH" isn't a speed limit.  It's a recommended speed for that curve.

I know you know the guy, CP, but it's posts like these which are why I can't take him very seriously.


To be fair, the word "idiocy" is in the link, which describes TRN perfectly.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on February 15, 2012, 08:11:12 PM
Quote
Also what gives you people at MdTA and SHA the idea that you know so much better than the motorists driving the road, what is safe?
I suppose this is a good example of TRN's views. If you think you know more about designing roads than the people who do it for a living, you'll be at home there.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 16, 2012, 09:53:26 AM
From my experience, it's not a 75 MPH design speed.  Several documents on the ICC website suggest 60 MPH, which is in line with what CP posted earlier.

A few other things he's in error on:  there is police enforcement...a fair bit of it.  And because of that, in my experience, the average speed is low 60s.  And that "50 MPH" isn't a speed limit.  It's a recommended speed for that curve.

I know you know the guy, CP, but it's posts like these which are why I can't take him very seriously.


To be fair, the word "idiocy" is in the link, which describes TRN perfectly.

It's an opinion piece, which you are free to disagree with. 

Note that the MdTA did disagree with what he wrote, they told him so, and he published what they said.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: InterstateNG on February 16, 2012, 10:31:38 AM
I'm confused.  Could you emphasize your points a little?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 16, 2012, 12:44:54 PM
More from WTOP: Maryland considers a faster ICC (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2749465)

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But some facts need to be examined before any decision is made, transportation officials say.

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"It is important to note that the ICC is a Maryland route and was not constructed to interstate standards like I-95 for example," says Maryland Transportation Authority Director of Communications Kelly Melhem.

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"An engineering study following state and federal guidelines would need to be completed to examine the geometric design, actual operations and safety history of the roadway (before any increase would be made)."

Does the ICC have an Interstate route number?  No! 

Was it designed to Maryland/AASHTO/FHWA standards for a high-speed freeway?  Yes!  As best as I can tell, the ICC is at least as well designed as other (relatively new) segments of Interstates in Maryland (examples including the Capital Beltway approach to the Wilson Bridge; most of I-97; I-68 between U.S. 220 (on the east side of Cumberland) and Hancock; and the reconstructed portion of I-95 between the Baltimore City/Baltimore County line on the northeast side and Md. 43 at White Marsh).

Should it have a higher posted speed limit?  Yes! 

In a perfect world, it would be posted at least 65 MPH, perhaps using New Jersey Turnpike-style variable speed limit signs.   
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on February 16, 2012, 07:20:24 PM
The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 17, 2012, 12:29:00 AM
The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.
Shh, he's not listening.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: J N Winkler on February 17, 2012, 03:13:05 AM
I wish we could get hold of the actual as-built construction plans and analyze the curve data sheets.  But:

*  Aside from a misconceived and therefore short-lived "Plans Online" experiment eight years ago, MdSHA has never put construction plans online; and

*  The ICC is a design-build so construction plans were not made available before bidding.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 17, 2012, 08:41:06 AM
The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.

Were those Interstates to be built today in Maryland, they would have to build them with similar curves in order to satisfy demands from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Speaking of Washington-area Interstates, ever driven on I-495 between Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) and Md. 187 (Old Georgetown Road) [EDIT: obviously you have]?  

Or I-270 between Md. 109 (Old Hundred Road) and Md. 85 (Buckeystown Pike)?  Or I-70 between Md. 66 (Mapleville Road) and Md. 17 (Myersville Road)?  Or I-97 between U.S. 50 and Md. 32/Md. 3?  All posted 65 MPH, yet they have considerable horizontal and vertical curves.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on February 17, 2012, 03:50:17 PM
The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.

Were those Interstates to be built today in Maryland, they would have to build them with similar curves in order to satisfy demands from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
And that would obviously affect the design speed and the speed limits.

Quote
Speaking of Washington-area Interstates, ever driven on I-495 between Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) and Md. 187 (Old Georgetown Road) [EDIT: obviously you have]? 

Or I-270 between Md. 109 (Old Hundred Road) and Md. 85 (Buckeystown Pike)?  Or I-70 between Md. 66 (Mapleville Road) and Md. 17 (Myersville Road)?  Or I-97 between U.S. 50 and Md. 32/Md. 3?  All posted 65 MPH, yet they have considerable horizontal and vertical curves.
Other than that "slalom" section of I-495, the others you mention have much less horizontal curvature than MD-200.  No section has a design speed of less than 70 mph.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 17, 2012, 04:49:08 PM
The ICC has far more horizontal curvature than typical Baltimore-Washington Interstate highways.  I would compare it to the Capital Beltway from I-270 to MD-97.  Many long (large delta) curves in the 50-55 mph range.

Were those Interstates to be built today in Maryland, they would have to build them with similar curves in order to satisfy demands from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
And that would obviously affect the design speed and the speed limits.

Quote
Speaking of Washington-area Interstates, ever driven on I-495 between Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) and Md. 187 (Old Georgetown Road) [EDIT: obviously you have]? 

Or I-270 between Md. 109 (Old Hundred Road) and Md. 85 (Buckeystown Pike)?  Or I-70 between Md. 66 (Mapleville Road) and Md. 17 (Myersville Road)?  Or I-97 between U.S. 50 and Md. 32/Md. 3?  All posted 65 MPH, yet they have considerable horizontal and vertical curves.
Other than that "slalom" section of I-495, the others you mention have much less horizontal curvature than MD-200.  No section has a design speed of less than 70 mph.

Do you have the as-built drawings for any of those segments of highway?

I-270 is one of Maryland's oldest freeway (originally U.S. 240, then I-70S, now I-270), with plenty of steep grades and sharp (for an Interstate) curves.  Between Md. 121 at Clarksburg and Md. 85, it is little changed since it was opened to traffic in the 1950's.

That segment of I-70 is about 15 years newer than I-270, yet it has some pretty sharp curves and a steep descent eastbound, in particular between the crest of South Mountain and Md. 17. 

Yet these are all posted at 65 MPH, even though they carry (at least for now) significantly higher percentages of commercial vehicles than Md. 200 does. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on February 18, 2012, 01:01:01 AM
Other than that "slalom" section of I-495, the others you mention have much less horizontal curvature than MD-200.  No section has a design speed of less than 70 mph.

Do you have the as-built drawings for any of those segments of highway?

I-270 is one of Maryland's oldest freeway (originally U.S. 240, then I-70S, now I-270), with plenty of steep grades and sharp (for an Interstate) curves.  Between Md. 121 at Clarksburg and Md. 85, it is little changed since it was opened to traffic in the 1950's.

That segment of I-70 is about 15 years newer than I-270, yet it has some pretty sharp curves and a steep descent eastbound, in particular between the crest of South Mountain and Md. 17.

Yet these are all posted at 65 MPH, even though they carry (at least for now) significantly higher percentages of commercial vehicles than Md. 200 does. 

If MD-200 was posted for 65 mph, probably 1/3 of the length is curves that would have to be posted at 55 or even 50 in some cases.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 18, 2012, 07:31:08 AM
Some of the curves already are posted at 50.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 18, 2012, 02:12:01 PM
Some of the curves already are posted at 50.

Those are advisory plates, not the actual speed limit, which remains 55.

Having driven the ICC many times (from I-370 to I-95 and back) recently, those curves (at least when the pavement is dry) are perfectly safe at between 55 and 60 MPH. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on February 18, 2012, 06:47:45 PM
It's been my experience that you can safely traverse a curve at 10 mph above the advisory speed, at least in any vehicle I've ever owned (which includes a Toyota Tacoma 4WD pickup and a 4WD Chevy S-10 Blazer.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on February 18, 2012, 08:56:37 PM
It's been my experience that you can safely traverse a curve at 10 mph above the advisory speed, at least in any vehicle I've ever owned (which includes a Toyota Tacoma 4WD pickup and a 4WD Chevy S-10 Blazer.)

The first car I owned was a '77 Granada and I was shocked when I found I had to heed the advisory speeds in that thing.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on February 18, 2012, 10:42:26 PM
It's been my experience that you can safely traverse a curve at 10 mph above the advisory speed, at least in any vehicle I've ever owned (which includes a Toyota Tacoma 4WD pickup and a 4WD Chevy S-10 Blazer.)
Correct, the advisory speeds are supposed to be posted 5-10 mph below design speed, and the design speed should apply to all vehicles. I've traveled Kamikaze Curve in NY at 70+ mph (not driving), but I wouldn't dare try it in my own car.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on February 19, 2012, 12:24:19 AM
Some of the curves already are posted at 50.

Those are advisory plates, not the actual speed limit, which remains 55.

Having driven the ICC many times (from I-370 to I-95 and back) recently, those curves (at least when the pavement is dry) are perfectly safe at between 55 and 60 MPH. 

Meaning that the curves should have a speed limit of 55.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on February 19, 2012, 01:36:28 AM
Correct, the advisory speeds are supposed to be posted 5-10 mph below design speed, and the design speed should apply to all vehicles. I've traveled Kamikaze Curve in NY at 70+ mph (not driving), but I wouldn't dare try it in my own car.

I've only done Kamikaze Curve once. It was southbound on I-81 and it was dark and traffic wasn't moving very fast at all, so I never got a chance to see what I could do in it.

I have done the through movement on NY 17 west, and the NY 17 east to I-81 south movement as well, but those don't really count, I know.

I'd think your car should corner pretty well.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: J N Winkler on February 19, 2012, 04:14:37 AM
Advisory speed is really a measure of expected driver discomfort due to variables like suspension response and side friction demand.  It is not meant to be an absolute ceiling on speed and it would be inappropriate to regard it as such.

Moreover, design speed is not a comprehensive measure of the driving experience with regard to speed, for two reasons.  First, the criteria that are attached to a particular design speed have changed in time, so you can't just lift the design speed value from the title sheet of the construction plans and frame an argument about the speedworthiness of a road around it.  You need to know more about the curvature and superelevation that is actually provided, plus some higher-level information about design consistency.

Second, the design speed does not measure how much slack has been incorporated into the design.  This is an important consideration because 10 over the design speed on a road designed for 60 MPH with plenty of slack (i.e., no curves near minimum curve radius and no superelevations near maximum) may very well be much more comfortable than 70 MPH on a road designed for 70 with no slack (many curves at or near minimum curve radius with maximum superelevation).

A rough way to calculate the slack provided in a particular design is to take superelevation and radius for all the horizontal curves that are provided, calculate the speed for each curve that corresponds to a consensus skidding value (say, 0.6g), and then subtract a suitable speed value from the calculated skidding speed for each curve.  The lowest such difference will be a measure of the slack provided in the design.

The "suitable speed value" you use for this calculation should be something that is established on a reasonably consistent basis.  This can be the speed limit, but if you want to compare two roads built in different periods and account for variations in setting speed limits across different roads, then you need to use current standards to compute an imputed design speed for each road involved in the comparison that has not been designed to those standards.

These considerations aside, the impression I receive from this thread so far is not only that Maryland SR 200 has a lower design speed than the Beltway outside the Bethesda Country Club, but also that the design has far less slack.  The telltale here is the provision of curve advisory speed signs as part of the initial construction.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on February 19, 2012, 02:23:57 PM
I don't get all the fuss over the so-called "Kamikaze Curve" in Binghamton. There are plenty of curves on freeways in NYC which are far worse.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on February 19, 2012, 04:54:15 PM
These considerations aside, the impression I receive from this thread so far is not only that Maryland SR 200 has a lower design speed than the Beltway outside the Bethesda Country Club, but also that the design has far less slack.  The telltale here is the provision of curve advisory speed signs as part of the initial construction.

That is a good summation of my perception of MD-200.

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on February 20, 2012, 11:54:30 AM
I don't get all the fuss over the so-called "Kamikaze Curve" in Binghamton. There are plenty of curves on freeways in NYC which are far worse.
I think it's the merge lanes.  The curve itself isn't bad; in fact, the DOT isn't going to be doing much of anything with the curve, mainly just changing the ramps so they don't have merge lanes on the curve.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 28, 2012, 12:49:39 PM
Governor O'Malley reported via Twitter earlier today that the final ICC contract has been signed.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 29, 2012, 08:53:00 AM
Governor O'Malley reported via Twitter earlier today that the final ICC contract has been signed.

Yep.  Same joint venture group that built Contract C got this business:

Maryland awards contract on last piece of ICC construction (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/maryland-awards-contract-on-last-piece-of-icc-construction/2012/02/28/gIQApY1HgR_blog.html)

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The contract was awarded to a joint venture of Shirley Contracting Co., Clark Construction Group, Facchina Construction Co. and Trumball Corp. The same joint venture built the 3.7-mile section of the ICC between U.S. Route 29 and I-95.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 19, 2012, 11:14:20 PM
WTOP Radio: Traffic on the ICC: Looks can be deceiving (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=46&sid=2792669)

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Take a ride on the Intercounty Connector in Maryland during rush hour and drivers may wonder -- where is everybody?

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And while the road may seem wide open, Maryland Transportation officials say current traffic volumes are right on target.

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"Traffic overall is consistent with projections," says Kelly Melham, deputy director of communications for the Maryland Transportation Authority. "Approximately 20,000 vehicles on average on weekdays."
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 22, 2012, 09:35:36 PM
Baltimore Sun: State studies increasing speed limit on ICC - Officers have issued more than 1,200 tickets on the 16-mile toll road since November (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-bz-icc-speed-study-20120322,0,2279982.story)

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Lightly traveled and pothole-free, the newly opened Inter-County Connector is an invitation to speed, and that has become a sore spot with commuters.

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A review of the toll road's speed limit is under way and preliminary results and recommendations are expected in a month, said Doug Hutchinson, the Maryland Transportation Authority's chief engineer. The study will take into account the sharpness and bank of curves, sight distances and accident history on the road, formally known as Route 200.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NJRoadfan on March 22, 2012, 11:47:21 PM
There were more then 3 cruisers parked running radar on that road the morning I was on it. The amount of speed traps were ridiculous on that road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 23, 2012, 07:52:29 AM
There were more then 3 cruisers parked running radar on that road the morning I was on it. The amount of speed traps were ridiculous on that road.

Every time I have driven Md. 200 end-to-end (which is pretty frequently), I have seen at least one MdTA Police unit either monitoring speeds or with a motorist stopped.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on March 23, 2012, 08:57:32 AM
There were more then 3 cruisers parked running radar on that road the morning I was on it. The amount of speed traps were ridiculous on that road.

Every time I have driven Md. 200 end-to-end (which is pretty frequently), I have seen at least one MdTA Police unit either monitoring speeds or with a motorist stopped.

Nothing wrong with that ... otherwise you would have some jerks going 100+.

Also, visible enforcement is not a "speed trap".
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on March 23, 2012, 09:18:04 AM
Also, visible enforcement is not a "speed trap".
Agreed. A speed trap is when the speed limit is not obvious, due to being occluded or unposted. Hence the trap. If you're told clearly what the speed limit is, it's not a trap.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 23, 2012, 09:30:40 AM
There were more then 3 cruisers parked running radar on that road the morning I was on it. The amount of speed traps were ridiculous on that road.

Every time I have driven Md. 200 end-to-end (which is pretty frequently), I have seen at least one MdTA Police unit either monitoring speeds or with a motorist stopped.

Nothing wrong with that ... otherwise you would have some jerks going 100+.

I don't have a problem with strict speed limit enforcement by real police officers.

But the posted speed limit on Md. 200 could reasonably be 65 MPH (and probably be higher, though 65 is the statewide maximum), even though the road is relatively short.

I have a major problem with commuter tax revenue collection masquerading as automated speed limit enforcement (in the District of Columbia, not Maryland). 

Quote
Also, visible enforcement is not a "speed trap".

Agreed. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 08, 2012, 10:09:44 PM
WAMU Radio: On The ICC, Residents, Commuters Mull A Highway's Pros And Cons (http://wamu.org/programs/metro_connection/12/03/30/on_the_icc_residents_commuters_mull_a_highways_pros_and_cons)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 30, 2012, 05:02:17 PM
Montgomery Gazette (note: does not render correctly with my (current) version of  Firefox, 11.0): Drivers still not utilizing the ICC - State official: Toll road’s projected use proving accurate (http://www.gazette.net/article/20120427/NEWS/704279635/1034/icc-still-the-road-less-traveled&template=gazette)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: rickmastfan67 on April 30, 2012, 08:51:39 PM
Montgomery Gazette (note: does not render correctly with my (current) version of  Firefox, 11.0): Drivers still not utilizing the ICC - State official: Toll road’s projected use proving accurate (http://www.gazette.net/article/20120427/NEWS/704279635/1034/icc-still-the-road-less-traveled&template=gazette)

Might want to update to FF 12 then (which was recently released). It's rendering fine in FF 13 Beta.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 03, 2012, 10:20:19 PM
WTOP Radio: Hundreds of tickets distributed along the ICC (http://www.wtop.com/41/2851679/Hundreds-of-tickets-given-along-the-ICC)

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Better be on your best behavior when driving the Intercounty Connector in Maryland. Over 300 traffic tickets are being handed out every month along the toll road that connects Gaithersburg to Laurel, according to statistics from Maryland Transportation Authority police.

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Those numbers could actually get worse. Figures show that MdTA police are also issuing about 500 warnings every month on the road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 28, 2012, 06:01:05 PM
Intercounty Connector a life-changer for motorists, residents (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/intercounty-connector-a-life-changer-for-motorists-residents/2012/05/28/gJQAcDx6wU_story.html)

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Since opening last year, the Intercounty Connector has provided thousands of Maryland motorists with their first direct, congestion-free drive between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

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Gleeful drivers say the highway has cut up to a half-hour off their east-west trips between the busy commercial corridors of Interstates 95 and 270. But six months after the latest stretch of the ICC opened, concerns persist about the cost of such convenience — in traffic noise, pricey tolls and projects passed over in the face of the ICC’s $2.56 billion construction costs.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 01, 2012, 03:07:07 PM
TOLLROADSnews follow-up: Washington Post reports how users just Loooove the ICC TR in Montgomery Co MD (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5967)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on June 01, 2012, 07:15:16 PM
TOLLROADSnews follow-up: Washington Post reports how users just Loooove the ICC TR in Montgomery Co MD (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5967)
Why not just share the Washington Post news article instead of an opinion piece?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/intercounty-connector-a-life-changer-for-motorists-residents/2012/05/28/gJQAcDx6wU_story.html
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on June 01, 2012, 10:56:47 PM
TOLLROADSnews follow-up: Washington Post reports how users just Loooove the ICC TR in Montgomery Co MD (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5967)
Why not just share the Washington Post news article instead of an opinion piece?

Because the comPost publishes opinion as often as it publishes news.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 04, 2012, 11:01:40 PM
TOLLROADSnews follow-up: Washington Post reports how users just Loooove the ICC TR in Montgomery Co MD (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5967)
Why not just share the Washington Post news article instead of an opinion piece?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/intercounty-connector-a-life-changer-for-motorists-residents/2012/05/28/gJQAcDx6wU_story.html

Because Peter Samuel published some information that might be of interest to readers here which was not in the Post article. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 04, 2012, 11:03:26 PM
TOLLROADSnews follow-up: Washington Post reports how users just Loooove the ICC TR in Montgomery Co MD (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5967)
Why not just share the Washington Post news article instead of an opinion piece?

Because the comPost publishes opinion as often as it publishes news.

The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism, though it is hardly alone in doing so.  And in my opinion, this may have been the most-fair article to ever run in the Post about the ICC.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: qguy on June 05, 2012, 12:00:36 PM
The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism…

Sometimes?  :-D
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 05, 2012, 05:50:35 PM
The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism…

Sometimes?  :-D

Compared to some other media operations (including more than a few with operations in Washington, D.C.), yes, sometimes.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: qguy on June 05, 2012, 11:51:31 PM
The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism…

Sometimes?  :-D

Compared to some other media operations (including more than a few with operations in Washington, D.C.), yes, sometimes.

IMO they all intentionally edtorialize in the news, a lot, not just on the "editorial page" where such opionion belongs. IOW, they write the news in such a way as to attempt to influence how I think about issues. Every day, in every edition. Print, TV, you name it.

Which is fine, I suppose. I mean, how can any news source really be objective? News sources are composed of subjective human beings. The provider's opinion can't help but leak into the news. When the reader or viewer knows the slant, they can take it into account.

It's the phony, smug, self-righteous pretending to be objective that gets my goat (especially when the subjectivity is due to a political or philosophical viewpoint). They need to come down off their high horses, admit their subjectivity, and move on. But they think if they do that, they'll lose their credibility. What they seem to not realize is that they've already lost credibility in many quarters precisely because of their pretense to objectivity when the opposite is so obvious.

The Web isn't the only reason newspapers' readership is generally way down. For so many of them, too many people just don't see them as sources of valid information anymore.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 08, 2012, 10:25:20 AM
IMO they all intentionally edtorialize in the news, a lot, not just on the "editorial page" where such opionion belongs. IOW, they write the news in such a way as to attempt to influence how I think about issues. Every day, in every edition. Print, TV, you name it.

This has been going on for a long, long time. 

The best newspaper to  not engage in that sort of thing was the Wall Street Journal (I subscribed to it for over 30 years even though I disliked nearly everything on its editorial page), but I recently dropped my subscription after the paper clearly started going downhill after Rupert Murdoch took over (a writer at the N.Y. Times called it the "FoXification" of a once-great paper).

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Which is fine, I suppose. I mean, how can any news source really be objective? News sources are composed of subjective human beings. The provider's opinion can't help but leak into the news. When the reader or viewer knows the slant, they can take it into account.

Returning to the subject at hand, I have frequently been dissatisfied with the coverage of the InterCounty Connector in the Washington Post, going back to the 1970's (even though the Post has probably been the best source of news on the project anyway).  They have (in my opinion) given far too much space to the (small and loud) group of hyperactive Montgomery County (and to a lesser extent, Prince George's County) citizen activists (and well-funded anti-highway activists from Northern Virginia) who have opposed the project since the late 1960's. 

And the Post's Dr. Gridlock, while well-informed, spends too much of his time dealing with problems associated with the Metrorail system (which, in the scheme of things, is used by relatively few people in the region) and not enough time talking about problems with the highway network, which serves everyone.

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It's the phony, smug, self-righteous pretending to be objective that gets my goat (especially when the subjectivity is due to a political or philosophical viewpoint). They need to come down off their high horses, admit their subjectivity, and move on. But they think if they do that, they'll lose their credibility. What they seem to not realize is that they've already lost credibility in many quarters precisely because of their pretense to objectivity when the opposite is so obvious.

Newspapers are mostly in trouble because they have lost some of their most-profitable business to the Web - in particular, classified advertising used to be a huge source of revenue for most newspapers, now that has greatly declined.

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The Web isn't the only reason newspapers' readership is generally way down. For so many of them, too many people just don't see them as sources of valid information anymore.

I do not generally regard television or radio stations as a substitute for newspapers (be they in print or online).  Compared to broadcast media, newspapers can (and do) cover a subject much more in depth than soundbite-oriented TV news.  Returning again to coverage of the ICC, broadcast media, even "serious" stations like WTOP and WAMU, simply have not been able to cover the many issues associated with the ICC as well as the Post, the Gazette and, in recent times, the Examiner.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: qguy on June 11, 2012, 10:57:35 AM
@ cpz: I agree with just about everything you said in your last post.

I do not generally regard television or radio stations as a substitute for newspapers (be they in print or online).  Compared to broadcast media, newspapers can (and do) cover a subject much more in depth than soundbite-oriented TV news.  Returning again to coverage of the ICC, broadcast media, even "serious" stations like WTOP and WAMU, simply have not been able to cover the many issues associated with the ICC as well as the Post, the Gazette and, in recent times, the Examiner.

This is why I lament the biased tilt that newspapers so often exhibit.

This has been going on for a long, long time.

I agree. I think that the reason why newspapers and a lot of other so-called mainstream news sources have lost so much credibility in recent years is the increased availability of alternate sources of news and information. People have come to see that just because something appears in print, or is spoken on the air with a tone of authority, doesn't make it so.

This was brought into sharp relief last Wednesday when Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS (including it's news division), stated to a reporter while waiting in line to enter a fundraiser celebration for President Obama in Beverly Hills, "Partisanship is very much a part of journalism now."

Really? I hadn't noticed.  :rolleyes:

Anyway, you're right that it can be very frustrating when there is reporting on some project you're familiar with and after you read the article you wonder if they were reporting on the same project at all.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on June 28, 2012, 02:11:38 PM
Rode on both directions of the ICC a week ago from yesterday and traffic was extremely light. The 55 mph speed limit makes the drive seem too long and I noted at least one cop situated below an underpass near the west end.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/icc_scene.jpg)

What is the deal with the lane control signals at the "deckover"?
h/t C.P. Zilliacus for the nomeclature.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 28, 2012, 02:18:27 PM
what is a deckover?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 28, 2012, 11:04:10 PM
what is a deckover?

In this case at least, it is (what I call) the Winters Run Tunnel - a fairly short cut-and-cover tunnel through which the ICC runs, so the Winters Run community is not sliced in half by Md. 200.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on July 09, 2012, 07:51:26 PM
Well, you see them on tunnels and bridges so that lanes can be closed in case of incident, construction, weather, etc. without the need to put out cones and whatnot (since structures need lanes closed more often than surface roadways).

Though, with such a short tunnel, it is rather silly. I'm guessing MDTA probably has a standard that says something like "there shall be lane use control signals before a tunnel entrance", and that that was blindly followed.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 09, 2012, 09:26:16 PM
Well, you see them on tunnels and bridges so that lanes can be closed in case of incident, construction, weather, etc. without the need to put out cones and whatnot (since structures need lanes closed more often than surface roadways).

Though, with such a short tunnel, it is rather silly. I'm guessing MDTA probably has a standard that says something like "there shall be lane use control signals before a tunnel entrance", and that that was blindly followed.

I wonder if the MdTA maintenance people will bring their Mercedes Unimog-mounted tunnel cleaning brushes and related equipment down from Baltimore to clean the "interior" surfaces of the Winters Run deckover on a periodic basis?

Baltimore Sun (2012) article about cleaning the soot and grime from the tunnel interiors:
Cleaner and safer: Tunnels glisten after year's first wash (http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-04-20/business/bs-bz-tunnel-washers-20120419_1_mchenry-tunnel-baltimore-harbor-tunnels-wash)

Regarding the lane controls, they do remind me of the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry Tunnels to some extent.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2012, 09:54:11 AM
WTOP Radio: Why does ICC seem empty? (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2938642)

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The $2.5 billion InterCounty Connector in Maryland won't be full of vehicles for years to come, but that free flow of traffic is by design.

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Since opening to vehicles between Gaithersburg and Laurel last year, wide stretches of the road still remain empty. That's certainly not the norm for a region used to crawling highways.

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"We built a highway that will be there not just for today, but for the future, so of course we built in extra capacity," says Harold Bartlett, head of the Maryland Transportation Authority.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 05, 2012, 11:04:06 PM
Speed cameras on I-95 just north of the Md. 200 interchange have returned.

The contractor is starting to build the bridge abutments that will carry Contee Road over I-95, and the parallel I-95 C-D roads between Md. 200 and Md. 198 as part of ICC Contract D/E.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 10, 2012, 10:23:26 AM
WTOP Radio: Leggett calls for higher speed limit on ICC (http://www.wtop.com/654/2987417/Is-it-time-for-the-speed-limit-to-go-up-on-the-ICC)

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Montgomery County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett is renewing calls to raise the 55 mph speed limit on Maryland's InterCounty Connector.

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"The speed limit certainly should increase, especially now, when you have an opportunity to go faster at a safe speed," Leggett tells WTOP.

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ICC drivers notice that at any time of the day the road flows freely and the speedometer easily reaches 55.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on August 10, 2012, 10:45:40 AM
I haven't driven on the ICC except for exploratory trips back when it was in the free preview period. Because of where I live and where that road goes, it's simply not a road I'll ever have reason to use very often. So this comment is premised on very limited experience. It seems to me that it would be an ideal road for a variable speed limit system. 55 mph is definitely too slow most of the time on there, but I also noted that the western end between I-370 and that short tunnel has a couple of fairly sharp curves and then the "newer" portion (from Georgia Avenue east to I-95) has a couple of bridges that seemed to have some decent elevation and length to them, meaning in bad weather (and especially winter) a lower speed limit might be appropriate.

The problem with variable speed limits is that people generally don't pay any attention to them, as we saw when VDOT tried them on the Beltway in the Wilson Bridge work zone a few years ago. But I think people might pay more attention to them if states didn't make it standard practice to underpost speed limits. If the speed limit is normally a reasonable one, then I think the average driver might be more likely to pay attention and take notice if the limit is suddenly reduced, especially if the reduction is not done on a routine basis. I know I'd be more inclined to think there might be a good reason for it. But if the speed limit is already posted well below what drivers are doing, then people aren't likely to take an even lower limit all that seriously.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 10, 2012, 02:26:50 PM
I haven't driven on the ICC except for exploratory trips back when it was in the free preview period. Because of where I live and where that road goes, it's simply not a road I'll ever have reason to use very often. So this comment is premised on very limited experience. It seems to me that it would be an ideal road for a variable speed limit system. 55 mph is definitely too slow most of the time on there, but I also noted that the western end between I-370 and that short tunnel has a couple of fairly sharp curves and then the "newer" portion (from Georgia Avenue east to I-95) has a couple of bridges that seemed to have some decent elevation and length to them, meaning in bad weather (and especially winter) a lower speed limit might be appropriate.

It is not clear to me if Maryland law allows variable speed limits now (a check of Lexis/Nexis did not reveal any reference to it either way).

The problem with variable speed limits is that people generally don't pay any attention to them, as we saw when VDOT tried them on the Beltway in the Wilson Bridge work zone a few years ago.

Yeah, it seemed that traffic moved along at its (usual) high speed through that work zone.  I don't think I ever saw the Virginia State Police enforcing the speed limit in that area while the variable speed limit was in place.

But I think people might pay more attention to them if states didn't make it standard practice to underpost speed limits. If the speed limit is normally a reasonable one, then I think the average driver might be more likely to pay attention and take notice if the limit is suddenly reduced, especially if the reduction is not done on a routine basis. I know I'd be more inclined to think there might be a good reason for it. But if the speed limit is already posted well below what drivers are doing, then people aren't likely to take an even lower limit all that seriously.

Agreed.  More and more, I have come to the conclusion that speed limits on most  freeways in Maryland and Virginia are set much too low.  However, research has shown that when cars are driven at higher speeds, they emit more nitrous oxides (NOx), which is a precursor to ground-level ozone.  That's one of the reasons that speed limits are kept low, even though most drivers ignore those limits.  Vehicle emission controls have gotten much, much better at controlling the emission of all sorts of pollutants, including NOx, which is why we have relatively few "ozone alert" days, even though this summer has been extremely hot.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on August 10, 2012, 03:10:59 PM
I don't know what Maryland law is on variable speed limits either, but my comment wasn't intended to be a comment on what Maryland law does or doesn't allow; rather, it was just a general comment that I thought that road would be a good place for it.

Also, I had not seen your comment on the WTOP article's comment page before I made that comment here!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 11, 2012, 11:47:17 AM
I don't know what Maryland law is on variable speed limits either, but my comment wasn't intended to be a comment on what Maryland law does or doesn't allow; rather, it was just a general comment that I thought that road would be a good place for it.

No, it's a great idea (IMO, variable speed limits in general on freeways and motorways are a great idea).  Aside from the New Jersey Turnpike, the longest section of freeway (motorway) I have driven with them is E18/Route 1 in Finland, where it seems to work very well.

Also, I had not seen your comment on the WTOP article's comment page before I made that comment here!

Just proof that great minds think alike! ;-)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: deathtopumpkins on August 14, 2012, 08:32:05 AM
Discussion on variable speed limits split off into: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=7476.0
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on August 14, 2012, 09:05:53 PM
Discussion on variable speed limits split off into: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=7476.0
No wonder someone in that thread asked a mod to split it, and I couldn't figure out why.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 20, 2012, 11:46:58 PM
Op-ed by Chris Core in the D.C. Examiner:  THE TOLL OF THE TOLLS (http://central.washingtonexaminer.com/chris-core/2012/08/20/the-toll-of-the-tolls/)

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My friend Bob lives near the Inter County Connector in Rockville.  He was vehemently opposed to building it.  He thought the new road would make his neighborhood noisy and polluted.  Not anymore.

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Ever since the ICC opened, Bob has been singing its praises.  His commute to downtown Bethesda has been cut in half and the road has had no negative impact on his neighborhood’s environment.

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One reason Bob is loving his commute these days is that the ICC is way underused.  This is  verifiable, just drive on Maryland Route 200 and see for yourself.  Not many cars.  Hmmm, wonder why.

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There are only two reasons for the ICC’s lack of traffic.  One is that drivers really don’t want to save time and fuel costs by using the short-cut between I-270 and I-95.  The other is that the toll is too high.  I’ll let you figure out that part of the puzzle on your own.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 24, 2012, 09:27:33 AM
WTOP Radio: Drivers ask: Where's the ICC bill? (http://www.wtop.com/654/3006108/Drivers-ask-Wheres-the-ICC-bill)

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If you drive on the InterCounty Connector in Maryland without an E- ZPass, you are supposed to be sent a bill in the mail for the toll.

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But some may be asking, "Where is my bill?"

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Several drivers tell WTOP they are surprised at how long it takes to actually receive a notification in the mail from the all-electronic toll road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alex on August 24, 2012, 10:41:53 AM
WTOP Radio: Drivers ask: Where's the ICC bill? (http://www.wtop.com/654/3006108/Drivers-ask-Wheres-the-ICC-bill)


Well they are sending them out.   :camo:

My sister got a bill for someone else' vehicle back in the spring. It was for $1.50 and she was able to call and have it rectified. Funny enough, she has no idea of where the ICC is or would ever need to take it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 11, 2012, 04:52:43 PM
WTOP Radio: Cracks found on ICC bridges (http://www.wtop.com/654/3029682/ICC-bridges-safe-despite-new-cracks)

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More problems with bridges over the brand-new Intercounty Connector have been discovered.

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Two new bridges have cracks in them.

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Inspectors found new hairline cracks on the bridge that carries the ICC over U.S. 29 in Briggs Chaney and a ramp near U.S. 29.

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Earlier this year, inspectors found cracks in three other ICC bridges.

The WTOP report above is based on this article in the D.C. Examiner: Two more ICC bridges have cracks (http://washingtonexaminer.com/two-more-icc-bridges-have-cracks/article/2507438)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2012, 02:45:37 PM
Maryland DOT/SHA News Release: MARYLAND STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION AND MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY EARN SIX NATIONAL AWARDS FOR INTERCOUNTY CONNECTOR PROJECT (http://www.roads.maryland.gov/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1257)

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ICC Has Now Garnered 16 Major National Awards in Past Two Years

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(September 25, 2012) – The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), the Intercounty Connector (ICC) project team, and several ICC contractors recently earned six additional national awards for innovative design, environmental sensitivity, exceptional craftsmanship, and commitment to safety.


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With the addition of these six new honors, the ICC project has now garnered a total of 16 major national awards since the first segment of the roadway opened to traffic in February 2011.

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Most recently, Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine selected Contract B of the ICC (from MD 97 to US 29) as the 2012 Best Transportation Project as part of the 2012 'Best Projects' competition in the Mid-Atlantic region. An independent jury focused on projects “that overcame significant challenges, adopted innovative approaches, executed exceptional design and craftsmanship, and maintained safe sites,” ENR said in its public announcement of the awards.

[snipped]

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ICC Also Recognized by AASHTO and DBIA

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Earlier this month, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) named the ICC a Top 10 Finalist as part of that organization’s 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition.

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The Top 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. A total of 49 projects from 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget," and "Best Use of Innovation." The 10 projects are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, to be selected by a panel of judges, and the People's Choice Award, which will be decided by popular vote of the general public.

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Public on-line voting will continue through Friday, October 19 at the following web site link: www.AmericasTransportationAward.org (http://www.americastransportationaward.org/).  Individuals are welcome to vote up to 10 times per day for their favorite projects. The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award will be awarded with $10,000 each, which will be donated by those state DOTs to a charity or scholarship of their choice.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2012, 04:32:51 PM
Hey, cp, got a question for you since you live in Maryland, and this thread is a fine place since the question is ICC-related.

Driving northwest from the DC area during a weekday morning rush hour. The Virginia portion of the Inner Loop is always horribly snarled at that time of day. What do you think of the notion of going the other way around the Beltway through Maryland, then up I-95 and across the ICC to I-270? Likely to be faster, or just out of the way?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2012, 04:41:14 PM
Hey, cp, got a question for you since you live in Maryland, and this thread is a fine place since the question is ICC-related.

Driving northwest from the DC area during a weekday morning rush hour. The Virginia portion of the Inner Loop is always horribly snarled at that time of day. What do you think of the notion of going the other way around the Beltway through Maryland, then up I-95 and across the ICC to I-270? Likely to be faster, or just out of the way?

How would you get to the Beltway from D.C.?  By way of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway?  Or U.S. 50?  Or by way of D.C. surface streets?  Or just starting on the Beltway in Fairfax County near Springfield and heading across the Wilson Bridge through Oxon Hill?

Regarding the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway, you mean the segment from Springfield to Tysons Corner?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2012, 04:47:31 PM
Hey, cp, got a question for you since you live in Maryland, and this thread is a fine place since the question is ICC-related.

Driving northwest from the DC area during a weekday morning rush hour. The Virginia portion of the Inner Loop is always horribly snarled at that time of day. What do you think of the notion of going the other way around the Beltway through Maryland, then up I-95 and across the ICC to I-270? Likely to be faster, or just out of the way?

How would you get to the Beltway from D.C.?  By way of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway?  Or U.S. 50?  Or by way of D.C. surface streets?  Or just starting on the Beltway in Fairfax County near Springfield and heading across the Wilson Bridge through Oxon Hill?

Regarding the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway, you mean the segment from Springfield to Tysons Corner?

Over the Wilson Bridge. We live off Van Dorn Street and so would either get on the Beltway there or else head to either Telegraph Road or I-95 if Van Dorn is backed up (which is often is). The Inner Loop segment you cite is exactly the one in question—it grinds to a halt near the Robinson Terminal every morning and it's pretty much stop-and-roll all the way to at least I-66. So rather than put up with that, the notion crossed my mind of going around the other way through Maryland and then across the ICC. But since I seldom go that way during rush hour (most recent time I did it was back in May 2011 going to the federal courthouse in Greenbelt), I don't have a sense for the traffic in Maryland other than that the ICC is reportedly always wide-open.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2012, 05:07:03 PM
Hey, cp, got a question for you since you live in Maryland, and this thread is a fine place since the question is ICC-related.

Driving northwest from the DC area during a weekday morning rush hour. The Virginia portion of the Inner Loop is always horribly snarled at that time of day. What do you think of the notion of going the other way around the Beltway through Maryland, then up I-95 and across the ICC to I-270? Likely to be faster, or just out of the way?

How would you get to the Beltway from D.C.?  By way of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway?  Or U.S. 50?  Or by way of D.C. surface streets?  Or just starting on the Beltway in Fairfax County near Springfield and heading across the Wilson Bridge through Oxon Hill?

Regarding the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway, you mean the segment from Springfield to Tysons Corner?

Over the Wilson Bridge. We live off Van Dorn Street and so would either get on the Beltway there or else head to either Telegraph Road or I-95 if Van Dorn is backed up (which is often is). The Inner Loop segment you cite is exactly the one in question—it grinds to a halt near the Robinson Terminal every morning and it's pretty much stop-and-roll all the way to at least I-66. So rather than put up with that, the notion crossed my mind of going around the other way through Maryland and then across the ICC. But since I seldom go that way during rush hour (most recent time I did it was back in May 2011 going to the federal courthouse in Greenbelt), I don't have a sense for the traffic in Maryland other than that the ICC is reportedly always wide-open.

If you need to go to Greenbelt, that is absolutely the best way to go.  But to avoid the misery of the Inner Loop between Springfield and I-66 or Va. 267 (Dulles Toll Road), the distance, and the toll on the ICC ($4.20 one-way) probably make that a loser.  The Outer Loop of the Beltway (if there are no incidents) usually runs pretty well from Springfield all the way to College Park, but nearly always backs-up somewhere around Greenbelt or College Park because of the severe recurring congestion (on the Outer Loop) that happens nearly every weekday morning between I-95 and I-270.  You could, of course, bail out to northbound I-95 in College Park and head for Md. 200 (ICC), but consider that the west end of the ICC delivers you to I-370, which then gets you to I-270.  I-270 southbound is frequently severely congested from I-370 south to the "split" where I-270 goes to the east (signed south) and I-270Y (commonly known as "I-270 Spur") heads south to join the Outer Loop of the Beltway (that short segment  is also frequently severely congested, as is the Outer Loop between I-270Y and the Va. 267 interchange - contrary to what some Maryland elected officials want us to believe, there are a lot of Maryland residents that work at Tysons Corner and along the Va. 267 corridor).

My suggestion is to try out the new toll lanes on I-495 between Springfield and Va. 267 when they open this winter.  They are supposed to operate at speeds of 45 MPH or better (light speed compared to the misery of the nearby Inner Loop lanes).

Note also that it is possible that the new toll lanes may (in the short term at least) remove enough traffic from the Inner Loop to make it run better, though I don't think that will be the case in the longer term.

Getting back to Md. 200 (ICC), it is my understanding that it has not once had recurring congestion since the major section was completed and opened to traffic in November 2011.  There have been a few wrecks and other incidents, but the tolls (higher in peak demand periods) have worked as advertised. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2012, 05:27:29 PM
Well, the the trip that prompts me to raise the issue is later this week (ultimate destination is Dayton, Ohio). That's why I was considering the ICC option—I know there's roadwork on the Beltway between I-95 and I-270 and I figured going north might avoid that.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on October 01, 2012, 08:03:43 PM
On a related question, at what time should one avoid the Beltway Outer from I-95 to I-270? I would be down there around 7 AM on the Friday before the Richmond meet, and Google Maps is indecisive as to how bad traffic might be. Around NYC area, jams are just starting around then, but DC seems like it has an earlier start to the trouble?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2012, 11:25:49 PM
Well, the the trip that prompts me to raise the issue is later this week (ultimate destination is Dayton, Ohio). That's why I was considering the ICC option—I know there's roadwork on the Beltway between I-95 and I-270 and I figured going north might avoid that.

That might just be a winner, wanting to go north. 

Or - you could just take I-95 north in the direction of Baltimore, then head west on Md. 32 to I-70.  Md. 32 is a freeway as far west as Md. 108, then it is a busy two-lane arterial (with only a few intersections at-grade) to I-70. 

All of this is another reason why an Outer Beltway is still needed.  Yes, that's what I said.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2012, 11:33:28 PM
On a related question, at what time should one avoid the Beltway Outer from I-95 to I-270? I would be down there around 7 AM on the Friday before the Richmond meet, and Google Maps is indecisive as to how bad traffic might be. Around NYC area, jams are just starting around then, but DC seems like it has an earlier start to the trouble?

Starts getting bad as early as 6 A.M around most of the D.C. area, and especially the Outer Loop between I-95 and I-270.  Plenty of "peak-spreading" going on (though Fridays tend to be a little less bad than Tuesday through Thursday).  If you want to be someplace along I-270 and are willing to part with money ($4.00 for the entire way), then take Md. 200 from I-95 to avoid the misery of the Outer Loop.

If I was you, and headed for Richmond from greater NYC, I would avoid it all and just take U.S. 301 south from the intersection of U.S. 40 and Del. 896 (last I-95 exit in Delaware, and avoids the Delaware Turnpike toll).  Come across the Bay Bridge (that's the free direction) and then follow U.S. 50 west to the Capital Beltway.  Then take the Inner Loop (I-95/I-495 South) across the WWB to I-95 south in Springfield. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2012, 07:54:11 AM
Steve, this doesn't help with when the backups start, but I highly recommend the traffic reports on WTOP 103.5-FM; they air "on the 8s" (x:08, x:18, etc.). Another new station is WNEW 99.1-FM, which airs theirs "on the 1s." Both are reliable. I have an XM subscription but I feel no confidence in their reports for several reasons. I seldom go anywhere without listening to the traffic reports, even on weekends.

CP, thanks again. Guess I will see how the traffic report is when we leave and then decide. Ms1995hoo has never been on the ICC, so I might do that just to do something new.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2012, 08:03:42 AM
Steve, this doesn't help with when the backups start, but I highly recommend the traffic reports on WTOP 103.5-FM; they air "on the 8s" (x:08, x:18, etc.). Another new station is WNEW 99.1-FM, which airs theirs "on the 1s." Both are reliable. I have an XM subscription but I feel no confidence in their reports for several reasons. I seldom go anywhere without listening to the traffic reports, even on weekends.

The traffic reports on SiriusXM are "canned" and provide no context from people that know the highway network.   

CP, thanks again. Guess I will see how the traffic report is when we leave and then decide. Ms1995hoo has never been on the ICC, so I might do that just to do something new.

I do think the ICC is worth a trip (even for non-roadgeeks) if it fits with your plans. 

Debunks assertions from the "anti-auto vanguard" about new limited-access highways (including this one) with statements like "cannot be built" and demonstrates that they should not be taken seriously.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2012, 09:41:29 AM
Steve, this doesn't help with when the backups start, but I highly recommend the traffic reports on WTOP 103.5-FM; they air "on the 8s" (x:08, x:18, etc.). Another new station is WNEW 99.1-FM, which airs theirs "on the 1s." Both are reliable. I have an XM subscription but I feel no confidence in their reports for several reasons. I seldom go anywhere without listening to the traffic reports, even on weekends.

The traffic reports on SiriusXM are "canned" and provide no context from people that know the highway network.   

....

I suppose this is slightly off-topic, but given that this thread is probably of limited interest to many forum members it probably doesn't matter. The thing about the XM reports is not just that they're recorded every half an hour and run on a loop, although that's part of the problem. The bigger issue to me is that the reporters themselves don't inspire any confidence because they haven't learned how to read off a computer screen. That is, with a number of them it's painfully obvious that they are simply reading what's on the screen in front of them. Some of them do it word-for-word. It can be awkward when they leave out articles that should be there: "Overturned truck on I-66 at Fairfax County Parkway" (should be a "the" before "Fairfax") or "I-95 is congested at Occoquan River Bridge." But what's worse is when they insert articles that shouldn't be there. The computer screen correctly refers to "Triangle," which is a town in Prince William County, but for some reason the reporters feel the need to say "the Triangle," as in "I-95 is slow from Occoquan River Bridge to the Triangle." WRONG!!!!! "The Triangle" is a term for the Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill region.

Part of this is, as you say, that they're not familiar with the road network in many cities, but I'm not certain that works as to DC because, at least prior to the Sirius merger, XM was headquartered in Northeast DC (over near the FedEx depot on Eckington Place) and so you'd think the reporters would know something about the roads. Maybe they're all 20-something kids who have joined this silly fad of attempting to rely on Metrorail to go carless!

What it really boils down to is that the FM reports are live reports and the traffic reporters there are able to get new information and react quickly to it. The XM reporters can't do that.

BUT I will say that if I travel to another city I appreciate having the XM reports available for two reasons: (1) Don't need to drive around twirling the dial looking for a local news station; (2) The XM reporters are more likely to use the route numbers for Interstate Highways and US Highways as opposed to using road names that nobody other than locals would know. I remember when XM rolled out this service back in 2004 some people in some cities complained about that—"we use the names, so they shouldn't use the numbers." But the XM report is not intended solely for local commuters and so making it as useful as possible to as many people makes sense. Besides, I think you have to be pretty damn ignorant if every single day you pass a sign saying, for example, "I-278 Staten Island Expressway" and you can't remember what I-278 is (I cite this example because I once referred to "278" and my cousin, WHO LIVED ON STATEN ISLAND, had no idea what I meant—at the time I didn't know that New Yorkers have that peculiar predilection for names).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on October 02, 2012, 09:46:29 AM
Well, the the trip that prompts me to raise the issue is later this week (ultimate destination is Dayton, Ohio). That's why I was considering the ICC option—I know there's roadwork on the Beltway between I-95 and I-270 and I figured going north might avoid that.

Have you decided on your return route?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2012, 09:54:00 AM
Well, the the trip that prompts me to raise the issue is later this week (ultimate destination is Dayton, Ohio). That's why I was considering the ICC option—I know there's roadwork on the Beltway between I-95 and I-270 and I figured going north might avoid that.

Have you decided on your return route?

Not yet, will decide this weekend depending on the weather. I have that thread bookmarked on my phone for easy reference. I'm leaning towards at least taking US-33 from Columbus and then US-50 across through Parkersburg to Clarksburg. The distance and time additions are minimal. From Clarksburg, we'll see. Ms1995hoo doesn't have off from work on Columbus Day, so I have to take that into account. (But she did have off for the two Jewish holy days last month, and we're not Jewish, so I guess that's a fair tradeoff.)

I'll report back in that other thread once the trip is done.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2012, 10:44:35 AM
Steve, this doesn't help with when the backups start, but I highly recommend the traffic reports on WTOP 103.5-FM; they air "on the 8s" (x:08, x:18, etc.). Another new station is WNEW 99.1-FM, which airs theirs "on the 1s." Both are reliable. I have an XM subscription but I feel no confidence in their reports for several reasons. I seldom go anywhere without listening to the traffic reports, even on weekends.

The traffic reports on SiriusXM are "canned" and provide no context from people that know the highway network.   

....

I suppose this is slightly off-topic, but given that this thread is probably of limited interest to many forum members it probably doesn't matter. The thing about the XM reports is not just that they're recorded every half an hour and run on a loop, although that's part of the problem. The bigger issue to me is that the reporters themselves don't inspire any confidence because they haven't learned how to read off a computer screen. That is, with a number of them it's painfully obvious that they are simply reading what's on the screen in front of them. Some of them do it word-for-word. It can be awkward when they leave out articles that should be there: "Overturned truck on I-66 at Fairfax County Parkway" (should be a "the" before "Fairfax") or "I-95 is congested at Occoquan River Bridge." But what's worse is when they insert articles that shouldn't be there. The computer screen correctly refers to "Triangle," which is a town in Prince William County, but for some reason the reporters feel the need to say "the Triangle," as in "I-95 is slow from Occoquan River Bridge to the Triangle." WRONG!!!!! "The Triangle" is a term for the Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill region.

Not only that, but they use incorrect names for crossing roads (that don't make sense to most people). 

Classic example (in addition to yours above about Triangle, which is an unincorporated place in Prince William County) is calling the I-95 Virginia Exit 148 "Russell Road" (that is the correct name, but it is nowhere to be found on the VDOT BGS assemblies on the freeway, they all read "Marine Corps Base Quantico" - on nearby U.S. 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway), the wording is not exactly the same on the BGSs there, but similar, and again, no mention of "Russell Road").  Another common error is calling U.S. 50 in Fairfax County (west of the western corporate limits of the City of Fairfax) "Lee-Jackson Highway," which never is mentioned on the BGS assemblies on I-66 (though there are some VDOT-standard SGSs on U.S. 50 with the name "John Mosby Highway," for that is what the Commonwealth of Virginia calls it).

Part of this is, as you say, that they're not familiar with the road network in many cities, but I'm not certain that works as to DC because, at least prior to the Sirius merger, XM was headquartered in Northeast DC (over near the FedEx depot on Eckington Place) and so you'd think the reporters would know something about the roads. Maybe they're all 20-something kids who have joined this silly fad of attempting to rely on Metrorail to go carless!

There is still a lot of activity in that building, located on Eckington Place, N.E. just north of Florida Avenue.

What it really boils down to is that the FM reports are live reports and the traffic reporters there are able to get new information and react quickly to it. The XM reporters can't do that.

The (high) standards set by traffic reporters like Bob Marbourg (http://www.wtop.com/635/2247966/Bob-Marbourg) (WTOP-103.5 in Washington), Tommy Jaxson (http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/personality/tommy-jaxson/) (KNX-1070 in Los Angeles) and Tom Kaminski (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/personality/tom-kaminski/) (WCBS-880 in New York) and their colleagues (management of all-news stations understand that accurate traffic reports are an integral part of their "product") are going to be impossible for SiriusXM to beat.

BUT I will say that if I travel to another city I appreciate having the XM reports available for two reasons: (1) Don't need to drive around twirling the dial looking for a local news station; (2) The XM reporters are more likely to use the route numbers for Interstate Highways and US Highways as opposed to using road names that nobody other than locals would know. I remember when XM rolled out this service back in 2004 some people in some cities complained about that—"we use the names, so they shouldn't use the numbers." But the XM report is not intended solely for local commuters and so making it as useful as possible to as many people makes sense. Besides, I think you have to be pretty damn ignorant if every single day you pass a sign saying, for example, "I-278 Staten Island Expressway" and you can't remember what I-278 is (I cite this example because I once referred to "278" and my cousin, WHO LIVED ON STATEN ISLAND, had no idea what I meant—at the time I didn't know that New Yorkers have that peculiar predilection for names).

Localisms (such as Bob Marbourg calling the S.E./S.W. Freeway in D.C. "The Freeway") are inevitable, given the limited amount of time that they have on the air.

WCBS also does a decent job of covering transit (and transit service disruptions on the subway and the various commuter railroad lines) in New York and its suburbs, though I don't know the rail transit system well enough to convert what they say to information for me.

WTOP tries to cover problems on the Metrorail system, but apparently WMATA is not always forthcoming with reports of rail line service disruptions.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on October 02, 2012, 06:38:30 PM
On a related question, at what time should one avoid the Beltway Outer from I-95 to I-270? I would be down there around 7 AM on the Friday before the Richmond meet, and Google Maps is indecisive as to how bad traffic might be. Around NYC area, jams are just starting around then, but DC seems like it has an earlier start to the trouble?

Starts getting bad as early as 6 A.M around most of the D.C. area, and especially the Outer Loop between I-95 and I-270.  Plenty of "peak-spreading" going on (though Fridays tend to be a little less bad than Tuesday through Thursday).  If you want to be someplace along I-270 and are willing to part with money ($4.00 for the entire way), then take Md. 200 from I-95 to avoid the misery of the Outer Loop.

If I was you, and headed for Richmond from greater NYC, I would avoid it all and just take U.S. 301 south from the intersection of U.S. 40 and Del. 896 (last I-95 exit in Delaware, and avoids the Delaware Turnpike toll).  Come across the Bay Bridge (that's the free direction) and then follow U.S. 50 west to the Capital Beltway.  Then take the Inner Loop (I-95/I-495 South) across the WWB to I-95 south in Springfield. 

I'm trying to go two exits west and grab a clinch as I head through DC - making my way west to the top of US 17. Was hoping 7 was early enough to avoid traffic, but I have a couple of local road options just in case. The WTOP is a good rec, I'll have to listen. *103.5* *103.5* *103.5* come on brain
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2012, 07:51:31 PM
On a related question, at what time should one avoid the Beltway Outer from I-95 to I-270? I would be down there around 7 AM on the Friday before the Richmond meet, and Google Maps is indecisive as to how bad traffic might be. Around NYC area, jams are just starting around then, but DC seems like it has an earlier start to the trouble?

Starts getting bad as early as 6 A.M around most of the D.C. area, and especially the Outer Loop between I-95 and I-270.  Plenty of "peak-spreading" going on (though Fridays tend to be a little less bad than Tuesday through Thursday).  If you want to be someplace along I-270 and are willing to part with money ($4.00 for the entire way), then take Md. 200 from I-95 to avoid the misery of the Outer Loop.

If I was you, and headed for Richmond from greater NYC, I would avoid it all and just take U.S. 301 south from the intersection of U.S. 40 and Del. 896 (last I-95 exit in Delaware, and avoids the Delaware Turnpike toll).  Come across the Bay Bridge (that's the free direction) and then follow U.S. 50 west to the Capital Beltway.  Then take the Inner Loop (I-95/I-495 South) across the WWB to I-95 south in Springfield. 

I'm trying to go two exits west and grab a clinch as I head through DC - making my way west to the top of US 17. Was hoping 7 was early enough to avoid traffic, but I have a couple of local road options just in case. The WTOP is a good rec, I'll have to listen. *103.5* *103.5* *103.5* come on brain

WTOP's 103.5 is good in and near (as within 30 or 40 miles of) D.C.  In Frederick, Maryland, they simulcast on 103.9, and near Opal, Va. (see below), they simulcast on 107.7.

You mean the top of U.S. 17 as in near Paris, Va.?  Or in Winchester, Va.?

If you are headed to the part near Paris, if I were you, I would head west on I-70 from I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) to Frederick; then west on U.S. 340 past Jefferson, Md.; across the Potomac River; a tiny slice of Virginia; Harpers Ferry, W.Va.; (U.S. 340 becomes N-S in West Virginia) - and you have to exit off of 340 onto the Charles Town Bypass, continue south on 340; back into Virginia; through the small town of Berryville, Va. (watch out for municipal cops handing out speeding summonses in Berryville - 340 does not bypass Berryville); then south to the intersection of U.S. 340 and U.S. 50/U.S. 17.  Make a left and follow U.S. 17 south.  At the signalized intersection at Paris, U.S. 17 breaks off from U.S. 50 and heads south. 

You can follow U.S. 17 all the way south to Fredericksburg; joining I-66 near Marshall for a short distance; then U.S. 15/U.S. 29 outside Warrenton; then a left at Opal to stay on U.S. 17 (VDOT is building an trumpet-type interchange at Opal, I don't know what the configuration is there right now, I think you just want to make a left (still)); south to I-95 on the outskirts of Fredericksburg; then continue south to Richmond.

If you want to start from Winchester, make a right at the U.S. 340/U.S. 50/U.S. 17 intersection and head west to Winchester, then double-back to follow U.S. 17 to I-95 near Fredericksburg.  Or even better, at Va. 7 (just north  of Berryville, Va.), just head west on 7 to Winchester, and pick up U.S. 17 there (not exactly sure where it officially starts in Winchester, but there are others here that know this).

Edit:  Suggested Va. 7 from Berryville to Winchester.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2012, 08:29:51 PM
^^^^

Opal was still a left turn as of Labor Day weekend and there is no way it's done yet based on how it looked then.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 04, 2012, 08:55:22 AM
Following up, we did take the ICC route yesterday and it proved to be a nice respite between the Beltway/I-95 and I-270. My wife even liked it. Funny thing is, it was not the least-travelled stretch of highway on our route—that honor goes to the PA-43 toll road between Uniontown and I-70. We saw one other car on our side of the road the entire time we were on there except for just before we exited onto I-70. Made the ICC look like a traffic jam!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 04, 2012, 11:11:35 AM
Following up, we did take the ICC route yesterday and it proved to be a nice respite between the Beltway/I-95 and I-270. My wife even liked it. Funny thing is, it was not the least-travelled stretch of highway on our route—that honor goes to the PA-43 toll road between Uniontown and I-70. We saw one other car on our side of the road the entire time we were on there except for just before we exited onto I-70. Made the ICC look like a traffic jam!

I drove Md. 200 the other day from I-95 to Md. 182 (Layhill Road) and back in the afternoon peak period, and traffic is up noticeably over earlier in the year.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2012, 01:28:10 PM
Baltimore Sun: ICC revenue ahead of projections, usage growing (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-icc-milestone-20121025,0,1329211.story)

Quote
Nearly one-year old, the Intercounty Connector is about $1 million ahead of toll revenue projections and gaining users at a rate of about 3 percent a month, the Maryland Transportation Authority announced Thursday morning.

Quote
The all-electronic toll road runs 18 miles, connecting the Interstate 270 business corridor in Montgomery County to Interstate 95 in Prince George's County. Between July of last year and June, the end of the fiscal year, the highway has generated $19.73 million in revenue and is attracting so many motorists it’s already the third-most used MdTA facility, behind the Fort McHenry and Harbor tunnels.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on October 25, 2012, 09:19:38 PM
Baltimore Sun: ICC revenue ahead of projections, usage growing (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-icc-milestone-20121025,0,1329211.story)

Quote
Nearly one-year old, the Intercounty Connector is about $1 million ahead of toll revenue projections and gaining users at a rate of about 3 percent a month, the Maryland Transportation Authority announced Thursday morning.

Quote
The all-electronic toll road runs 18 miles, connecting the Interstate 270 business corridor in Montgomery County to Interstate 95 in Prince George's County. Between July of last year and June, the end of the fiscal year, the highway has generated $19.73 million in revenue and is attracting so many motorists it’s already the third-most used MdTA facility, behind the Fort McHenry and Harbor tunnels.

"The $2.6 billion highway is averaging 36,000 vehicles daily between its western terminus and Georgia Avenue — the first segment that opened. The eastern segment, which opened this time last year, is being used daily by 25,000 vehicles. The final ICC segment, which will connect I-95 to U.S. 1, is expected to open late next year or in early 2014."

"Meanwhile, the agency is wrapping up its study of whether the speed limit on the road, also known as Route 200, can be raised from 55 to 65 mph, which has become a popular cry from users. A decision is expected before the end of the year."
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on October 25, 2012, 09:47:55 PM
65 mph yes.
Need for 6 lanes no. 36,000 ADT? Even if that grows to 50,000, 4 lanes is plenty.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on October 25, 2012, 10:17:55 PM
65 mph yes.
Need for 6 lanes no. 36,000 ADT? Even if that grows to 50,000, 4 lanes is plenty.

It will need 6 lanes if it grows to 80,000 to 100,000 or more AADT, probable given its location in the D.C. area, within the next 20 years.

That doesn't even take into account what will happen if it is extended to VA-286 or VA-28 in Virginia, and/or to MD US-301.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2012, 08:29:40 AM
65 mph yes.
Need for 6 lanes no. 36,000 ADT? Even if that grows to 50,000, 4 lanes is plenty.

The travel demand forecasts done for the ICC FEIS predicted enough traffic to justify six lanes from I-370 to I-95.  The short segment between I-95 and U.S. 1 in Prince George's County will only have four lanes.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2012, 08:40:27 AM
That doesn't even take into account what will happen if it is extended to VA-286 or VA-28 in Virginia, and/or to MD US-301.

Not currently in any master plan, thanks to pandering to NIMBYs and anti-highway activists by the Montgomery County and Prince George's County Councils and an assortment of elected officials in the City of Bowie.  Objections to any highway project by elected officials in Bowie have always amused me, given that very nearly all of Bowie is Maryland's Levittown (only the "old" part of Bowie, near the intersection of Md. 197 and Md. 564, was not subdivided and in most cases built by Levitt).  IMO, most of what Levitt built in Bowie has aged very well, but it is still auto-oriented suburban sprawling land use.

Over time, as the "new town" of Konterra starts to take shape around the I-95/Md. 200 interchange, I think the pressure for an extension east and south at least as far as U.S. 50 will grow in Prince George's County.  The other factor in favor of an extension south and east is safety.  Md. 197 between the northern corporate limits of Bowie and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is an inadequate and overloaded two-lane arterial highway, with plenty of crashes, some fatal.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on October 26, 2012, 09:46:31 AM
....

That doesn't even take into account what will happen if it is extended to VA-286 or VA-28 in Virginia, and/or to MD US-301.

I think the chances of that happening are about as good as the chances of a $100 bill falling out of my rear end the next time I take a dump.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2012, 10:21:59 AM
Washington Post:  Maryland says ICC traffic growing (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2012/10/25/maryland-says-icc-traffic-growing/)

Quote
The Maryland Transportation Authority reported Thursday that traffic on the Intercounty Connector is growing at an average rate of 3 percent a month.

Quote
Last November, the connector’s second segment opened between Georgia Avenue and Interstate 95. Since then, I’ve gotten many letters from drivers using the ICC saying that nobody is using the ICC. They should introduce themselves to each other.

Quote
Many drivers who routinely get stuck in the D.C. region’s congestion are upset when they stumble onto a highway that doesn’t have a lot of traffic. They don’t say to themselves, “This is the way travel should be.” They think something has gone horribly wrong.

Quote
The transportation authority, the agency that operates Maryland’s toll roads, said that between July 2011 and June 2012, drivers took more than 11.56 million trips on the ICC. The toll revenue from that was $19.73 million. The MDTA said it had projected revenue of $18.71 million.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2012, 10:23:29 AM
I think the chances of that happening are about as good as the chances of a $100 bill falling out of my rear end the next time I take a dump.

There would need to be significant changes on the Montgomery County Council and the Prince George's County Council for there to be movement (pun not intended) in favor of extending the ICC either way.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 02, 2012, 01:22:00 PM
Out of Control: E-Z Pass System on InterCounty Connector is a Curious Target for Smart Growth Group (http://reason.org/blog/show/e-z-pass-system-on-intercounty-conn)

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My friends at Greater Greater Washington (GGW) write about Urbanism and Smart Growth. I do not often agree with them but I believe they bring a valuable viewpoint to the table. But occasionally they write an article that is so lacking in facts and logic that I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Such is the case with the article MD Toll Agency Pushes More Driving to Fill Little Used Road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 02, 2012, 01:33:37 PM
reason.org...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 14, 2012, 12:52:30 PM
Forwarded from the Washington Post for InterCounty Connector users.

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Do you use the ICC? We'd love to speak with regular Intercounty Connector drivers. Please email shaverk@washpost.com with your contact info.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 20, 2012, 11:46:18 AM
Washington Post: ICC users rack up unpaid tolls (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/icc-users-rack-up-unpaid-tolls/2012/11/19/ddf1eea4-0d74-11e2-a310-2363842b7057_story.html)

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Nearly one in three motorists who use the Intercounty Connector without an E-ZPass transponder don’t pay the toll later, making Maryland’s newest and most expensive highway home to a toll violation rate four times higher than the state average.

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Individual motorists racked up as much as $1,418 each in unpaid tolls after driving on the ICC, or Route 200, as many as 430 times during the first six months of this year. A rental car company owed $4,263 in ICC toll debt, while a construction company accrued $2,241 for 65 unpaid trips during that time.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2012, 02:35:24 PM
ExploreHoward.com:  West Laurel residents oppose placement of new ICC lanes (http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/publications/laurel-leader/ph-ll-west-laurel-icc-1108-20121105,0,1764039.story)

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As construction on the State Highway Administration's Intercounty Connector inches closer toward completion, some residents of West Laurel are voicing opposition to a portion of the development on Interstate 95 South, citing that the development is infringing on their neighborhood.

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According to West Laurel Civic Association President Melissa Daston, the construction of collector distributor lanes, or C/D lanes, along I-95 South north of the Route 198 Interchange will cause elevated noise levels for nearly 60 families living in the nearby neighborhood.

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"The 60 families living by this will now have to live with the latest encroachment of I-95 on their backyards," Daston said.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: deathtopumpkins on November 25, 2012, 05:59:51 PM
ExploreHoward.com:  West Laurel residents oppose placement of new ICC lanes (http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/publications/laurel-leader/ph-ll-west-laurel-icc-1108-20121105,0,1764039.story)

Well, what did they expect when they moved next to an interstate...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2012, 06:24:58 PM
ExploreHoward.com:  West Laurel residents oppose placement of new ICC lanes (http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/publications/laurel-leader/ph-ll-west-laurel-icc-1108-20121105,0,1764039.story)

Well, what did they expect when they moved next to an interstate...

Yeah, that's true.  This segment of I-95 is one of the newer ones in Maryland (Steve Anderson calls it the "Between the Beltways" (http://www.dcroads.net/roads/I-95_MD-between-beltways/) segment), opened about 1973 or 1974, and it had been on the planning maps for many years before construction started.  Even though this discussion is about improvements to I-95, the project being discussed is part of (and closely related to) the Md. 200 (InterCounty Connector) Contract D/E construction project.

One of the individuals quoted in the article was very active in the long-time effort to delay and stop the InterCounty Connector project.  She didn't like it when I asked her why she drove her single-occupant vehicle to a public meeting instead of taking transit.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2012, 12:08:14 PM
WTOP Radio: Andrews calls for Md. to cut ICC tolls in half (http://www.wtop.com/654/3144215/Andrews-calls-for-Md-to-cut-ICC-tolls-in-half)

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Calling the tolls "outrageously high," Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews wants to see the cost of using the the Inter-County Connector slashed in half to encourage more drivers to use it.

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He wrote the Maryland Transportation Authority to ask for the reduction.

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Andrews, who opposed the construction of the highway, says "the state highly miscalculated the willingness of the public to pay high tolls to use the ICC."
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 09, 2012, 12:59:59 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Maryland's ICC MD200 at 1st anniversary - a tad low vs forecast but growing monthly, tolls about right, speed to rise (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6309)

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Phil Andrews' Montgomery County district of Rockville and Gaitherburg lies squarely athwart the western end of the MD200 tollroad also known as the Inter County Connector (ICC.) The year old tollroad (it began tolling Dec 5 2011) is a boon for Andrews constituents but he caught some headlines this week echoing pretty well many of their sentiments: there isn't much traffic on the new tollroad and the state should reduce tolls to attract more.

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"Traffic levels on the ICC more resemble an airport runway than a major highway," he wrote in a  letter to acting chairman of the Maryland toll authority (MdTA) Darrell Mobley, and he described the toll rates as "very high."

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It was time to reduce them to "a reasonable level." And to try them out for a year.

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That's wild hyperbole of course about airport runway traffic levels.

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Traffic levels in the latest month for which we were able to obtain the data (September) are in the mid-30 thousands weekdays, and showing pretty consistent growth through the year.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on December 10, 2012, 10:26:17 PM
I drove the ICC on Sunday. It's way underposted at 55 mph.

Fairly heavily patrolled by cops, but I could not tell what jurisdiction.

I have an E-ZPass, but I wonder what they would do with a Kentucky vehicle without one?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on December 10, 2012, 10:38:45 PM
I have an E-ZPass, but I wonder what they would do with a Kentucky vehicle without one?

In theory, they would chase the owner down from their photo of the vehicle's Kentucky plate, and charge the owner a "pay-by-plate" fee on top of the regular toll.  I don't know how aggressively they pursue out-of-staters, especially from non-adjacent states.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: hbelkins on December 10, 2012, 11:14:25 PM
I know I'm still waiting for a bill for having driven the Bush Turnpike in Dallas a few years ago.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 11, 2012, 11:27:35 AM
I drove the ICC on Sunday. It's way underposted at 55 mph.

Fairly heavily patrolled by cops, but I could not tell what jurisdiction.

Mostly you will see the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Police/policeMain.html) (MdTAP), same agency that patrols I-95 in Baltimore City, all of I-895, the Bay Bridge, the F.S. Key Bridge (and fairly long segments of the 695 approaches on both sides), the Port of Baltimore and BWI Airport.  Maryland State Police have concurrent jurisdiction, as do Montgomery County Police (except the extreme eastern end at I-95, which is in Prince George's County), though I have not seen either of them on a traffic stop on Md. 200.

Because the MdTAP on Md. 200 have little else to do (since there is no cash toll collection for them to worry about securing, unlike the other toll roads and toll crossings in the state), traffic enforcement, responding to disabled vehicles and investigating the (rare) crash is all they do.

There have been some discussions in the General Assembly about merging the MdTAP into the Maryland State Police, but the MSP training academy is (from what I have been told) a lot tougher than the MdTAP academy, and there may be some resistance from the MSP for that reason.

I have an E-ZPass, but I wonder what they would do with a Kentucky vehicle without one?

Supposedly they will look up your tag and mail you a bill.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 16, 2012, 12:43:56 PM
WTOP Radio: ICC tolls spark local debate (http://www.wtop.com/46/3159253/ICC-tolls-spark-local-debate)

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Since the ICC opened from I-270/I-370 in Shady Grove to I- 95 in Laurel in November 2011, it has been a lightly traveled toll road. Most times of the day, commuters can zip across the 18.8 mile roadway without any traffic.

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Earlier this month, Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews wrote a letter to the Maryland Transit Authority, saying that it was being underused and calling for a trial period with tolls cut in half.

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"The high tolls to use the ICC are the major barrier to achieving greater use of the ICC, not a lack of awareness that the road exists," Andrews wrote in the Dec. 5 letter.

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During rush hour, drivers pay a maximum of $8 round trip, while trucks pay $36.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2012, 12:33:37 PM
Baltimore Sun: Engineering study gives green light to ICC speed increase - Highway officials analyzing crash data before decision on raising limit to 60 mph (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-icc-speed-20121218,0,2743272.story)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: oscar on December 21, 2012, 02:14:28 PM
Baltimore Sun: Engineering study gives green light to ICC speed increase - Highway officials analyzing crash data before decision on raising limit to 60 mph (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-icc-speed-20121218,0,2743272.story)

Only 60 mph?  Not 65?

Reminds me of a college classmate's critique of my betting style in our poker games, "balls of a lizard".
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2012, 03:24:23 PM
Baltimore Sun: Engineering study gives green light to ICC speed increase - Highway officials analyzing crash data before decision on raising limit to 60 mph (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-icc-speed-20121218,0,2743272.story)

Only 60 mph?  Not 65?

Reminds me of a college classmate's critique of my betting style in our poker games, "balls of a lizard".

How about 70 - with NJ Turnpike-style variable speed limit signs?

Though the maximum anywhere in Maryland by state statute is still only 65 MPH.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 21, 2012, 03:27:37 PM
Though the maximum anywhere in Maryland by state statute is still only 65 MPH.

again, politicans and speed limits don't mix.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2012, 03:31:32 PM
Though the maximum anywhere in Maryland by state statute is still only 65 MPH.

again, politicans and speed limits don't mix.

Agreed. 

Maryland has segments of freeway that should have a posted speed limit of 75 MPH.  Maybe even 80 MPH.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on December 21, 2012, 04:54:11 PM
Baltimore Sun: Engineering study gives green light to ICC speed increase - Highway officials analyzing crash data before decision on raising limit to 60 mph (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-icc-speed-20121218,0,2743272.story)

Only 60 mph?  Not 65?

Reminds me of a college classmate's critique of my betting style in our poker games, "balls of a lizard".
I wonder if the design speed of the roadway is 65 mph. On a new road, you usually sign 10 below the design speed, but on existing roads it's often 5 below. So maybe they are constrained by that limit.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2012, 05:03:23 PM
Baltimore Sun: Engineering study gives green light to ICC speed increase - Highway officials analyzing crash data before decision on raising limit to 60 mph (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-icc-speed-20121218,0,2743272.story)

Only 60 mph?  Not 65?

Reminds me of a college classmate's critique of my betting style in our poker games, "balls of a lizard".
I wonder if the design speed of the roadway is 65 mph. On a new road, you usually sign 10 below the design speed, but on existing roads it's often 5 below. So maybe they are constrained by that limit.

There are a few somewhat sharp curves (by freeway standards) between I-370 and the Winters Run tunnel (here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=derwood+md&hl=en&ll=39.135486,-77.144794&spn=0.018608,0.029182&safe=off&hnear=Derwood,+Montgomery,+Maryland&gl=us&t=h&z=15)), but most vehicles are going to handle them with ease at 65 or even 70.  The road was re-routed off of its master-planned route there at the insistence of federal environmental regulators to reduce the impact on tributaries of Rock Creek. The road also deviates from the master-planned route between Md. 182 (Layhill Road) and Md. 650 (New Hampshire Avenue)  (here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=colesville+maryland&hl=en&ll=39.08637,-77.024717&spn=0.037241,0.058365&sll=39.091899,-77.030597&sspn=0.018619,0.029182&t=h&gl=us&hnear=Colesville,+Montgomery,+Maryland&z=14))  to reduce impact on the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River.

I believe that those changes made some of the curves sharper than they would otherwise have been.

I believe the for-public-consumption design speed is 60 MPH.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on December 22, 2012, 10:07:54 PM
Quote
I believe the for-public-consumption design speed is 60 MPH.

Correct.  Hence why they're proposing 60 MPH vice 65.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mc78andrew on December 22, 2012, 10:08:57 PM
Please forgive this dumb question as I am sure it was already asked and is buried in this thread somewhere, but what the heck is the point of that tunnel?  Looks like a wildlife pass similar to the one on I-78 in NJ.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 22, 2012, 10:46:19 PM
Please forgive this dumb question as I am sure it was already asked and is buried in this thread somewhere, but what the heck is the point of that tunnel?  Looks like a wildlife pass similar to the one on I-78 in NJ.

No such thing as a "dumb" question!

That tunnel is a cut-and-cover structure that was built that way to reduce the impact of Md. 200 on the Winters Run neighborhood of Derwood, which is effectively cut in half by the toll road.

Google Maps here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=derwood+md&hl=en&ll=39.136834,-77.136362&spn=0.009304,0.01929&hnear=Derwood,+Montgomery,+Maryland&t=h&z=16).

You can see that Olde Mill Run (a street) runs over that tunnel is the only way to get to the southern part of the community.

Once construction was completed, the restored area over the tunnel looks remarkably undisturbed.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 02, 2013, 01:18:17 AM
Gazette.net: ICC’s tolls here to stay (http://www.gazette.net/article/20121228/NEWS/712289644/1022/icc-s-tolls-here-to-stay&template=gazette)

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The Maryland Transportation Authority has decided it will not lower tolls on the Intercounty Connector.

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Earlier this month, County Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg called for the MDTA to decrease the tolls it charges travelers on the 18-mile freeway. Andrews proposed a 50 percent cut to be put in place for a year, in order to increase traffic on the ICC.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 04, 2013, 09:04:37 AM
WTOP Radio: Md. may increase speed limit on ICC (http://www.wtop.com/654/3180543/ICC-speed-limit-may-go-up)

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The Intercounty Connector, a highway that stretches between Gaithersburg and Laurel in Maryland, could see an increase in its speed limit this year.

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An engineering study found the speed limit of the highway could be raised from its current limit of 55 mph to 60 mph.

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The ICC, which opened in 2011, gives commuters a quick way to get from Interstate 270 to Interstate 95.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 12, 2013, 05:20:46 PM
Letter to the Editor in the Gazette from Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews: Cut ICC tolls in half, double the traffic (http://www.gazette.net/article/20130109/OPINION/130109720/1014/cut-icc-tolls-in-half-double-the-traffic&template=gazette)

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In Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, there’s a highway so devoid of vehicles it feels like an airport runway — the 18-mile, $3 billion Intercounty Connector (ICC). Unusually high tolls — $8 round-trip tolls for cars and $60 round-trip tolls for trucks — during rush hour, and tolls only slightly lower most of the rest of the day, prevent or deter many drivers from using it. The Maryland Transportation Authority, whose members Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) appoints, could quickly reduce the tolls to make the ICC appealing and useful to many more people.

Quote
Dramatically reducing tolls on the ICC, especially for regular commuters, as is done on other state toll facilities including the Bay Bridge and Fort McHenry Tunnel, would shift traffic from congested roads to the underused ICC. Commuting to work on the ICC from Gaithersburg to Laurel costs $2,000 annually, because Maryland provides absolutely no discount on tolls for regular commuters on the ICC. Why aren’t ICC commuters getting the same deep discounts as their counterparts in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore? Why are Montgomery and Prince George’s state lawmakers silent on this issue?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 15, 2013, 02:44:55 PM
Gazette.net: Police on ICC issue hundreds of speeding citations, warnings
Aggressive ticketing? Hard to say, according to authorities (http://www.gazette.net/article/20130115/NEWS/130119602/1124/bumper-to-bumper-police-on-icc-issue-hundreds-of-speeding-citations&template=gazette)

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Police officers on the Intercounty Connector issued about 10 speeding citations and warnings per day during the past three months, according to data from the Maryland Transportation Authority.

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The 18-mile tolled freeway is patrolled by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who enforce laws around the state at sites such as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the World Trade Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Brandon on January 15, 2013, 03:07:15 PM
A silly question, based on where the ICC is once I saw it on a map: Why isn't this posted as I-370?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 15, 2013, 05:37:25 PM
A silly question, based on where the ICC is once I saw it on a map: Why isn't this posted as I-370?

There was once a very opinionated anti-ICC Earth First! member who lived in Takoma Park, Maryland and was so sure that the ICC would get the I-370 number that he named his anti-ICC Web site "ICC370."  The ICC370 Web site is gone and the owner of that site is in Oregon, where he obsesses about other things, like Peak Oil, though he has a new anti-ICC site here (http://www.iccproject.info/) (not sure why, since the road is mostly built and the rest of it is under construction).   

But the  ICC was always planned to be Md. Route 200.   I have seen it in shown in old (paper) copies of the state's Highway Location Reference as Route 200UL. back to 1980's (and maybe  earlier) that show 200UL.  Perhaps because the Baltimore "Outer Beltway" was (and is) Route 100?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: kj3400 on January 15, 2013, 05:59:01 PM
I've always figured Rt 100 seemed like Baltimore's other beltway. I wonder what the reasoning was for building two outer beltways.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 16, 2013, 01:17:34 PM
WTOP Radio: Maryland proposal cracks down on uncollected tolls (http://www.wtop.com/654/3191490/Md-proposal-cracks-down-on-uncollected-tolls)

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Millions of dollars in unpaid tolls have gone uncollected in Maryland, but a new proposal being considered by the General Assembly aims to make it harder to dodge fees.

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The proposal allows the Maryland Transportation Authority to go after those who don't pay tolls.

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"It would mean at the end of 30 days, if you don't pay the toll, you will get a $50 citation," Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett says. "You can pay the citation, go to court or do neither, and we can institute other measures like suspending the registration on your car."
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: wphiii on January 16, 2013, 02:30:54 PM
I've always figured Rt 100 seemed like Baltimore's other beltway. I wonder what the reasoning was for building two outer beltways.

The ICC seems more like an "Outer Beltway" for DC.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2013, 10:01:11 AM
WTOP Radio:  For those living near ICC, noise fight continues (http://www.wtop.com/654/3195902/I-cant-sleep-says-Md-resident-of-ICC-noise)

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A local community group is continuing its fight against the Maryland Transportation Authority, arguing the noise on the InterCounty Connector is making life in the neighborhood unbearable.

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"There are houses within 400 feet of the ICC and they are hearing the traffic at all hours of the night," says Rich Burnes, who is part of the Colesville ICC Noise Concern Group.

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"It's terrible. There is no earthly reason why they should have to put up with this."

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And sure enough on Cutstone Way, near Bonifant Road and the National Capital Trolley Museum, it wasn't hard to see the ICC, or find people who said it's unpleasant.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on January 17, 2013, 10:08:35 AM
My question would be, was the ICC on the books as a planned road when they bought their houses? If so, then yes, there is indeed an "earthly reason why they should have to put up this this"—they bought houses in a place where they knew, or reasonably should have known, that a highway was to be built. "I didn't think they'd ever build it" is not a valid excuse.

(BTW, I know the route was changed multiple times in the planning process, and if it were rerouted to pass these people's neighborhood when it had not previously been planned to do so, I would sympathize more with them.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2013, 02:42:50 PM
I've always figured Rt 100 seemed like Baltimore's other beltway. I wonder what the reasoning was for building two outer beltways.

The ICC seems more like an "Outer Beltway" for DC.

Correct.

That was always one of the reasons cited by persons and groups opposed to the highway to not build it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2013, 03:32:01 PM
My question would be, was the ICC on the books as a planned road when they bought their houses? If so, then yes, there is indeed an "earthly reason why they should have to put up this this"—they bought houses in a place where they knew, or reasonably should have known, that a highway was to be built. "I didn't think they'd ever build it" is not a valid excuse.

Maryland has essentially all parcels of land online through the  State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) Web site (http://www.dat.state.md.us/).  For most real estate with improvements such as houses, the year of construction is also shown (look under "Primary Structure Built").  It also shows when someone purchased the property for the past three transactions.

With one exception, all of the homes along Cutstone Way were built between 1987 and 1991.  That means that their development was approved well after the Outer Beltway (and later to be called the InterCounty Connector) had been placed on the Master Plan of Highways.

(BTW, I know the route was changed multiple times in the planning process, and if it were rerouted to pass these people's neighborhood when it had not previously been planned to do so, I would sympathize more with them.)

There was a bid by certain federal environmental regulators (USEPA Region III, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore Engineering District and the Fish and Wildlife Service) to re-route the ICC so it would run north of this location and into the Patuxent River watershed, north of Md. 198 (it was usually called the "Northern" Alignment. The ICC, as built from Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) to U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) runs through the Anacostia River watershed.  There is no water drawn from the Anacostia watershed for drinking water, but Patuxent River watershed is a significant source of drinking water for Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.  The federal regulators wanted to do this to protect the Paint Branch of the Anacostia River, which supports a self-sustaining brown trout population (but it was pointed out during the 2003-2007 ICC environmental impact statement process that the brown trout are an alien, introduced species, and as a result, not eligible for protection under federal environmental laws - not what the regulators wanted to hear).

But the effort to re-route the ICC to the north in eastern Montgomery County and  Northern Prince George's County was ultimately defeated, and that decision was confirmed by  the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland when it dismissed the effort by the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense to force a remand of the ICC's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). 

Sierra and EDF had been on a forum-shopping effort, filing lawsuits against the USDOT/FHWA in the federal courts in D.C. and Maryland in an effort to get the ICC FEIS remanded, but fortunately, the federal court in D.C. refused to play along, and ordered it transferred to Maryland, where it was consolidated with the other lawsuit, and Judge Williams dismissed them both.  Apparently the plaintiffs were looking for a way to avoid the matter ending up before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, which has a reputation of not being very sympathetic to anti-highway appeals, but  it ended up moot, since Sierra and EDF dropped their appeal (I think they might have been concerned that an appeal would have gone against them and resulted in a "published" opinion, which is then binding in all of the 4th Circuit states).

Now there was a significant re-routing of the ICC that dates back to the 1960's, which resulted in the highway running north of the City of Rockville instead of south - but that was done because Maryland and Virginia wanted the Outer Beltway crossing of the Potomac River to be further upstream than what had first been planned - and that re-routing did not change the route that was used east of the Trolley Museum.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 21, 2013, 10:29:21 PM
Baltimore Sun: Emergency bill seeks to raise ICC speed limit to 60 mph (http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-01-18/news/bs-md-icc-speed-0119-20130118_1_limit-intercounty-connector-icc)

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Emergency legislation to raise the speed limit on the Intercounty Connector from 55 mph to 60 mph has been filed by two Montgomery County state senators.

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Democrats Jennie Forehand and Nancy King want the speed increased on the 18.8-mile toll road between Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg and Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 in Laurel to take effect immediately because it is "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health or safety."
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 25, 2013, 11:55:48 AM
Maryland Senate President Mike Miller says he wants the state to lease the ICC to a private firm in exchange for a large lump-sum payment.  See posting in the Maryland thread:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4671.msg199251#msg199251 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4671.msg199251#msg199251)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2013, 08:03:27 PM
Another bill in the Maryland General Assembly's hopper, as reported by Gazette.net:  House bill could raise ICC speed limit to 70 - Freeway’s speed limit currently set at 55 (http://www.gazette.net/article/20130128/NEWS/130129269/1124/house-bill-could-raise-icc-speed-limit-to-70&template=gazette)

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The speed limit on the Intercounty Connector could reach 70 miles per hour if a bill, introduced during the General Assembly’s current session, passes.

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Del. Aruna Miller (D-Dist. 15) of Darnestown and Del. Neil Parrott (R-Dist. 2B) of Hagerstown are co-sponsoring the bill that would raise the maximum speed limit on interstates and expressways statewide from 65 to 70 miles per hour.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on January 29, 2013, 08:59:30 AM
I can think of quite a few roads in Maryland where a 70-mph speed limit, or even 75, would be quite appropriate, but I don't think the ICC is one of them, especially at its western end. Too many sharp curves that are difficult for trucks and slippery in the rain for everyone.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on January 29, 2013, 11:44:43 AM
That's what advisory speeds and driving for conditions are for.  If we posted every speed limit in NY to the lowest common denominator, I-81 would have a 15 mph limit because of winter snow storms.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 29, 2013, 12:00:39 PM
I can think of quite a few roads in Maryland where a 70-mph speed limit, or even 75, would be quite appropriate, but I don't think the ICC is one of them, especially at its western end. Too many sharp curves that are difficult for trucks and slippery in the rain for everyone.

I would be find with 65 MPH, along  with advisory plaques (as suggested by deanej) at those curves between "secret" Md. 200A (Shady Grove Metro station) and the Winters Run Tunnel.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on January 29, 2013, 03:08:50 PM
I might say 65 or 70 mph for the rest and 60 mph for the segment at the extreme western end. I've long thought that most people totally disregard advisory speeds with a few exceptions (I used to pay attention to them when I drove a 1977 Granada, for example, because it handled like crap), but if you instead adopt a policy of posting more reasonable speed limits in general, people might take more notice when you post a lower speed limit. In other words, when speed limits are artificially low in general it makes people quicker to disregard a lower limit much of the time because they figure it's more of the same.

I'll be surprised if the 70-mph bill passes, though. A 60-mph limit for the entire ICC won't surprise me, but anything more widespread, and anything above 65, would, just because it's Maryland.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on January 29, 2013, 05:03:48 PM
I don't think an overall speed limit should be reduced just because of a feature that would get an advisory speed.  Not all vehicles are created equal.  I don't want to be forced to drive my car the speed a tractor trailer would need to make a turn.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on January 29, 2013, 05:12:27 PM
Certainly true, and indeed earlier today I took a ramp at 55 mph that had an advisory speed of 35 (I was driving the RX-7). I think 60 mph is probably too fast for the trucks through that area on that particular road, though, and my feeling about 60 mph as the speed limit for that section is based on having driven it myself and on the principle of not allowing or encouraging too much of a speed variance between the cars and the slower trucks.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2013, 01:10:30 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Maryland's experience with all-electronic tolling after 14 months (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6380)

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Before they opened the MD200 Inter County Connector (ICC),  Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) had been handling 10,000 camera images a day at seven conventional toll facilities with their mix of transponder tolls and cash collection. That 4.8% was a mix of violations and transponder misreads - motorists in the transponder toll lanes sans a functioning transponder.

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The cashless ICC with the mix of transponder tolls and camera tolls has more than tripled the image processing workload at the MdTA with an extra 21,000 daily.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on February 04, 2013, 12:55:20 PM
Just been announced within the past hour: ICC speed limit to go to 60 mph by March 31. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/02/04/icc-speed-limit-going-up-to-60-mph/)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mcmc on February 05, 2013, 07:43:43 PM
Just been announced within the past hour: ICC speed limit to go to 60 mph by March 31. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/02/04/icc-speed-limit-going-up-to-60-mph/)

The first state highway in Maryland to be posted above 55. What BS.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 11, 2013, 12:46:08 AM
This is near the eastern end of the  ICC, and in or near some pretty extensive construction work (ICC Contract D/E) going on right now, though it is not clear to me if the ICC has anything to do with it.

 Water main break disrupts Laurel, Beltsville areas - Van Dusen Road, Virginia Manor Road closed; customers may have discolored water (http://www.gazette.net/article/20130210/NEWS/130219986/1124/water-main-break-disrupts-laurel-beltsville-areas&template=gazette)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 11, 2013, 03:02:31 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Maryland MD200/ICC keeps low low speed limit (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6401)

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Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) is determined treat most of its new toll road patrons as reckless drivers who deserve to be pulled over by the cops and given $80 fines. For 15 months since opening the $2.5b 18 mile MD200 Inter County Connector the splendid new 2x3 lane expressway has made all but a few dawdlers into law-breakers.

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The 55mph posted speed limit was exceeded by 91% of drivers in at least one highway segment according to calculations made from passes under the ten toll gantries (five each direction of traffic) over a week in the summer (June 24-30.) That was up on the 88% of the drivers who were "speeders" over three days in January in the second month of the tollroad's operation (It began tolling Dec 5, 2011.)

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We've driven the road and there's no doubt that speeds have been creeping up as more motorists become more familiar with it. It's quite likely by now some 92% or 93% of motorists exceed the 55mph posted speed in at least one segment of their trip.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on February 11, 2013, 04:32:12 PM
I've heard of the ICC as being a speed trap.  I have kept my speed around 60 when driving on that route.  I did get passed by some traffic.  But that was by what I would estimate was drivers doing 60-70 mph. Nobody was doing I-270/I-95 speeds.  Granted I haven't driven on it recently. 

I would guess in their 91% figure I would be a speeder.  Which is why that figure seems like it's worthless.  Since driving at 60 mph would not get you pulled over on the ICC.   Speed cameras trigger at 12 mph over the limit in MD.  And even doing 12 mph over the limit won't get you pulled over on I-270 or I-95.  On the ICC 12 mph over the limit would be the beginning of the danger zone IMO.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 11, 2013, 04:38:36 PM
I've heard of the ICC as being a speed trap.  I have kept my speed around 60 when driving on that route.  I did get passed by some traffic.  But that was by what I would estimate was drivers doing 60-70 mph. Nobody was doing I-270/I-95 speeds.  Granted I haven't driven on it recently.

Compared to other freeways in Montgomery County (where the Maryland  State Police Barrack "N" troopers (Rockville) are way understaffed and overworked), the speed limit on Md. 200 is strictly enforced by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (who have little in the way of other policing duties). 

I would guess in their 91% figure I would be a speeder.  Which is why that figure seems like it's worthless.  Since driving at 60 mph would not get you pulled over on the ICC.   Speed cameras trigger at 12 mph over the limit in MD.  And even doing 12 mph over the limit won't get you pulled over on I-270 or I-95.  On the ICC 12 mph over the limit would be the beginning of the danger zone IMO.

I have observed the MdTAP stopping motorists on Md. 200 for doing 65 or even a little less, though I think those drivers might just get off with a warning. Or perhaps the stop was for something other than speeding.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on February 11, 2013, 04:50:46 PM
According to the article, 26% of speeding tickets are for 1-9 mph over the limit.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 11, 2013, 07:43:13 PM
According to the article, 26% of speeding tickets are for 1-9 mph over the limit.

And those tickets are absolutely legal, too.

Though it is a pretty common practice among at least some Maryland law enforcement officers to write a speeding ticket for a lower speed than what the driver was observed to be operating his vehicle at.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 25, 2013, 08:13:25 AM
Baltimore Sun:  ICC subcontractor clears West Laurel trees without permit - County Council member Lehman calls for investigation, fines (http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/news/community/ph-ll-west-laurel-icc-0228-20130224,0,3504077.story)

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Officials with the Intercounty Connector project office improperly authorized the removal of trees in a West Laurel neighborhood last week, after an unapproved permit was inadvertently issued to a sub-contractor, according to ICC project spokesman Ray Feldmann.

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According to Feldmann, the permit, which was pending approval by the Maryland Department of the Environment, would have superseded a previous permit issued in October 2012 and would have extended the tree removal boundary approximately 20 feet closer to residential properties on Fitzpatrick Drive.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 01, 2013, 10:54:18 AM
Baltimore Sun:    Authority advises caution on ICC privatization (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-authority-advises-caution-on-icc-privatization-20130228,0,1484395.story)

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The Maryland Transportation Authority has thrown some cold water on the idea of leasing the Intercounty Connector as a relatively pain-free way of raising money to pay for other projects – saying such deals are too complex to enter into without extensive study.

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In a position paper sent to the legislature, the authority does not rule out privatization deals but warns “they are not easy and should be approached prudently.”

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The authority’s statement comes in response to a bill from a Republican delegate that would require the state to issue an invitation for bids for the ICC and the Express Toll Lanes being built on Interstate 95 by the end of the year, but it also addresses one of the ideas raised by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller in a comprehensive transportation revenue bill. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 23, 2013, 10:44:00 AM
Washington Post:   Partners split on Konterra project (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2013/03/17/57edac40-8ce9-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story.html)

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The partnership behind Konterra, one of the largest planned development projects in Prince George’s County, is no longer.

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The Gould family and its real estate company, Gould Property Co., own 2,200 acres along Interstate 95 in Laurel that it has been plotting for years as a colossal mixed-use development with partner Forest City Washington, the local arm of Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises.

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The plans are ambitious. With land totaling nearly two-thirds the size of Tysons Corner, Gould and Forest City planned a 488-acre, multibillion-dollar town center project near the intersection of I-95 and the Intercounty Connector that promised 4,500 residential units, 5.3 million square feet of commercial, retail and office space, and 500,000 square feet of hospitality space.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: DeaconG on March 23, 2013, 11:02:03 AM
Washington Post:   Partners split on Konterra project (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2013/03/17/57edac40-8ce9-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story.html)

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The partnership behind Konterra, one of the largest planned development projects in Prince George’s County, is no longer.

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The Gould family and its real estate company, Gould Property Co., own 2,200 acres along Interstate 95 in Laurel that it has been plotting for years as a colossal mixed-use development with partner Forest City Washington, the local arm of Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises.

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The plans are ambitious. With land totaling nearly two-thirds the size of Tysons Corner, Gould and Forest City planned a 488-acre, multibillion-dollar town center project near the intersection of I-95 and the Intercounty Connector that promised 4,500 residential units, 5.3 million square feet of commercial, retail and office space, and 500,000 square feet of hospitality space.


Good God, are they still pushing that?  They were working on that project when I lived in Landover Hills in the early 80s!  Talk about a long gestation period...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 23, 2013, 11:22:50 AM
Washington Post:   Partners split on Konterra project (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2013/03/17/57edac40-8ce9-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story.html)

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The partnership behind Konterra, one of the largest planned development projects in Prince George’s County, is no longer.

Quote
The Gould family and its real estate company, Gould Property Co., own 2,200 acres along Interstate 95 in Laurel that it has been plotting for years as a colossal mixed-use development with partner Forest City Washington, the local arm of Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises.

Quote
The plans are ambitious. With land totaling nearly two-thirds the size of Tysons Corner, Gould and Forest City planned a 488-acre, multibillion-dollar town center project near the intersection of I-95 and the Intercounty Connector that promised 4,500 residential units, 5.3 million square feet of commercial, retail and office space, and 500,000 square feet of hospitality space.


Good God, are they still pushing that?  They were working on that project when I lived in Landover Hills in the early 80s!  Talk about a long gestation period...

Well, yes.  The land is still there (most of it is mined-out sand and gravel pits), and could (and should) be put to good use, and with the coming of Md. 200 and related improvements on I-95 (the final Contract D/E segment should be open by the end of 2013), it should be possible to start serious development there. 

A member of the Gould family told me years ago that there was never a mortgage on the land (note that the Goulds are directly descended from the late financier Jay Gould (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Gould), so they  probably can afford to be patient).

But the Montgomery County Civic Federation and its noxious affiliate group (the now-defunct Montgomery InterCounty Connector Coalition (M-ICC)) routinely used to cite Konterra as a reason not to build Md. 200.  Never mind that almost none of Konterra is in Montgomery County.

M-ICC and M-ICC's Web site are out of business, but you can see some of the stuff they cranked out between 2000 and 2008 on archive.org here (http://web.archive.org/web/20080515091205/http://www.iccfacts.com/index.html) (may take a little while to load).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 24, 2013, 09:49:27 AM
Gazette.net:  Konterra road construction taxing for Laurel area residents and businesses (http://www.gazette.net/article/20130322/NEWS/130329453/1029/konterra-road-construction-taxing-for-laurel-area-residents-and&template=gazette)

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Residents and businesses near the upcoming 2,200-acre Konterra development near West Laurel say they’re battling traffic problems as the State Highway Administration continues to work on the access road to the development, which they will make the commute easier for future businesses and customers.

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The SHA began construction on the two-mile I-95 interchange with Contee Road near state Route 198 in winter 2011, said SHA spokeswoman Kellie Boulware.

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This interchange will tie into the final phase of the Intercounty Connector, a toll road that will link Prince George’s I-95 and U.S. Route 1 corridors with Montgomery County’s I-370, she said.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 24, 2013, 01:14:40 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Another small stage of MD200/ICC under way (http://tollroadsnews.com/node/6477)

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Maryland's State Highway Administration has another small stage of the MD200, Intercounty Connector (ICC) tollroad well under way. And the project has got the attention of the Washington Post because of a few complaints about construction related traffic delays. An $89m contract with a Shirley, Clark, Facchina & Trumbull joint venture is extending the tollroad just 0.9 miles east of its present  end at I-95 to US1 in Laurel. The end of this section will be at US1, a surface arterial, with a signalized intersection.

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The project actually involves more work along I-95 itself than on the ICC extension.  Those are collector-distributor roadways 2 miles long through two close-spaced interchanges of I-95, one of which is being built separately as part of a development named Konterra.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 26, 2013, 10:46:13 PM
I knew that groups opposed to new highways would eventually cite Md. 200 as an example in one or more ways, but I did not know which would be the first.  Turns out that the honor may just belong to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign of metropolitan New York.

San Francisco Leapfrogs New York Region on Cashless Tolls (http://blog.tstc.org/2013/03/25/san-francisco-leapfrogs-new-york-region-on-cashless-tolls/)

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It now appears that cities across the country are primed to leapfrog the MTA when it comes to cashless tolling. AET  is already in use on Maryland’s Intercounty Connector and North Carolina’s Triangle Expressway. On Wednesday, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge will become the first major toll bridge to convert to all-electronic tolls, bringing speedier commutes to 112,000 motorists a day.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 27, 2013, 02:32:22 PM
Baltimore Sun: ICC gets speed limit boost to 60 mph later this week - Signs to be posted Friday and Saturday (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-md-icc-speed-0328-20130327,0,1719899.story)
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Speed-limit signs on the Intercounty Connector will be changed from 55 mph to 60 mph at the end of the week, the Maryland Transportation Authority announced Wednesday.
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The 18.8-mile, all-electronic toll road connects Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg to I-95 in Laurel. Weather permitting, westbound signs will be changed on Friday followed by eastbound signs on Saturday. In addition, warning signs will be added for curves.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 29, 2013, 12:53:40 PM
WTOP Radio: Nearly 7K speeding tickets issued on ICC (http://www.wtop.com/654/3267293/ICC-drivers-rack-up-7K-speeding-tickets)

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LAUREL, Md. - Since the Intercounty Connector opened, nearly 7,000 speeding tickets have been issued, according to documents obtained by WTOP.

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While most tickets are clearly violations, some raise questions for drivers.

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Police issued nearly 200 tickets to drivers going less than 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. On Oct. 6, 2011, a driver was ticketed for going 59 mph.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on March 30, 2013, 08:10:03 PM
Earlier this week on the Channel 4 late news (11:00) Wendy Rieger said something about the ICC going up to 60 mph and she referred to the "westbound span." I figured it was a mistake and shrugged it off.

Then tonight on their 6:00 news Erika Gonzelez said the same thing. Clearly whoever programs the teleprompter is clueless about the ICC!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 30, 2013, 09:52:43 PM
Earlier this week on the Channel 4 late news (11:00) Wendy Rieger said something about the ICC going up to 60 mph and she referred to the "westbound span." I figured it was a mistake and shrugged it off.

Then tonight on their 6:00 news Erika Gonzelez said the same thing. Clearly whoever programs the teleprompter is clueless about the ICC!

Not the  first time! 

As I understood it, MdTA swapped-out the 55 MPH signs in one direction, and then the other direction, probably the source of the confusion. 

There are many bridges along its route, but "span" in this context is usually reserved for structures like the U.S. 301 Potomac River (Gov. Nice) Bridge or the U.S. 50/U.S. 301 Bay (Gov. William Preston Lane, Jr.) Bridge.

Speaking of which:

(http://www.toward.com/cpz/DSC01746Web.jpg)

Only place along Md. 200 where I could snap a Md. 200 shield and a new 60 MPH speed limit sign.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 24, 2013, 07:03:49 PM
It had to happen - this afternoon, Bob Marbourg (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=635&sid=2247966) (the  P.M. drive traffic anchor at all-news WTOP Radio (103.5)) reported a wreck that actually was worthy of mention in one of his traffic reports.

It was eastbound at milepost 15.0 (between Md. 650 and U.S. 29), and had two lanes closed for a while.

First one I have heard reported anywhere on Md. 200.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 25, 2013, 04:23:50 PM
Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post: Turn the Intercounty Connector into the American autobahn (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/turn-the-intercounty-connector-into-the-american-autobahn/2013/04/23/628f3726-aa90-11e2-9493-2ff3bf26c4b4_story.html)

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I needed to take a relative from Gaithersburg to Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport a few days ago, and I took the Intercounty Connector (ICC). I was surprised by how lightly traveled the road is and by the three police cruisers enforcing the speed limit.

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Why? Why the concentrated enforcement presence when there were hardly any cars on the road? Why enforce a speed limit at all? If Maryland had any marketing sense, instead of enforcing speed limits on a road that few people bother to use, it would rebrand the ICC as an American autobahn. When you are as desperate for revenue as the Maryland Transportation Authority is, you have to think outside the box.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: jeffandnicole on April 26, 2013, 08:58:48 AM
Earlier this week on the Channel 4 late news (11:00) Wendy Rieger said something about the ICC going up to 60 mph and she referred to the "westbound span." I figured it was a mistake and shrugged it off.

Then tonight on their 6:00 news Erika Gonzelez said the same thing. Clearly whoever programs the teleprompter is clueless about the ICC!

Not the  first time! 

As I understood it, MdTA swapped-out the 55 MPH signs in one direction, and then the other direction, probably the source of the confusion. 

There are many bridges along its route, but "span" in this context is usually reserved for structures like the U.S. 301 Potomac River (Gov. Nice) Bridge or the U.S. 50/U.S. 301 Bay (Gov. William Preston Lane, Jr.) Bridge.

Speaking of which:

(http://www.toward.com/cpz/DSC01746Web.jpg)

Only place along Md. 200 where I could snap a Md. 200 shield and a new 60 MPH speed limit sign.

Just wondering...why is 'Toll' mentioned on the MP signs?  MP signs are there for reference to a particular location.  'Toll' is a meaningless reference point.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 26, 2013, 10:13:48 AM
Just wondering...why is 'Toll' mentioned on the MP signs?  MP signs are there for reference to a particular location.  'Toll' is a meaningless reference point.

All of the mileposts in whole numbers have them on Md. 200.  I don't know why.

Standard MdTA practice on all off its roads is (and has been for as long as I can remember) to post mileposts every 1/10th of  a mile.

The ones in whole numbers usually have a route shield (there are probably some exceptions to this), but I think Md. 200 is the only one with TOLL banners over the shield.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on April 26, 2013, 01:06:49 PM
Perhaps—and this is just speculation—they're construing the "TOLL" banner as being part of the route shield (even though it's a physically-separate sign)?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 26, 2013, 01:32:52 PM
Perhaps—and this is just speculation—they're construing the "TOLL" banner as being part of the route shield (even though it's a physically-separate sign)?

That is possible - though the very first Md. 200 shields, on the first segment (Contract A) that opened between I-370 and Md. 97 (and Md. 28) did not (at first) have the TOLL banners, but they do now.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 15, 2013, 09:45:53 AM
Washington Post: State considers cancelling some ICC bus routes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/05/14/state-considers-cancelling-some-icc-bus-routes/)

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The Maryland Transit Administration is considering cutting three commuter bus routes that provide peak-hour weekday service on the Intercounty Connector, citing low ridership.

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The agency has scheduled three public hearings on its proposal to cut routes 202, 203 and 205. Route 202 operates between Gaithersburg and Fort Meade. Route 203 operates between Columbia and Bethesda, and Route 205 travels between College Park and Germantown. The agency has proposed cancelling them Aug. 1.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 24, 2013, 02:17:41 PM
Baltimore Sun: New Contee Road bridge at ICC to open next weeK (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/laurel/ph-ll-contee-icc-bridge-opens-20130621,0,320552.story)

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As part of the continuing construction on the Intercounty Connector near Laurel, drivers will be rerouted to a new Contee Road bridge over Interstate 95 next week.
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SHA officials said Friday that, weather permitting, the new traffic pattern will be in effect Tuesday afternoon, and traffic will be shifted from the Van Dusen Road bridge over I-95 to the new bridge that takes Contee Road across the interstate to West Laurel.


Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 27, 2013, 10:44:37 AM
Press release: NEW STUDY CONFIRMS ICC TRAVEL TIME SAVINGS AND CONGESTION RELIEF ON AREA ROADS - ICC Motorists Saving up to 25 Minutes (http://click.bsftransmit7.com/SocialMedia.aspx?pubids=435|6935|6&digest=PJP1XDXZQtvfVUSgOPdQyw&sysid=1&1=3o2&2=)

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Since opening between I-370 and I-95 in November 2011, Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 drivers have cut their travel times in half when compared to travel on local east-west routes, according to a study released today by the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) and the State Highway Administration (SHA).  Motorists who continue to travel local routes during peak hours also are experiencing time savings.  According to the ICC Before & After Traffic Study, these motorists have experienced a five to 11 percent reduction in travel times, compared to before the ICC opened.  Along with more consistent travel times, traffic on commuter routes like MD 650, MD 198, MD 28, MD 108 and MD 115 has decreased by five to 10 percent.

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“This report confirms that the ICC is saving time, increasing reliability and reducing delays for those traveling between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman James T. Smith, Jr. “The study confirms the ICC also is succeeding in delivering efficient travel times to local businesses and providing key infrastructure to support future economic growth.”

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Within the study area, the percentage of time traveling without congestion during peak morning hours increased from 24 percent before the ICC was built to 46 percent after the ICC was operational.  The evening peak hour traffic went from 20 percent uncongested conditions before the ICC to 42 percent after the ICC opened.

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“A trip between I-370 and I-95 on the ICC saves up to 25 minutes compared to driving local routes,” said MDTA Acting Executive Secretary Bruce Gartner.  “Traffic volumes are right in line with our projections.  Each weekday, nearly 40,000 vehicles now travel the ICC between I-370 and Georgia Avenue and about 30,000 vehicles travel between US 29 and I-95.”

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“The ICC is working,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “Travel through communities such as Burtonsville and Colesville is more reliable and dozens of intersections in the corridor are less congested.  One of the goals of the ICC was to divert traffic from overburdened area roads with homes, schools, civic and faith destinations.  We are giving communities back their neighborhoods.”

Post Merge: June 27, 2013, 05:06:48 PM
Technical report details: http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/ICC/Saving_Time.html

Washington Post: ICC saves motorists time, study says (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/06/27/icc-saves-motorists-time-study-says/)

TOLLROADSnews: Study finds new Washington area ICC tollroad major success in improving mobility (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6607)

WTOP Radio: Speed limit goes up, ICC tickets go down (http://www.wtop.com/654/3373388/Why-fewer-ICC-tickets-issued)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 01, 2013, 08:46:51 AM
WTOP Radio: More than 800,000 ICC tolls unpaid (http://www.wtop.com/654/3375623/800000-ICC-tolls-unpaid)

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Since January 2012, more than 860,000 tolls on the Intercounty Connector have gone unpaid, according to records obtained by WTOP.

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New laws that go into effect on Monday will crack down on drivers skipping out on tolls across Maryland and then refusing to pay the outstanding bills. They also coincide with toll increases at bridges and tunnels across Maryland.

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Under the old law, Maryland could impose administrative fees and turn over unpaid tolls to collections, but could not compel drivers to pay. New laws will allow the Maryland Transportation Authority to flag or suspend the registration on toll scofflaws.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 06, 2013, 10:35:22 AM
Blast from the past (1999) in the Washington Post:   After Decades of Work, Maryland Still Hasn't Made the Connection (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/1999-09/27/073r-092799-idx.html)

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Did someone say that the governor of Maryland killed plans for the Intercounty Connector highway and now proposes building two roads to nowhere as an alternative?

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Is this somebody's idea of a joke?

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Is that the best that Maryland could do after more than four decades of spending millions of dollars on studies, plans and consultants' fees?

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Building the 18-mile-long ICC may not have been a good idea, but surely highway engineers and other transportation experts must be capable of developing a viable alternative.

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Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) has taken the road of least resistance, however, making a mockery of the highway-planning process instead.

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Upon rejecting the proposal to build the ICC, Glendening unveiled a plan to build two short, limited-access roads at each end of the proposed ICC alignment.

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Under phase two of this Rube Goldberg scheme, the governor has ordered state officials to sell off $25 million in property that was acquired for one of the routes that had been proposed for the ICC. The right of way obtained for an alternate southern alignment of the ICC will be dedicated for use as parkland and a still-to-be-determined transit line.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mgk920 on July 06, 2013, 11:35:49 AM
That is the same governor who, at about the same time, rejected an absolutely *fantastic* 'Star-Spangled Banner over Fort McHenry' design (see: http://www.quarterdesigns.com/proposed/maryland.html it's the one on the right) to instead foist a terrible, uninspiring image of the statehouse dome and a nonsensical motto for his state's state quarter upon us in the rest of the USA.  Why?  The usual 'War is bad' thing.

 :rolleyes:

Thank God that a successor had the sense - and ability - to reverse his decision on the ICC.

 :nod:

Mike
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on July 06, 2013, 11:50:07 AM
War is bad.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 06, 2013, 12:14:33 PM
That is the same governor who, at about the same time, rejected an absolutely *fantastic* 'Star-Spangled Banner over Fort McHenry' design (see: http://www.quarterdesigns.com/proposed/maryland.html it's the one on the right) to instead foist a terrible, uninspiring image of the statehouse dome and a nonsensical motto for his state's state quarter upon us in the rest of the USA.  Why?  The usual 'War is bad' thing.

 :rolleyes:

I dislike Parris Glendening as much as a previous governor from the party opposite, Spiro "Ted" Agnew, but for different reasons.  Agnew was dishonest and manifested that dishonesty by taking bribes, as far back as his time in office as Baltimore County Executive.  Glendening ran for office in 1994 stating he was in favor of the ICC, and only changed his mind when  he started cheating on his wife by shacking up with Jennifer Crawford, a hard-core Green.

But regarding the quarter, our historic State House is the oldest one in  the nation that's still in use, and it is considered iconic by state residents (even those that don't like Glendening - count me among that group).  We were building the wood dome during the American Revolution, and kept on with the work until it was done.  It served as the temporary U.S. Capitol in 1783 and 1784.

Thank God that a successor had the sense - and ability - to reverse his decision on the ICC.

 :nod:

Mike

Bob Ehrlich got my vote in 2002 for because he promised to get going on the ICC (apparently much to the rage of Glendening).  It also helped that a lot of people around the state were angry with Glendening, and (perhaps unfairly) took it out on his hapless Lt. Governor and Democratic nominee to succeed him, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.  Ehrlich only served one term (he was defeated by Martin O'Malley in 2006), and the Sierra Club, Virignia's Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and their allied Green extremists hoped that O'Malley would cancel the ICC project - again.  I believe O'Malley made a political decision that the downside risk for him of going forward with the ICC was small (the groups opposed to the project have always been very small, but loud - and very nearly all PEC members cannot vote in Maryland elections), while the risk of trying to cancel it would have brought the full wrath of the business community (including the editorial pages of the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post) down on him.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on July 06, 2013, 12:50:20 PM
That is the same governor who, at about the same time, rejected an absolutely *fantastic* 'Star-Spangled Banner over Fort McHenry' design (see: http://www.quarterdesigns.com/proposed/maryland.html it's the one on the right) to instead foist a terrible, uninspiring image of the statehouse dome and a nonsensical motto for his state's state quarter upon us in the rest of the USA.  Why?  The usual 'War is bad' thing.

 :rolleyes:
Mike
Almost as bad is AK-3 instead of AK-2. Those stars are iconic, as is sled dogging. We have bears here.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 06, 2013, 02:24:53 PM
That is the same governor who, at about the same time, rejected an absolutely *fantastic* 'Star-Spangled Banner over Fort McHenry' design (see: http://www.quarterdesigns.com/proposed/maryland.html it's the one on the right) to instead foist a terrible, uninspiring image of the statehouse dome and a nonsensical motto for his state's state quarter upon us in the rest of the USA.  Why?  The usual 'War is bad' thing.

 :rolleyes:
Mike
Almost as bad is AK-3 instead of AK-2. Those stars are iconic, as is sled dogging.

Agreed.   When I was in elementary  school, we had to learn about the flags of all of the 50 states (the idea of 50 states was still somewhat new in the 1960's), and the flag of Alaska got special attention, perhaps because it is one the best of the bunch, with its elegant and simple design (right up there with our Maryland flag ;-) ). 

And we were taught that the Alaska flag was designed by a school child (http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Alaska/flag.html), which is apparently true.

We have bears here.

Yeah, but not the massive (and often foul-tempered and dangerous) grizzlies and Kodiak brown bears that have been featured in various TV shows about Alaska, including Alaska State Troopers (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/alaska-state-troopers/).

Though I get your point - it is rather difficult to distinguish a black bear from one with a brown or grizzled coat on the back of a coin.

And speaking of Alaska troopers, the Alaska bears have been honored by being featured on the badge that the troopers are issued.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2013, 06:23:49 PM
Gazette.Net: MTA opts not to cut two ICC commuter bus routes (http://www.gazette.net/article/20130711/NEWS/130719667/1124/bumper-to-bumper-mta-opts-not-to-cut-two-icc-commuter-bus-routes&template=gazette)

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In response to public outcry, the Maryland Transit Administration has decided to continue two of three commuter bus routes along the Intercounty Connector that it had considered cancelling.
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Route 202, which runs from Gaithersburg to Fort Meade, and Route 203, which runs from Columbia to Bethesda, will continue. Route 205, which runs from College Park to the Germantown Transit Center, will be discontinued starting Aug. 1, according to a press release from the Maryland Transit Administration.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on August 01, 2013, 08:17:53 PM
An update on ICC construction, sort of.  That is, another construction project, the Contee Road interchange, is being built along with the Contract D/E section of the ICC, but is actually not part of it.

With traffic rerouted onto the new Contee Rd. overpass across I-95, the old Van Dusen Rd. bridge is being demolished as we speak.  Decking has been removed, and all structural steel over the NB I-95 lanes has been removed.  But you know how, when an overpass is dismantled, the piers typically remain in place for days or weeks before they're demo'd?  (Probably because special equipment is needed to uproot the concrete structures) Well, the pier structure on the outside of the NB lanes was taken down along with the structural steel, possibly even on the same day!  I suspect this was to expedite construction of the C/D lanes.  The pier on the inside of the NB lanes is still standing.  There are other sets of piers on both sides of the SB lanes -- structural steel still in place, but probably not for long.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2013, 08:55:07 PM
An update on ICC construction, sort of.  That is, another construction project, the Contee Road interchange, is being built along with the Contract D/E section of the ICC, but is actually not part of it.

With traffic rerouted onto the new Contee Rd. overpass across I-95, the old Van Dusen Rd. bridge is being demolished as we speak.  Decking has been removed, and all structural steel over the NB I-95 lanes has been removed.  But you know how, when an overpass is dismantled, the piers typically remain in place for days or weeks before they're demo'd?  (Probably because special equipment is needed to uproot the concrete structures) Well, the pier structure on the outside of the NB lanes was taken down along with the structural steel, possibly even on the same day!  I suspect this was to expedite construction of the C/D lanes.  The pier on the inside of the NB lanes is still standing.  There are other sets of piers on both sides of the SB lanes -- structural steel still in place, but probably not for long.

Yeah, I have seen the work going on there, starting with the demolition of the bridge deck (which was in great condition as compared to the series of ruts and potholes and patches that was Van Dusen Road east of I-95).

I also saw that the pier on the right side of the northbound lanes was knocked down, but still somewhat intact, as you describe above. 

Added note - the plans I saw for this interchange call for four cloverleaf ramps between the new Contee Road and the new I-95 C-D lanes.  Rather like a diamond interchange turned inside-out.  I don't think I have ever seen one of those in Maryland before.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 09, 2013, 09:16:52 AM
MdTA has finally signed the Montgomery County/Prince George's County line.

Eastbound between Briggs Chaney Road and I-95: 
(http://www.toward.com/cpz/dsc02632web.jpg)

Westbound (crookedly) between I-95 and Briggs Chaney Road:
(http://www.toward.com/cpz/dsc02642web.jpg)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 12, 2013, 02:24:47 PM
Washington Post: ICC traffic growing monthly, officials say (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/10/10/icc-traffic-growing-monthly-officials-say/)

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Traffic on the Intercounty Connector toll highway in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties is growing at an average 2.6 percent per month, Maryland officials said Thursday.

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In the fiscal year ending June 30, the highway (Route 200) had more than 17.2 million trips and generated $39.59 million in toll revenue, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority’s newly released annual financial statement. The authority, which operates the 18.8-mile road, had projected $39.56 million in revenue for the year, officials said.

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Traffic, which averaged almost 40,000 vehicles on weekdays, was “slightly” lower than projected on the eastern end near Interstate 95 and “significantly” higher on the western end near the Interstate 270 corridor, officials said.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 18, 2013, 09:54:17 AM
Bethesda magazine: The Road Less Traveled - The Intercounty Connector promised a lot of things to Montgomery County residents. But with traffic and revenue far lower than projected, some people are asking: Was the highway all hype? (http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Magazine/September-October-2013/The-Intercounty-Connector/index.php)

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Driven on the Intercounty Connector lately? No? You’re not alone. Many haven’t.

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The 18.8-mile highway—the first stretch of which opened two and a half years ago after great hype and amid great controversy—is the road less traveled. Traffic counts are well below early projections, and revenue from tolls—needed to pay off the bonds that were sold to build the road—is far less than originally anticipated.

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The initial estimated cost of $1 billion has ballooned to $2.4 billion—or as much as $4 billion if you include interest payments. Consequently, all tolls on Maryland highways, bridges and tunnels have been raised in part to help pay for the ICC. Every driver who passes through the two Baltimore harbor tunnels, goes over the Francis Scott Key, Chesapeake Bay or Harry Nice bridges, or speeds along the John F. Kennedy portion of Interstate 95 north of Baltimore is helping to pay for the highway, which currently extends from the I-370 spur off I-270 to I-95. (Eventually it will continue as a four-lane road another nine-tenths of a mile east to U.S. Route 1, with the last section’s completion scheduled for July 2014.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2013, 05:50:46 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Maryland's Inter County Connector MD200 has solid 40k ADT traffic, $40m/year tolls after two years operation (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6793)

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2013-10-24: Maryland's Inter County Connector saw strong growth in traffic in the spring this year achieving solid 40,000 vehicles/weekday patronage over three of five segments with overall traffic at 187,000/weekday adding transactions in all five segments or 37,000 average weekday numbers per segment. May thru' August the numbers haven't substantially changed, but compared with same-month-a-year-back the traffic is up a solid 20% to 25%.

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A 2x3 lane expressway can comfortably carry 60,000 to 90,000 vehicles per day, so 40,000 means there's still plenty of spare capacity on the MD200. But for Year 2 it's a solid number for a road sized in a growth area for demand levels in 2020 or 2030.

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Operator Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) reports revenue at $39.6m for the fiscal year that ended June 30, almost exactly, they say, at CDM Smith's forecast level.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 25, 2013, 10:38:14 PM
But if it was carrying 90,000 already, that'll signal either traffic congestion or much higher tolls in the near future; neither of which would really be a positive outcome.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2013, 10:56:51 PM
But if it was carrying 90,000 already, that'll signal either traffic congestion or much higher tolls in the near future; neither of which would really be a positive outcome.

It likely will not ever get to 90,000.  The state has committed to this always being a free-flowing highway, so if it starts to near capacity, the tolls will go up as much as is needed to keep it running decently.  For now, it is not close to being at capacity.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 01, 2013, 02:36:38 AM
Two stories that appear to be a repackaging of the Bethesda magazine article from above.

Business Insider: No One Is Driving On The 18.8-Mile Washington DC Highway That Was Supposed To Ease The Worst Congestion In The Nation (http://www.businessinsider.com/maryland-intercounty-connector-problems-2013-10)

The Urbanophile: This Is What a Boondoggle Looks Like (http://www.urbanophile.com/2013/10/31/this-is-what-a-boondoggle-looks-like/)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 19, 2013, 07:05:28 PM
This is directly related to ICC Contract D/E, which is why I am posting it here.

Baltimore Sun: Laurel business owners say I-95 sign removal could sting (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/laurel/ph-ll-95-signs-1121-20131119,0,4649344.story)

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State Highway Administration plans to remove road signs with logos at an exit near Laurel has some business owners concerned that motorists traveling up Interstate 95 might pass them by.

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The decision to remove the signs, on the northbound side of I-95, stems from new Intercounty Connector-related construction near Route 198. To better manage increased traffic flow for commuters traveling between I-95 and Route 1 or the ICC, SHA is incorporating the highway exits into side service roads that link up with the ICC and Contee Road.

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With the reconfiguration comes new signage. SHA officials say that there isn't a lot of room for multiple signs, which according to federal guidelines must be placed at least 800 feet apart.

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And the precedent set by similar connector roads, such as those along the Interstate-270 corridor, is that signage with specific logos is not necessary.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on November 26, 2013, 12:15:25 PM
The first traffic pattern switch in this phase of the ICC project seems to have taken place last week.

The ramp from EB MD-198 to SB I-95 has been closed and is being jackhammered away.  Now, EB 198 traffic entering SB 95 takes a new ramp that merges with the long ramp from WB 198.  Of course, I presume this will all eventually feed into the new C/D lanes that won't put them on SB 95 until they're past the ICC interchange itself.

Construction on the Contee Rd. interchange and the C/D lanes is inching along.  While at least one stretch has been paved, others, especially on the NB side, still need to be graded yet.  On NB 95, a new concrete retaining wall is being built under the diagonal WB 198 on-ramp overpass, presumably to clear space for the C/D lanes between it and the pier.  How often have you seen that being done -- leaving an overpass intact, but widening the space under one side by retrofitting a concrete embankment?  I've only known of one, years ago, and they had to close the road above for a while to do it.  Somehow I doubt the on-ramp will be closed, at least not for any significant length of time.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on November 26, 2013, 03:22:19 PM
Sorry I saw this before but didn't post it:   
SHA SHIFTS TRAFFIC ONTO TEMPORARY EXIT RAMP FROM EASTBOUND MD 198 TO SOUTHBOUND I-95 AS PART OF ICC PROJECT (http://www.roads.maryland.gov/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1721&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MD_SHA_News_Releases+%28Maryland+SHA+News+Releases%29&utm_content=FeedBurner)

Also there's this:
Quote
This section of the ICC between I-95 and US 1 is expected to open to traffic spring 2014, weather permitting.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on November 26, 2013, 06:01:06 PM
Unless the contractor gets going with roadbed construction and base paving of the CD lanes north of the ICC interchange and the ramps to and from the CD lanes, I can't see this interchange opening before next May. The CD lanes haven't even been built out to the existing lanes yet and the ramps to and from Contee Road are hardly recognizable as such from the ground. I also haven't seen any foundations constructed for the signage at the ramp terminal intersections on either side of the new bridge over I-95.

The top layer of asphalt is being laid on the new, divided arterial east of I-95, but it's not clear what the road name will be yet. In addition, the ICC mainline has been built and base paved on either side of the new bridge west of US 1, but the temporary embankment constructed for Virginia Manor Road hasn't been removed yet.

Also, it will be interesting to see when the new roadway west of Sweitzer Lane opens and what name it receives.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on November 27, 2013, 10:16:30 AM
They are still saying spring for the completion of the mainline to US 1 and the CD lanes.  The previous report said the mainline to US 1 would be done in the spring.  This report says that the CD lanes will be done in the spring. That could mean that they are completed in May.

STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION OPENS NEW EXIT RAMP ON NORTHBOUND I-95 RAMP TO EASTBOUND MD 198 (http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1732)
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This temporary alignment will be in place until spring 2014, when construction of the new collector-distributor lanes will be complete.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 27, 2013, 11:21:57 AM
They are still saying spring for the completion of the mainline to US 1 and the CD lanes.  The previous report said the mainline to US 1 would be done in the spring.  This report says that the CD lanes will be done in the spring. That could mean that they are completed in May.

The mainline of Md. 200 between Virginia Manor Road and I-95 is essentially done (I've been on it once (with permission)).  As was pointed out upthread, there is still work to be done at Virginia Manor Road and east of there to the new at-grade intersection at U.S. 1.

My guess is that all of the Contract D/E work will be complete by Memorial Day 2014, weather permitting.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 30, 2013, 11:28:42 PM
Washington Post: Intercounty Connector toll revenue falls short of early forecasts (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/marylands-intercounty-connector-toll-revenue-falls-short-of-early-forecasts/2013/11/30/05e67f54-4638-11e3-a196-3544a03c2351_story.html)

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Maryland officials have said repeatedly that traffic on the Intercounty Connector matches state projections, even as motorists say the controversial toll road continues to feel remarkably underused two years after it opened.

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Tolls collected on the highway, between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, do align with state forecasts, but only because those projections were adjusted downward, according to internal state reports obtained under a public records request.

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The ICC took in $39.6 million in the past fiscal year — almost dead-on the latest projection but $10 million to $32 million less than forecasts that Maryland lawmakers had in 2005, when they agreed to significantly increase the Maryland Transportation Authority’s debt to build it.

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“They lowered the bar so now they can step over it,” said Montgomery County Council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), a longtime ICC critic. “When you merge onto the ICC, it doesn’t feel like a highway. It feels like an airport runway.”
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Laura on January 02, 2014, 01:04:56 AM
Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post: Turn the Intercounty Connector into the American autobahn (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/turn-the-intercounty-connector-into-the-american-autobahn/2013/04/23/628f3726-aa90-11e2-9493-2ff3bf26c4b4_story.html)

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I needed to take a relative from Gaithersburg to Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport a few days ago, and I took the Intercounty Connector (ICC). I was surprised by how lightly traveled the road is and by the three police cruisers enforcing the speed limit.

Quote
Why? Why the concentrated enforcement presence when there were hardly any cars on the road? Why enforce a speed limit at all? If Maryland had any marketing sense, instead of enforcing speed limits on a road that few people bother to use, it would rebrand the ICC as an American autobahn. When you are as desperate for revenue as the Maryland Transportation Authority is, you have to think outside the box.

This is EXACTLY how I feel about the ICC (and toll roads in general). If I am paying extra money to take the road, I should not have to worry about police, period. Making it a speed trap just give me another reason to not use the road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 02, 2014, 02:46:43 PM
This is EXACTLY how I feel about the ICC (and toll roads in general). If I am paying extra money to take the road, I should not have to worry about police, period. Making it a speed trap just give me another reason to not use the road.

I agree with you, and I also think the posted 60 MPH is too low, even though the ICC saves gobs of time over comparable routes such as Md. 198/Norbeck Road Extended/Md. 28, East Randolph and Randolph Roads, and Md. 115/Shady Grove Road. 

If it were my call, MdTA would install New Jersey Turnpike-style variable speed limit signs, and set them at 70 or 75 MPH as long as the road surface is dry.

Only place where that might be too high is at the west end, between Shady Grove Road and the Winters Run tunnel, where there are a few (fairly) sharp curves.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on January 02, 2014, 03:51:23 PM
This is EXACTLY how I feel about the ICC (and toll roads in general). If I am paying extra money to take the road, I should not have to worry about police, period. Making it a speed trap just give me another reason to not use the road.

I agree with you, and I also think the posted 60 MPH is too low, even though the ICC saves gobs of time over comparable routes such as Md. 198/Norbeck Road Extended/Md. 28, East Randolph and Randolph Roads, and Md. 115/Shady Grove Road. 

If it were my call, MdTA would install New Jersey Turnpike-style variable speed limit signs, and set them at 70 or 75 MPH as long as the road surface is dry.

Only place where that might be too high is at the west end, between Shady Grove Road and the Winters Run tunnel, where there are a few (fairly) sharp curves.

I agree completely. Several years ago I even asked the MdTA if they would have variable speed limits or a 70mph speed limit on the I-95 ETLs, and at the time the response was that they would not; the limit would be 65mph, just like the GP lanes. Now, with the I-495 HOT lanes in place with a higher speed limit as well as the ICC speed limit change, I would be shocked if the MdTA didn't set the I-95 ETLs' speed limit to 70mph.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on January 02, 2014, 04:35:39 PM
Does Maryland law allow for a 70-mph limit or would that require action by the state legislature? I assume the latter. It sure seems that if Maryland law already allowed for 70-mph speed limits, there would be some in place somewhere in the state (I-68 in Garrett County is the most obvious example that comes to mind).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 03, 2014, 12:03:41 AM
Does Maryland law allow for a 70-mph limit or would that require action by the state legislature? I assume the latter.

Yes, maximum is 65 MPH, set by state statute - see Transportation Article §21–801.1 (http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gtr&section=21-801.1&ext=html&session=2014RS&tab=subject5).

It sure seems that if Maryland law already allowed for 70-mph speed limits, there would be some in place somewhere in the state (I-68 in Garrett County is the most obvious example that comes to mind).

Maryland had 70 MPH maximum prior to the imposition of the NMSL.

I-68 in Garrett County would (IMO) be a good candidate for consideration of a 70 MPH limit.

Others (again, IMO) that could be considered for 70 or even 75 MPH:

I-70 between Hancock and Hagerstown;
I-70 between Frederick and U.S. 29;
I-83 between Timonium and the Pennsylvania border;
I-95/I-495 between the Wilson Bridge and Md. 202;
I-95 "between the Beltways;"
I-95 (JFK Highway) between White Marsh and the Delaware border;
I-97;
I-270;
I-795;
I-895 between I-95 and the Patapsco Flats Bridge;
Md. 10;
Md. 32 (divided freeway segments only, except at the Baltimore-Washington Parkway interchange and in front of NSA);
Md. 100;
Md. 200;
U.S. 50 ("secret" I-595) between New Carrollton and Md. 70 (Rowe Boulevard); and
U.S. 301 between Queenstown and the Delaware border (not a freeway, but close enough to have a higher limit than 55 MPH).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 03, 2014, 12:06:27 AM
I agree completely. Several years ago I even asked the MdTA if they would have variable speed limits or a 70mph speed limit on the I-95 ETLs, and at the time the response was that they would not; the limit would be 65mph, just like the GP lanes. Now, with the I-495 HOT lanes in place with a higher speed limit as well as the ICC speed limit change, I would be shocked if the MdTA didn't set the I-95 ETLs' speed limit to 70mph.

I don't think MdTA can set a higher limit than 65 MPH without a change in state law. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on January 03, 2014, 08:09:59 AM
I agree completely. Several years ago I even asked the MdTA if they would have variable speed limits or a 70mph speed limit on the I-95 ETLs, and at the time the response was that they would not; the limit would be 65mph, just like the GP lanes. Now, with the I-495 HOT lanes in place with a higher speed limit as well as the ICC speed limit change, I would be shocked if the MdTA didn't set the I-95 ETLs' speed limit to 70mph.

I don't think MdTA can set a higher limit than 65 MPH without a change in state law.

That's kind of annoying. I doubt there will be any interest in amending the law to allow a 70mph limit.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: vdeane on January 03, 2014, 04:31:37 PM
There was a bill proposed a year ago, but it looks dead: http://articles.herald-mail.com/2013-01-24/news/36534508_1_rural-interstates-limit-mph-for-urban-areas
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 03, 2014, 04:51:29 PM
There was a bill proposed a year ago, but it looks dead: http://articles.herald-mail.com/2013-01-24/news/36534508_1_rural-interstates-limit-mph-for-urban-areas

Nothing to stop those Delegates from pre-filing (or filing) a bill again for the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on January 14, 2014, 10:43:00 PM
I passed through the site of the Contee Road interchange several days ago and there doesn't appear to be any significant progress on the interchange ramps or the I-95 C/D roadways, including the C/D roadways at the MD 198 interchange. The MD 200 mainline base paving appears to be done and the temporary embankment for Virginia Manor Road is nearly removed, but not much else has happened at the site of that interchange either. I couldn't see any progress on the divided highway west of Sweitzer Lane but my vantage point wasn't very good.

Unless work really takes off this month and maintains its pace going forward I really don't see how these works could all be done by May of this year. Still, once it does open I could see a LOT of traffic shift from the MD 198 and MD 212 interchanges to US 1 and the ICC; it will be interesting to see if the lights along US 1 south of MD 212 have their timings altered substantially to make the mainline green phases longer in the peaks.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 10, 2014, 05:41:37 PM
Washington Post: Gansler proposes 50 percent discount for frequent users of Intercounty Connector (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/gansler-proposes-50-percent-discount-for-frequent-users-of-intercounty-connector/2014/02/07/8ac48634-903f-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html)

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Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler proposed a 50 percent discount Friday for regular commuters on the Intercounty Connector, arguing that the lower toll would draw more motorists to the underutilized highway.

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Under Gansler’s plan, commuters who make at least 15 trips a month on the ICC would be eligible for the discount, which he said would be comparable to existing breaks for drivers who frequently use the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore and the Bay Bridge.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on February 11, 2014, 10:18:24 PM
There's still no sign of any major progress on Contee Road or Virginia Manor Road, but there has been a huge amount of progress on the new US 1 southbound roadbed at the eastern terminus of the ICC. The intersection is now taking shape and I will be interested to see if any pedestrian facilities are provided.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mrsman on February 13, 2014, 08:38:36 AM
I passed through the site of the Contee Road interchange several days ago and there doesn't appear to be any significant progress on the interchange ramps or the I-95 C/D roadways, including the C/D roadways at the MD 198 interchange. The MD 200 mainline base paving appears to be done and the temporary embankment for Virginia Manor Road is nearly removed, but not much else has happened at the site of that interchange either. I couldn't see any progress on the divided highway west of Sweitzer Lane but my vantage point wasn't very good.

Unless work really takes off this month and maintains its pace going forward I really don't see how these works could all be done by May of this year. Still, once it does open I could see a LOT of traffic shift from the MD 198 and MD 212 interchanges to US 1 and the ICC; it will be interesting to see if the lights along US 1 south of MD 212 have their timings altered substantially to make the mainline green phases longer in the peaks.

Traffic won't shift that much, unless the section between I-95 and US 1 were toll free.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 14, 2014, 01:08:23 PM
Traffic won't shift that much, unless the section between I-95 and US 1 were toll free.

It may shift some (and it will be tolled - the gantries are already in place), because the ICC will make access to I-95 (and, of course, points to the west) dramatically better for U.S. 1 traffic.  It is a pretty long distance between Md. 212 and Md. 198 (and 198 has a lot of signals between U.S. 1 and I-95).  The ICC should benefit the industrial and warehouse uses along U.S. 1 on the west side of the CSX Capital Subdivision tracks, and along Old Baltimore Pike (a county-maintained extension of Md. 201) on the east side of CSX with access to the ICC via Muirkirk Road and Virginia Manor Road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on February 15, 2014, 09:24:43 AM
Traffic won't shift that much, unless the section between I-95 and US 1 were toll free.

It may shift some (and it will be tolled - the gantries are already in place), because the ICC will make access to I-95 (and, of course, points to the west) dramatically better for U.S. 1 traffic.  It is a pretty long distance between Md. 212 and Md. 198 (and 198 has a lot of signals between U.S. 1 and I-95).  The ICC should benefit the industrial and warehouse uses along U.S. 1 on the west side of the CSX Capital Subdivision tracks, and along Old Baltimore Pike (a county-maintained extension of Md. 201) on the east side of CSX with access to the ICC via Muirkirk Road and Virginia Manor Road.

It should also be noted that there is a long term alternative plan (http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/PG949_11/htdocs/Maps/Alternatives_for_Workshop/Alt5W.pdf) to build a state-maintained extension of MD 201, bypassing the existing county maintained roads that extend from its northern terminus, that crosses US 1 at an angle to meet Virginia Manor Road at its intersection with MD 212 (which was itself diverted about a year ago). The other alternatives include smaller bypasses and various intersection improvements to get through traffic onto Old Baltimore Pike more easily.

An alternative route across US 1 to BARC and parts of Beltsville and College Park that may be partially access controlled in places will help bring a lot of traffic to the ICC's eastern end. The other alternatives will also help but less so in my opinion.

There is also a pretty good chance that Muirkirk Station's parking lot may see major expansion within the next five years because of the improved access to the station from the Virginia Manor Road exit. I also expect to eventually see buses going that way from the ICC to Muirkirk and back.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2014, 06:31:20 PM
It should also be noted that there is a long term alternative plan (http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/PG949_11/htdocs/Maps/Alternatives_for_Workshop/Alt5W.pdf) to build a state-maintained extension of MD 201, bypassing the existing county maintained roads that extend from its northern terminus, that crosses US 1 at an angle to meet Virginia Manor Road at its intersection with MD 212 (which was itself diverted about a year ago). The other alternatives include smaller bypasses and various intersection improvements to get through traffic onto Old Baltimore Pike more easily.

Though that project has been studied and discussed for many years now, and the last time I checked, it was "on hold."  I believe the City of Greenbelt (well served by the Capital Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway) is opposed, even though only its extreme southern end would be within its corporate limits.  It does not help that Greenbelt was loudly opposed to the ICC, and I believe there is a perception that this project (as you suggest) will route more traffic to the toll road.

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An alternative route across US 1 to BARC and parts of Beltsville and College Park that may be partially access controlled in places will help bring a lot of traffic to the ICC's eastern end. The other alternatives will also help but less so in my opinion.

The better alternative would be to build the now-cancelled A-44 from the east end of Md. 200 all the way to U.S. 50.

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There is also a pretty good chance that Muirkirk Station's parking lot may see major expansion within the next five years because of the improved access to the station from the Virginia Manor Road exit. I also expect to eventually see buses going that way from the ICC to Muirkirk and back.

I'm not sure why.  I don't think CSX wants any more MARC Camden Line trains running between Washington and Baltimore, so it's not clear to me that there would be much more in the way of transit trips there (and to the extent there are any new transit, I believe they will only be during peak commute times, Monday through Friday).

I don't have a problem with buses stopping at Muirkirk, but they probably need to continue to the Greenbelt Metrorail station.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2014, 06:36:35 PM
Smart Growth America mentions the InterCounty Connector (but only by route number) without bashing it in this document (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/the-innovative-dot-second-edition.pdf) (physical page 75).

This is interesting because ex-Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening did everything he could to stop the highway from getting built, and now works for Smart Growth America as President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/leadership-institute/about).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 16, 2014, 08:13:23 AM
Quote
Though that project has been studied and discussed for many years now, and the last time I checked, it was "on hold."  I believe the City of Greenbelt (well served by the Capital Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway) is opposed, even though only its extreme southern end would be within its corporate limits.  It does not help that Greenbelt was loudly opposed to the ICC, and I believe there is a perception that this project (as you suggest) will route more traffic to the toll road.

Greenbelt's opposition is somewhat justified in that it would bring a lot more traffic to 201.  And Greenbelt residents and drivers already have issues getting across 201 to access the Greenbelt Metro station.

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Smart Growth America mentions the InterCounty Connector (but only by route number) without bashing it in this document (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/the-innovative-dot-second-edition.pdf) (physical page 75).

Given the context in which it was mentioned (variable tolling facilities), not exactly the place for them to bash it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on February 16, 2014, 10:39:51 PM
It should also be noted that there is a long term alternative plan (http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/PG949_11/htdocs/Maps/Alternatives_for_Workshop/Alt5W.pdf) to build a state-maintained extension of MD 201, bypassing the existing county maintained roads that extend from its northern terminus, that crosses US 1 at an angle to meet Virginia Manor Road at its intersection with MD 212 (which was itself diverted about a year ago). The other alternatives include smaller bypasses and various intersection improvements to get through traffic onto Old Baltimore Pike more easily.

Though that project has been studied and discussed for many years now, and the last time I checked, it was "on hold."  I believe the City of Greenbelt (well served by the Capital Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway) is opposed, even though only its extreme southern end would be within its corporate limits.  It does not help that Greenbelt was loudly opposed to the ICC, and I believe there is a perception that this project (as you suggest) will route more traffic to the toll road.

Quote
An alternative route across US 1 to BARC and parts of Beltsville and College Park that may be partially access controlled in places will help bring a lot of traffic to the ICC's eastern end. The other alternatives will also help but less so in my opinion.

The better alternative would be to build the now-cancelled A-44 from the east end of Md. 200 all the way to U.S. 50.

Obviously, but that depends on where the planned routing of A-44 (a nomenclature I've never seen before) was located. Any route that would have taken land from the Patuxent Research Refuge would have been disastrous, and obviously today such a thing is completely impossible.

Unless there is a massive shift in local and political opinion going forward I think the best that can be hoped for now is a partially access-controlled parkway in the PEPCO powerline corridor that crosses the Parkway with no interchange and ends at a flat intersection with MD 197, with the latter widened to the maximum possible ROW limit. Even doing that much will have people howling.

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Quote
There is also a pretty good chance that Muirkirk Station's parking lot may see major expansion within the next five years because of the improved access to the station from the Virginia Manor Road exit. I also expect to eventually see buses going that way from the ICC to Muirkirk and back.

I'm not sure why.  I don't think CSX wants any more MARC Camden Line trains running between Washington and Baltimore, so it's not clear to me that there would be much more in the way of transit trips there (and to the extent there are any new transit, I believe they will only be during peak commute times, Monday through Friday).

I don't have a problem with buses stopping at Muirkirk, but they probably need to continue to the Greenbelt Metrorail station.

Does CSX also control how long the trains are and the number of locomotives? If they don't then MARC could simply make the trains longer (but I don't know what the maximum possible length is) and run the same number of trains, thus carrying more people for the same amount of track occupancy.

There is also the new TOD that was just constructed next to the station, and someday that large brownfield site next to I-95 will be built on too, so I would expect that sooner or later there will be buses going up and down the ramps to Virginia Manor Road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on February 17, 2014, 07:34:06 AM
Quote
Obviously, but that depends on where the planned routing of A-44 (a nomenclature I've never seen before) was located. Any route that would have taken land from the Patuxent Research Refuge would have been disastrous, and obviously today such a thing is completely impossible.

A few maps of A-44 have shown up here and there in various PGC planning documents.  There haven't been any posted online in several years (used to be some on an anti-ICC website that is long gone).

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Unless there is a massive shift in local and political opinion going forward I think the best that can be hoped for now is a partially access-controlled parkway in the PEPCO powerline corridor that crosses the Parkway with no interchange and ends at a flat intersection with MD 197, with the latter widened to the maximum possible ROW limit. Even doing that much will have people howling.

Concur.

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Does CSX also control how long the trains are and the number of locomotives? If they don't then MARC could simply make the trains longer (but I don't know what the maximum possible length is)

The limitation to train length isn't from CSX but from the length of the MARC station platforms.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 17, 2014, 02:04:04 PM

The better alternative would be to build the now-cancelled A-44 from the east end of Md. 200 all the way to U.S. 50.

Obviously, but that depends on where the planned routing of A-44 (a nomenclature I've never seen before) was located. Any route that would have taken land from the Patuxent Research Refuge would have been disastrous, and obviously today such a thing is completely impossible.

A-44 was (is) the designation by M-NCP&PC Prince George's County on their Master Plan of Highways for Md. 200.

There is a lot of land along the proposed route that belongs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Agriculture Research Center (BARC) and is not being used.

Unless there is a massive shift in local and political opinion going forward I think the best that can be hoped for now is a partially access-controlled parkway in the PEPCO powerline corridor that crosses the Parkway with no interchange and ends at a flat intersection with MD 197, with the latter widened to the maximum possible ROW limit. Even doing that much will have people howling.

The plans I have seen for Md. 200 east of U.S. 1 did not have an interchange at the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, in spite of claims to the contrary.

I also get the impression that over the years, much of the opposition to Md. 200 in Prince George's County was stirred-up by Montgomery County anti-highway activists.  But regardless, there are no current plans to build A-44 east of U.S. 1.

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Quote
There is also a pretty good chance that Muirkirk Station's parking lot may see major expansion within the next five years because of the improved access to the station from the Virginia Manor Road exit. I also expect to eventually see buses going that way from the ICC to Muirkirk and back.

I'm not sure why.  I don't think CSX wants any more MARC Camden Line trains running between Washington and Baltimore, so it's not clear to me that there would be much more in the way of transit trips there (and to the extent there are any new transit, I believe they will only be during peak commute times, Monday through Friday).

I don't have a problem with buses stopping at Muirkirk, but they probably need to continue to the Greenbelt Metrorail station.

Quote
Does CSX also control how long the trains are and the number of locomotives? If they don't then MARC could simply make the trains longer (but I don't know what the maximum possible length is) and run the same number of trains, thus carrying more people for the same amount of track occupancy.

Adam is correct - the constraint on passenger carrying capacity on the MARC Camden Line is (mostly) platform length - MDOT/MTA could increase capacity by going to double-deck cars, but I do not believe that is being considered right now for this line.  I don't think CSX really cares much how many locomotive units that are used to power MARC trains - CSX runs freight train consists on its rails that are much longer and heavier than anything that MARC operates.

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There is also the new TOD that was just constructed next to the station, and someday that large brownfield site next to I-95 will be built on too, so I would expect that sooner or later there will be buses going up and down the ramps to Virginia Manor Road.

There was a brick manufacturing plant there, as well as an automobile junkyard.

I do think added bus service will come, and that's a good idea - maybe limited-stop service that runs local from Greenbelt north to Virginia Manor Road, then with stops along Md. 200 at Briggs Chaney, a detour to the Glenmont rail station, then on to Shady Grove and Gaithersburg.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 17, 2014, 02:13:50 PM
Quote
Obviously, but that depends on where the planned routing of A-44 (a nomenclature I've never seen before) was located. Any route that would have taken land from the Patuxent Research Refuge would have been disastrous, and obviously today such a thing is completely impossible.

A few maps of A-44 have shown up here and there in various PGC planning documents.  There haven't been any posted online in several years (used to be some on an anti-ICC website that is long gone).

The owner of that old site, ICC370, has another anti-ICC site up, but does not appear to have made much progress with it. 

Here are some of the maps that I plucked from the ICC370 site: 

(http://www.toward.com/cpz/a44-planWebOpt.jpg)

(http://www.toward.com/cpz/a-44-plan-map3Web.jpg)

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on March 07, 2014, 10:46:20 PM
From http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/ProjectSchedule.aspx?projectno=PG4195116

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Severe winter weather has wreaked havoc on the project over the past few months.

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The project currently stands at 89% complete with an estimated completion date of summer 2014 (subject to change and weather permitting).

I'm not surprised at all. There has been almost no work whatsoever on Contract D/E or on Contee Road and I wouldn't be surprised if final completion was pushed all the way back to July or even August.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on April 04, 2014, 01:20:47 PM
NEW VIRGINIA MANOR / CONTEE ROAD CONNECTION OPENS TO OLD GUNPOWDER ROAD THIS WEEKEND
http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1854

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 04, 2014, 04:38:49 PM
NEW VIRGINIA MANOR / CONTEE ROAD CONNECTION OPENS TO OLD GUNPOWDER ROAD THIS WEEKEND
http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1854

The contractors were out in force this morning, working on the northbound C-D lanes approaching and under the new Contee Road overpass (f/k/a Van Dusen Road).

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 11, 2014, 03:18:16 PM
Baltimore Sun: ICC extension to Route 1 delayed by harsh winter (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/laurel/bs-md-icc-delay-20140410,0,6013277.story)

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This winter's harsh weather has claimed another victim: the planned spring completion of the latest stretch of the Intercounty Connector.

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The $90 million extension of the tolled highway from its current ending point at Interstate 95 east to Route 1 had been scheduled to be completed this spring, but that is now being re-evaluated, the State Highway Administration said Thursday.

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"Following this record historic winter all major projects that were under way last fall, including the ICC, were not able to gain much if any momentum due to the repeated and non-stop snow events," said SHA spokesman David Buck in a statement. "Since work was just able to resume in the past few weeks with milder temperatures, we are currently assessing the schedule."

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The ICC, as the highway is known, opened in 2011 from I-95 in the east, in the vicinity of South Laurel in Prince George's County, to Interstate 270 in the west, in the North Potomac area of Montgomery County.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on April 15, 2014, 10:33:17 AM
STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION PERFORMS TRAFFIC SWITCH ON US 1 IN LAUREL
http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1865

The work on US 1 for the ICC's east end is starting.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 15, 2014, 11:40:51 AM
STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION PERFORMS TRAFFIC SWITCH ON US 1 IN LAUREL
http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1865

The work on US 1 for the ICC's east end is starting.

There has been clearing and grading and the like going on there since last year, but the travel lanes of U.S. 1 have remained untouched so far. 

Sounds like that is about to change.

I still would have preferred that SHA end the ICC in a trumpet interchange instead of this at-grade signalized intersection, though I realize it would have been expensive, given the CSX railroad tracks (and MARC railroad station) adjacent to U.S. 1.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 04, 2014, 08:01:25 PM
Baltimore Sun: SHA, Laurel business owners take steps toward I-95 signage solution (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/laurel/ph-ll-signs-0424,0,4899332.story)

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After several months of back-and-forth, State Highway Administration officials on Monday reached a tentative consensus with Sen. Jim Rosapepe and a handful of business owners regarding future signage along a northbound I-95 exit to Laurel.

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In November, local business owners learned that service-specific signs informing motorists of dining, lodging and restaurant options at exits 33A and 33B, toward Route 198, would be removed along northbound I-95 as part of the final phases of Intercounty Connector construction.

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Currently, logoed signs for restaurants such as Seibel's, McDonald's, IHOP and Pollo Campero, as well for specific gas stations and hotels, let motorists know exactly what they can expect to find if they decide to stop in Laurel or Burtonsville.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 04, 2014, 08:03:47 PM
Gazette.Net:  Construction of final phase of ICC delayed until summer - Extension to U.S. Route 1 pushed back due to harsh winter weather (http://www.gazette.net/article/20140429/NEWS/140429316/1029/construction-of-final-phase-of-icc-delayed-until-summer&template=gazette)

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Completion of the Intercounty Connector highway from Interstate 95 to Laurel has been delayed until summer due to harsh weather this winter that hindered construction.

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The delay pushes back the expected spring opening of the toll highway extension, which would add 2.4 miles of north and south roads running parallel to Interstate 95 to ease traffic. The construction will also extend the highway to U.S. Route 1, said Valerie Edgar, State Highway Administration spokeswoman.

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The ICC is a $2.4 billion project that connects Montgomery and Prince George’s counties with a toll road stretching from Interstate 370 to Interstate 95, Edgar said. Construction on the road began in 2007 with three separate projects completed by November 2011, according to the project’s construction documents.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on June 13, 2014, 11:58:20 AM
A portable VMS reading "New Traffic Pattern" has appeared on the I-95 NB off-ramp to the ICC.  I also noticed what appeared to be some of those huge plastic containers of sand being placed in the gore area between that ramp and the ramp leading to the closed ICC EB section leading east.

Are they getting ready to open the section leading to US-1?  As long as they're done striping the new turn lanes on US-1, there's really no reason they can't open that section going east.  However, the C/D road on the NB side of I-95, while mostly complete, still has work ahead of it.  Therefore, if they were to open the WB lanes as well, there would need to be a sign with a caveat near the US-1 entrance: "No access to I-95 north" or something like that until the NB C/D lanes are open.  The SB C/D ramps still have a ways to go yet, especially one short stretch that looks to be a steep grade which has yet to be graded.

Note: if you zoom in on the Contee Rd. interchange on Google Maps closely enough, there are two erroneous ramps dotted on the north side of the overpass.  The actual ramps, at least on the NB side, have already been paved but not striped (as of yesterday), and a new traffic signal sits under wraps where both of the folded-diamond ramps meet Contee Rd.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 14, 2014, 04:40:59 PM
I do not believe the road is ready for opening to U.S. 1, because the at-grade intersection has a lot of work to be done.  But it is possible that they are planning to open it to an interim eastern terminus at Virginia Manor Road (with permission, I have been on the section between I-95 and Virginia Manor, and it is essentially ready to go - the toll gantries have been up since last year).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on July 02, 2014, 10:40:11 AM
This says that work at US 1 will extend until the fall season:
http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1940

I doubt they would do a temporary end since continuing on the ICC past I-95 is probably signed for US 1.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 02, 2014, 12:10:45 PM
This says that work at US 1 will extend until the fall season:
http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1940

Makes sense.  They lost nearly the entire winter season, well in to March 2014.

I doubt they would do a temporary end since continuing on the ICC past I-95 is probably signed for US 1.

Agreed.

Though curiously, the MdTA has had contractors out milling the eastbound side  of Md. 200 approaching I-95 for reasons not clear to me (maybe the original blacktop was defective?).

I have also seen a lot of pavement milling on the C-D roadway from I-95 northbound to the cloverleaf ramp to westbound Md. 200. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 03, 2014, 04:17:19 PM
This says that work at US 1 will extend until the fall season:
http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1940

Makes sense.  They lost nearly the entire winter season, well in to March 2014.

I doubt they would do a temporary end since continuing on the ICC past I-95 is probably signed for US 1.

Agreed.

Though curiously, the MdTA has had contractors out milling the eastbound side  of Md. 200 approaching I-95 for reasons not clear to me (maybe the original blacktop was defective?).

I have also seen a lot of pavement milling on the C-D roadway from I-95 northbound to the cloverleaf ramp to westbound Md. 200.

I was heading eastbound on the ICC last weekend and the MdTA has milled the left and center lanes of the eastbound carriage way from the Gunpowder Road bridge up to the gore point of the two-lane off-ramp to I-95. It looks like they are going to replace it with a new topcoat and new lane markings for through mainline traffic towards US 1, in lieu of skimming off the existing lane markings and painting on new ones.

Also, the C-D ramps to and from Contee Road now appear to have their base layers of asphalt in place, and the northbound C-D ramp's base layer also appears to be finished. I doubt that these lanes will open to traffic until September, based on their current state.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 20, 2014, 03:01:09 PM
There is a portable VMS on the eastbound Little Paint Branch Bridge, at the PG County Line, stating that the ramp to MD 198 will open on or about July 27th.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on July 20, 2014, 05:46:09 PM
There is a portable VMS on the eastbound Little Paint Branch Bridge, at the PG County Line, stating that the ramp to MD 198 will open on or about July 27th.

I saw those signs this afternoon and was trying to visualize where this ramp is going to be. Anyone able to clarify for me? I looked at a map but couldn't really picture what they're connecting.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 20, 2014, 05:47:54 PM
There is a portable VMS on the eastbound Little Paint Branch Bridge, at the PG County Line, stating that the ramp to MD 198 will open on or about July 27th.

I think traffic will be able to cross I-95 on the (so far) closed eastbound lanes of Md. 200, exiting at the ramp marked Exit 19C, then using the (so far not complete) C-D lanes to reach Md. 198 eastbound. 

The interchange at Contee Road (former Van Dusen Road) is not ready yet, nor is the C-D lane done between the exits for 198 east and 198 west.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 20, 2014, 06:29:22 PM
There is a portable VMS on the eastbound Little Paint Branch Bridge, at the PG County Line, stating that the ramp to MD 198 will open on or about July 27th.

I think traffic will be able to cross I-95 on the (so far) closed eastbound lanes of Md. 200, exiting at the ramp marked Exit 19C, then using the (so far not complete) C-D lanes to reach Md. 198 eastbound. 

The interchange at Contee Road (former Van Dusen Road) is not ready yet, nor is the C-D lane done between the exits for 198 east and 198 west.

I agree with your supposition. I drove through the worksite on I-95 north and the original pavement at the loop ramp for current Exit 31 is currently being milled and repaved with new lane markings applied. The northbound C-D carriage way now has lane markings all the way past Contee Road, up to the first of the two gaps in the Jersey barrier between the mainline and the C-D lanes, where Exit 33A is currently located.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on July 21, 2014, 12:10:00 PM
There is a portable VMS on the eastbound Little Paint Branch Bridge, at the PG County Line, stating that the ramp to MD 198 will open on or about July 27th.

I think traffic will be able to cross I-95 on the (so far) closed eastbound lanes of Md. 200, exiting at the ramp marked Exit 19C, then using the (so far not complete) C-D lanes to reach Md. 198 eastbound. 

The interchange at Contee Road (former Van Dusen Road) is not ready yet, nor is the C-D lane done between the exits for 198 east and 198 west.

In a sense, then, it's conceptually similar to southbound I-95 at the Beltway, where thru traffic uses a flyover and traffic bound for Route 1 uses the old loop-around ramp that predates the flyover, but you could pretty much use either ramp if you want to remain on the Interstate (or even loop past the Park and Ride and use what would have been the ramp for traffic coming north from DC, had the road been finished). In this case, eastbound ICC traffic heading for I-95 uses the existing flyover and traffic heading for Route 198 uses the ramp to the C/D road (and so could access I-95 that way if they wanted for whatever reason)?

I had pictured some kind of more direct ramp to 198 when I saw the signs yesterday, but a map showed that was impossible. Thanks for the clarification. I don't drive through there all that often and so don't know the local roads all that well.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2014, 11:35:07 AM
In a sense, then, it's conceptually similar to southbound I-95 at the Beltway, where thru traffic uses a flyover and traffic bound for Route 1 uses the old loop-around ramp that predates the flyover, but you could pretty much use either ramp if you want to remain on the Interstate (or even loop past the Park and Ride and use what would have been the ramp for traffic coming north from DC, had the road been finished). In this case, eastbound ICC traffic heading for I-95 uses the existing flyover and traffic heading for Route 198 uses the ramp to the C/D road (and so could access I-95 that way if they wanted for whatever reason)?

I had pictured some kind of more direct ramp to 198 when I saw the signs yesterday, but a map showed that was impossible. Thanks for the clarification. I don't drive through there all that often and so don't know the local roads all that well.

Your analogy is correct.

What's not clear to me is if I-95 northbound traffic wanting to exit to Md. 198 (Exit 33) will be forced to use the C-D lanes (which are currently only for traffic wanting to use Md. 200 west (Exit 31)), at the same point as Exit 31. 

In other words, will there be a slipramp between the mainline lanes of I-95 and the C-D lanes at a point north of Md. 200?  It seems the answer to that is no, but I have not seen the plans for ICC Contracts D/E, so I don't absolutely know. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on July 23, 2014, 09:44:08 PM
In a sense, then, it's conceptually similar to southbound I-95 at the Beltway, where thru traffic uses a flyover and traffic bound for Route 1 uses the old loop-around ramp that predates the flyover, but you could pretty much use either ramp if you want to remain on the Interstate (or even loop past the Park and Ride and use what would have been the ramp for traffic coming north from DC, had the road been finished). In this case, eastbound ICC traffic heading for I-95 uses the existing flyover and traffic heading for Route 198 uses the ramp to the C/D road (and so could access I-95 that way if they wanted for whatever reason)?

I had pictured some kind of more direct ramp to 198 when I saw the signs yesterday, but a map showed that was impossible. Thanks for the clarification. I don't drive through there all that often and so don't know the local roads all that well.

Your analogy is correct.

What's not clear to me is if I-95 northbound traffic wanting to exit to Md. 198 (Exit 33) will be forced to use the C-D lanes (which are currently only for traffic wanting to use Md. 200 west (Exit 31)), at the same point as Exit 31. 

In other words, will there be a slipramp between the mainline lanes of I-95 and the C-D lanes at a point north of Md. 200?  It seems the answer to that is no, but I have not seen the plans for ICC Contracts D/E, so I don't absolutely know. 

In the unlikely event I have time next week I might go check out what they open, but I highly doubt I'll have the chance.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 24, 2014, 03:06:57 PM
Maryland DOT/SHA press release: STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION OPENS NEW COLLECTOR/ DISTRIBUTOR LANES ON NORTHBOUND I-95 (http://www.roads.maryland.gov/pages/release.aspx?newsId=1969)

(http://roads.maryland.gov/OCImages/I_95_CD_Lane_Final.jpg)

Quote
(July 24, 2014) - On Saturday night, July 26, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) will close the two right lanes on northbound I-95 from MD 212 (Powder Mill Road) to MD 198 (Sandy Spring Road) to prepare for opening new northbound collector/distributor (CD) lanes. Motorists on northbound I-95 will not have access to MD 198 during the double-lane closure and will be detoured to the MD 216 interchange. Traffic along MD 198 will not be affected and and motorists will have full access to I-95. This work is part of the construction of the final section of the Intercounty Connector (ICC) between I-95 and US 1 scheduled to open this fall.

Quote
Beginning at 9 p.m. on July 26, crews will close the two right lanes on northbound I-95 from MD 212 to just north of MD 198. The lane closures are necessary to move concrete barrier, complete paving and tie-in work, and install, uncover and modify sign structures. All through lanes on I-95 and the new northbound C/D lanes will be open by 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. If work is postponed due to weather, it will take place Saturday, August 2 into Sunday morning August 3.

Quote
Once the northbound CD lanes are open to traffic, motorists wanting to access MD 198, the ICC or the future Contee Road interchange must use the new C/D lanes, which are separated from and run parallel to the through travel lanes on I-95.  The exits for MD 198 (Exits 33A and 33B) off of northbound I-95 will be permanently relocated approximately two miles prior to the existing location.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on July 24, 2014, 03:42:59 PM
Heh. You want to get some good video, station yourself out there Monday during the afternoon rush hour.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 24, 2014, 06:16:57 PM
Heh. You want to get some good video, station yourself out there Monday during the afternoon rush hour.

It's going to be fun, especially the WAY "early" exit for Exit 33, Md. 198 - I did send this over to Bob Marbourg so he will be able to alert his listeners.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mtantillo on July 24, 2014, 07:51:42 PM
Heh. You want to get some good video, station yourself out there Monday during the afternoon rush hour.

It's going to be fun, especially the WAY "early" exit for Exit 33, Md. 198 - I did send this over to Bob Marbourg so he will be able to alert his listeners.

"But my GPS told me to drive into that wall!!"
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 24, 2014, 08:44:08 PM
I will be very interested to see how the through traffic traveling past the MD 198 interchange will be affected by the opening of the northbound C-D carriageway once the initial disruption settles down. I would expect at least a few drivers to try to bypass any backups by escaping onto the C-D lanes and then trying to merge back to I-95 north.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on July 24, 2014, 09:13:11 PM
Heh. You want to get some good video, station yourself out there Monday during the afternoon rush hour.

It's going to be fun, especially the WAY "early" exit for Exit 33, Md. 198 - I did send this over to Bob Marbourg so he will be able to alert his listeners.

The question with him is often whether he can keep his sentences short enough to convey the point!


I will be very interested to see how the through traffic traveling past the MD 198 interchange will be affected by the opening of the northbound C-D carriageway once the initial disruption settles down. I would expect at least a few drivers to try to bypass any backups by escaping onto the C-D lanes and then trying to merge back to I-95 north.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I've done that quite a few times on I-66 at the Nutley Street interchange, although often when I do it it's because I have an eye to exiting if the backup seems really severe.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 27, 2014, 05:56:33 PM
The lanes are open now, and very well signed with both BGSes and portable VMSes. The asphalt topcoat hasn't been laid past the gore point for the ramp converging from MD 200 westbound and the transition back to the original C-D lane used for the loop ramps to and from MD 198 and I-95 north is very rough at the moment.

The patches that were on all of the BGSes for Exit 31 are now gone and have been replaced with new patches hiding the existence of Exit 32 for Contee Road. In the opposite direction, all of the discrete BGSes on I-95 south for Exit 32 are still covered up. On MD 200 itself, Exit 19C is now open and allows traffic from MD 200 west to reach the northbound C-D lanes.

The most interesting feature on the lanes is a mile marker that says NORTH 95 CD MILE 32.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 16, 2014, 10:11:10 AM
The keystone of the entire Md. 200 (InterCounty Connector) project was how to cross the coldwater Paint Branch tributary of the Anacostia River (itself a tributary of the Potomac River). The issues with the self-reproducing (but non-native) brown trout population were repeatedly cited as reasons not to build the highway at all, or to reroute it into the watershed of the Patuxent River, which is a source of drinking water for millions of homes in Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.  This was the source of arguments between the state of Maryland, elected officials in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, and an assortment of mostly anti-highway environmental and civic groups for many decades.

Finally, a decision was reached to route the road through the upper Paint Branch, but use massive high (and massively expensive) bridges instead of culverts and pipes for the streams that it had to cross.

Here are some images of the Md. 200 bridge that spans the Paint Branch.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10203576956496634.1073741847.1596953667&type=1&l=eb7d42e948 (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10203576956496634.1073741847.1596953667&type=1&l=eb7d42e948)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on September 14, 2014, 09:15:37 PM
The northbound C-D lanes on I-95 are now fully paved north of the on-ramp from MD 200 west, and the barrier at Exit 33A is now finished. The southbound C-D lanes are being paved and striped right now but they don't look like they will be ready to open for at least two more weeks.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: davewiecking on September 24, 2014, 09:50:14 AM
Took new exit 19C yesterday-marked only with 198 sign. Loop ramp that puts the driver on the northbound C-D lanes. Exit ramp mostly in place for Contee/Van Dusen, but not open. Smooth ride to eastbound 198.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 26, 2014, 09:30:32 PM
Took new exit 19C yesterday-marked only with 198 sign. Loop ramp that puts the driver on the northbound C-D lanes. Exit ramp mostly in place for Contee/Van Dusen, but not open. Smooth ride to eastbound 198.

And on back to I-95 northbound. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 26, 2014, 09:32:52 PM
I noticed that MdTA (and SHA, since they built the road for MdTA and SHA's contractor), will be removing a fair amount of pavement on the eastbound side just east of Briggs Chaney Road. 

Why?  Apparently there is a spring under the eastbound lanes, so they will be removing the pavement to install some sort of drainage system.  The spring may be related to the Fall Line, which runs roughly parallel to U.S. 29 in eastern Montgomery County.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: davewiecking on October 01, 2014, 11:00:02 PM
Correct, CPZ. C-D lanes continue back to I-95. But my car didn't because I was headed further east!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on October 03, 2014, 02:13:32 PM
A CFI where the ICC meets US-1?

http://www.iccproject.com/pdf/ICC_Contract-D-E-mailer4_2014-06-26.pdf (http://www.iccproject.com/pdf/ICC_Contract-D-E-mailer4_2014-06-26.pdf)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 03, 2014, 04:34:26 PM
A CFI where the ICC meets US-1?

http://www.iccproject.com/pdf/ICC_Contract-D-E-mailer4_2014-06-26.pdf (http://www.iccproject.com/pdf/ICC_Contract-D-E-mailer4_2014-06-26.pdf)

Yup.

It's because of the presence of the CSX Capital Subdivision tracks immediately adjacent to U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) that would have made a "traditional" trumpet interchange very expensive.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Roadsguy on October 03, 2014, 04:38:49 PM
How does a CFI reduce signal phases if the left turns still have to cross each other at a light anyway? The intersection at US 1 can be two-phase, but that would only seem to work if the left turns were grade separated where they cross.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Revive 755 on October 03, 2014, 10:53:26 PM
It's because of the presence of the CSX Capital Subdivision tracks immediately adjacent to U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) that would have made a "traditional" trumpet interchange very expensive.

Looks to me that Maryland could have designed it as a modified directional Y with left ramps to/from NB US 1 and avoided impacted the railroad.

Given the lack of driveway on US 1 north of the intersection, I don't see why the connection to NB US 1 could not been designed as Continuous Green T either. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on October 07, 2014, 07:50:24 PM
How does a CFI reduce signal phases if the left turns still have to cross each other at a light anyway? The intersection at US 1 can be two-phase, but that would only seem to work if the left turns were grade separated where they cross.
The MD 200 intersection is far enough removed from US 1 that it operates on its own phasing. You're trading one 3-phase intersection for two 2-phase intersections.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 18, 2014, 12:13:58 AM
WTOP Radio: Md. officials debate Purple Line and ICC tolls (http://www.wtop.com/654/3724135/Md-officials-debate-Purple-Line-and-ICC-tolls)

Quote
But while the Purple Line will make better connections between the two regions in the lower county, the Intercounty Connector (ICC) is the main connection in mid- and upper-county cities such as Beltsville, Laurel, Burtonsville, Wheaton, Rockville and Gaithersburg.

Quote
In the Democratic primary, Attorney General Doug Gansler proposed a 50-percent discount for commuters who used the ICC at least 20 days in a calendar month. The proposal differed from Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews' plan to cut tolls for all drivers.

Quote
"I would like to see more people use the ICC, but I would not like to see so many people use that it gets clogged," Leggett says. "Maybe the approach whereby you can strike a balance for people who regularly use it, that may work. But we need to evaluate it and I hope we do so."
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on October 18, 2014, 01:24:13 PM
Does anyone know when the US 1 intersection is scheduled to be finished and the remainder of the ICC mainline is scheduled to be opened?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 18, 2014, 11:06:55 PM
Does anyone know when the US 1 intersection is scheduled to be finished and the remainder of the ICC mainline is scheduled to be opened?

By the end of calendar year 2014. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on October 21, 2014, 10:56:53 PM
Two new traffic changes:
The ramp leading from I-95 SB to the new CD lanes are not open, and seems to need at least an asphalt layer yet.  But there's no point in opening that ramp before either the Contee Rd. exit or the ICC EB extension is open.  Having said that, the Contee Rd. exit ramps appear to be striped, and the gore sign is unsheathed in place in both directions (only a standard "ROAD CLOSED" barricade seems to prevent exiting).  Maybe Contee is waiting until that ramp from SB I-95 is completed, or only MD-198 traffic could get to it.  Chicken-and-egg, anyone?  As for the NB side, perhaps a temporary half-interchange would be considered too confusing.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on November 01, 2014, 10:14:47 PM
I checked out the I-95 SB C-D lanes and confirmed what lepidopteran experienced. The ramps to and from Contee Road are done and the C-D carriage way south of MD 198 is fully finished. The only area of work remaining is the connection to the C-D lanes from MD 198 westbound and stretches back along I-95 SB a short distance.

Interestingly, the toll rate VMS on the C-D carriage way appears to only show the toll to US 1 and I-370 instead of additionally showing the toll rate to US 29.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 05, 2014, 04:07:36 PM
The Washington Post reports the ICC's final eastern segment is to open this coming Monday. It sounds like the remaining C/D ramps are to open as well.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/11/05/final-part-of-intercounty-connector-set-to-open/
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on November 05, 2014, 05:36:46 PM
The Washington Post reports the ICC's final eastern segment is to open this coming Monday. It sounds like the remaining C/D ramps are to open as well.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/11/05/final-part-of-intercounty-connector-set-to-open/

And presumably the Contee Rd. exits will open by then, if not sooner.  For as of Monday night, the new traffic signals on Contee were on flash mode, as is often done the first few days a signal is put into operation.  These signals control the folded-diamond ramps.

I assume (or hope) that the I-95 SB exit lanes at MD-198 will be divided by something more substantial than paint, since it seems too easy to slide into there from the exit lanes for the new C/D lanes.  The gore sign at 198 is temporary, mounted on 2x4's on the road surface between the lines, so maybe something is planned.

The new BGS directing MD-198 WB traffic onto the I-95 SB mainline looks kind of odd.  This is because it reads "South <I-95 shield>", rather than the other way around.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on November 06, 2014, 10:11:28 AM
Yup it's all opening:

FINAL SECTION OF ICC AND NEW I-95 INTERCHANGE IN PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY TO OPEN BY MONDAY (http://www.marylandroads.com/pages/release.aspx?newsId=2083)

(http://www.marylandroads.com/OCImages/ICC_and_Konterra_interchange_Project_Map_Nov_2014.jpg)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Zeffy on November 06, 2014, 10:21:21 AM
A signalized intersection for the end of the ICC at US 1? Lame. Also, I have a feeling weaving might be a problem, considering the interchange between the ICC and 95 is a traditional cloverleaf. I thought DOTs wanted to move away from those and replace some of the ramps with flyovers because of the issues with weaving? Oh well, can't wait for photos of the new section.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 06, 2014, 10:56:13 AM
Look more closely at the map above (BTW, north is to the right on that map). It's not entirely a traditional cloverleaf. Traffic headed from the eastbound ICC to northbound I-95 uses a flyover ramp that bypasses the new C/D roadway, while traffic headed from the eastbound ICC to Exit 32 or Exit 33 uses the cloverleaf loop-around ramp to the C/D roadway.

The same is also true from southbound I-95 to the westbound ICC—there's a direct ramp that passes under the C/D roadway.

I don't know what the traffic count estimates are for the new loop-around ramp from the southbound C/D roadway to the new eastbound portion of the ICC, but I suspect they're significantly lower than the counts going between the existing ICC segment (west of I-95) and the portion of I-95 north of the ICC, or vice versa.


Edited to add: Satellite view more clearly showing the flyover (and flyunder) may be seen here: http://goo.gl/maps/oslJf  It's rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise compared to the map shown above (i.e., north is up and the existing ICC is to the left).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 06, 2014, 12:43:03 PM
A signalized intersection for the end of the ICC at US 1? Lame.

Not at all.  Just east of (and parallel to) U.S. 1 (Baltimore Avenue) is the CSX Capital Subdivision (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Subdivision) - Google maps here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.064648,-76.882457&num=1&t=h&z=16).

Building a trumpet interchange, desirable though it might be, would be very expensive.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 06, 2014, 03:48:33 PM
As I recall, they also went with a CFI at US 1.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 06, 2014, 04:18:59 PM
As I recall, they also went with a CFI at US 1.

You are correct, and here is the "fact sheet" they published about it:

http://roads.maryland.gov/OC/CFI_Fact_Sheet_.pdf
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NJRoadfan on November 06, 2014, 05:31:46 PM
Does this mean the perpetual speed camera construction zone is finally coming to an end?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on November 07, 2014, 10:05:57 AM
They were even alerting about the opening of the ICC to US 1 on a VMS on I-270 today.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: DeaconG on November 07, 2014, 11:40:23 AM
Does this mean the perpetual speed camera construction zone is finally coming to an end?

No, it now means the perpetual speed camera revenue enhancement zone begins...
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on November 07, 2014, 01:08:54 PM
They were even alerting about the opening of the ICC to US 1 on a VMS on I-270 today.

And on I-95 (is it possible to post a full-size picture from Flickr?)
(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3944/15734849562_0853170c33_s.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/pYrdzG)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 07, 2014, 01:20:14 PM
Does this mean the perpetual speed camera construction zone is finally coming to an end?
No, it now means the perpetual speed camera revenue enhancement zone begins...

I am not aware of any speed camera enforcement on any freeway in Maryland, with the exception of construction zones, where signs warning of automated enforcement are posted well in advance.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on November 08, 2014, 06:29:10 PM
The only thing that annoys me about this extension is that the off-road multipurpose trail doesn't go any further than Virginia Manor Road. That interchange on I-95 would be awesome to see on foot or from a bike if the trail continued west to Old Gunpowder Road.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Mapmikey on November 08, 2014, 09:48:50 PM
They were even alerting about the opening of the ICC to US 1 on a VMS on I-270 today.

And on I-95 (is it possible to post a full-size picture from Flickr?)
(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3944/15734849562_0853170c33_s.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/pYrdzG)

The MD 200 extension to US 1 was open when I drove by there around 7 this evening after a day of clinching tons of Maryland routes...

Mapmikey
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 08, 2014, 10:41:17 PM
They were even alerting about the opening of the ICC to US 1 on a VMS on I-270 today.

And on I-95 (is it possible to post a full-size picture from Flickr?)
(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3944/15734849562_0853170c33_s.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/pYrdzG)

The MD 200 extension to US 1 was open when I drove by there around 7 this evening after a day of clinching tons of Maryland routes...

Mapmikey

Md. 200 opened to U.S. 1 shortly after dusk tonight.  Will try to snap some images tomorrow.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on November 09, 2014, 11:05:48 AM
I will be interested to see if there are any opinion pieces in the Sun or the WaPo about the completion of the ICC. I will be curious about public opinion of the ICC now that it is finished, for now.

I will also be interested to see if the land owners around the area start advertising their plans.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 09, 2014, 06:27:20 PM
I will be interested to see if there are any opinion pieces in the Sun or the WaPo about the completion of the ICC. I will be curious about public opinion of the ICC now that it is finished, for now.

I will also be interested to see if the land owners around the area start advertising their plans.

A fair chunk of the planned Konterra property is well through the M-NCP&PC Prince George's County approval process.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 09, 2014, 06:32:25 PM
The only thing that annoys me about this extension is that the off-road multipurpose trail doesn't go any further than Virginia Manor Road. That interchange on I-95 would be awesome to see on foot or from a bike if the trail continued west to Old Gunpowder Road.

The discontiguous multipurpose trail along Md. 200 is a major sore subject with me (otherwise everything about the road is great) and the blame for that belongs to the County Councils, Planning Boards and the M-NCP&PC planning staffs of both counties  for not insisting on a trail all the way from Md. 119 to U.S. 1. Do not blame the State Highway Administration and do not blame the Maryland Transportation Authority - the state agencies would have built it if the counties had been more aggressive in supporting it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 10, 2014, 07:44:48 AM
MdTA may have some blame for that...I was under the distinct impression at the time that the unbuilt parts of the trail were cut in order to "cut costs".
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on November 10, 2014, 09:58:38 AM
MdTA may have some blame for that...I was under the distinct impression at the time that the unbuilt parts of the trail were cut in order to "cut costs".

That was my impression too. I am certainly grateful that any portion of the trail was built at all but a complete trail from MD 119 to US 1 would have been a tremendously valuable transportation resource.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Henry on November 10, 2014, 12:18:30 PM
Theoretically, it could be extended to the B-W Parkway or even US 50 in the east, and VA 28 in the west, because it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken. But the current route is a good start for now.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 10, 2014, 01:52:12 PM
it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken.
Nope. The Outer Beltway alignment at I-270 is Montrose Parkway. The once-planned alignment is pretty obvious: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/39.0717/-77.0782

On the other hand, it could be easily extended up I-270 to Hagerstown, I-70 to Kansas City, and the old Oregon Trail and US 20 to Yellowstone.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 11, 2014, 12:37:56 AM
MdTA may have some blame for that...I was under the distinct impression at the time that the unbuilt parts of the trail were cut in order to "cut costs".

Not MdTA, but SHA. 

However, both of the agencies above pay close attention to the county governments in situations like this - and both County Councils and their respective Planning Boards and planning staffs totally fell-down on the job. 

The Montgomery County planners were (for inexplicable reasons) not willing to go to the mat with regulators from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who claimed that having a separate bike/pedestrian trail next to the six lanes (plus shoulders) of Md. 200 would somehow damage the cold waters of the Paint Branch of the Anacostia River - a claim that was (and remains) ridiculous on its face. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on November 11, 2014, 08:52:17 AM
Agreed.

One other note about this new extension for the sign people: one of the original Exit 20 signs for Virginia Manor Road has been hilariously badly patched to read Konterra Drive instead. It's almost comical.

Also, the Exit 19C westbound sign for the C-D lane loop ramp to Contee Road and MD 198 hasn't been unpatched yet.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on November 11, 2014, 08:56:13 AM
Quote
The Montgomery County planners were (for inexplicable reasons) not willing to go to the mat with regulators from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who claimed that having a separate bike/pedestrian trail next to the six lanes (plus shoulders) of Md. 200 would somehow damage the cold waters of the Paint Branch of the Anacostia River - a claim that was (and remains) ridiculous on its face.

If that's truly the case, then perhaps the CoE shouldn't have allowed a permit for ANY of the ICC.  To allow a permit for a 6-lane freeway but not for a bike/ped path on the same corridor is pretty ludicrous.

Quote
Theoretically, it could be extended to the B-W Parkway or even US 50 in the east, and VA 28 in the west, because it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken. But the current route is a good start for now.

Besides what SPUI mentioned, neither VA 28 nor the Franconia-Springfield Parkway were ever part of the Outer Beltway proposal.  The Outer Beltway would have crossed I-66 near Stringfellow Rd and I-95 just north of the US 1/Woodbridge interchange.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 11, 2014, 11:35:11 AM
it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken.
Nope. The Outer Beltway alignment at I-270 is Montrose Parkway. The once-planned alignment is pretty obvious: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/39.0717/-77.0782

Spui, that was superseded long ago by a crossing further to the north and west.  That is why the I-370/I-270 interchange stands where it does.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 11, 2014, 11:39:05 AM
Quote
The Montgomery County planners were (for inexplicable reasons) not willing to go to the mat with regulators from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who claimed that having a separate bike/pedestrian trail next to the six lanes (plus shoulders) of Md. 200 would somehow damage the cold waters of the Paint Branch of the Anacostia River - a claim that was (and remains) ridiculous on its face.

If that's truly the case, then perhaps the CoE shouldn't have allowed a permit for ANY of the ICC.  To allow a permit for a 6-lane freeway but not for a bike/ped path on the same corridor is pretty ludicrous.

Yup - you hit the nail right on the head. 

It was (IMO) a bone thrown to staff people at the Corps and EPA Region III in Philadelphia, some of whom had been opposing any Clean Water Act Section 404 permits for the ICC since the Reagan Administration (and, I strongly suspect, engaging in ex-parte private meetings with ICC opponents to discuss ways to stop the project).

But this also demonstrates that the members of both County Councils, in spite of their  claims about wanting more people to ride bikes, are unwilling to back-up such claims with action.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 11, 2014, 11:45:32 AM
it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken.
Nope. The Outer Beltway alignment at I-270 is Montrose Parkway. The once-planned alignment is pretty obvious: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/39.0717/-77.0782

Spui, that was superseded long ago by a crossing further to the north and west.  That is why the I-370/I-270 interchange stands where it does.
Got a map showing this alignment?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 11, 2014, 12:05:29 PM
it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken.
Nope. The Outer Beltway alignment at I-270 is Montrose Parkway. The once-planned alignment is pretty obvious: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/39.0717/-77.0782

Spui, that was superseded long ago by a crossing further to the north and west.  That is why the I-370/I-270 interchange stands where it does.
Got a map showing this alignment?

Look in the Washington Post archives (yes, you have to pay to use those), article entitled New Routes Proposed For Beltway in County, (no byline) dated 1965-08-07.

When you are done with that, look at Do We Need a Beltway II, written by the late Jack Eisen (maybe the best transportation beat reporter the Post ever had), dated 1974-01-10.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on November 11, 2014, 12:21:01 PM
One other note about this new extension for the sign people: one of the original Exit 20 signs for Virginia Manor Road has been hilariously badly patched to read Konterra Drive instead. It's almost comical.
Were the Konterra signs on the C-D lanes also patched, but from reading Contee Rd.?  I thought it read Contee when part of a tarp blew aside.  Or maybe I just saw the "onte" that both names share.

Also, the Exit 19C westbound sign for the C-D lane loop ramp to Contee Road and MD 198 hasn't been unpatched yet.
And on the ICC EB loop ramp to the C-D lanes, the BGS displays only a forlorn MD-198 shield.  Not sure if there's greenout there.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 11, 2014, 12:24:02 PM
it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken.
Nope. The Outer Beltway alignment at I-270 is Montrose Parkway. The once-planned alignment is pretty obvious: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/39.0717/-77.0782

Spui, that was superseded long ago by a crossing further to the north and west.  That is why the I-370/I-270 interchange stands where it does.
Got a map showing this alignment?

Look in the Washington Post archives (yes, you have to pay to use those), article entitled New Routes Proposed For Beltway in County, (no byline) dated 1965-08-07.

When you are done with that, look at Do We Need a Beltway II, written by the late Jack Eisen (maybe the best transportation beat reporter the Post ever had), dated 1974-01-10.
In other words, no. (It wouldn't surprise me if you own Washington Post stock, and that's why you're giving me a runaround.)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Henry on November 11, 2014, 12:27:07 PM
Quote
The Montgomery County planners were (for inexplicable reasons) not willing to go to the mat with regulators from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who claimed that having a separate bike/pedestrian trail next to the six lanes (plus shoulders) of Md. 200 would somehow damage the cold waters of the Paint Branch of the Anacostia River - a claim that was (and remains) ridiculous on its face.

If that's truly the case, then perhaps the CoE shouldn't have allowed a permit for ANY of the ICC.  To allow a permit for a 6-lane freeway but not for a bike/ped path on the same corridor is pretty ludicrous.

Quote
Theoretically, it could be extended to the B-W Parkway or even US 50 in the east, and VA 28 in the west, because it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken. But the current route is a good start for now.

Besides what SPUI mentioned, neither VA 28 nor the Franconia-Springfield Parkway were ever part of the Outer Beltway proposal.  The Outer Beltway would have crossed I-66 near Stringfellow Rd and I-95 just north of the US 1/Woodbridge interchange.
Guess I was wrong, but I had been under the impression that those were leftovers from the failed Outer Beltway project.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 11, 2014, 12:30:30 PM
In other words, no. (It wouldn't surprise me if you own Washington Post stock, and that's why you're giving me a runaround.)

I believe Jeff Bezos owns all of the stock in the Washington Post these days.  I don't own any stock in anything, beyond what is in my retirement fund.

If you are too cheap to look in the Post's archives (and it seems you are), then I regard that as a personal problem.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 11, 2014, 12:31:35 PM
Yes, I'm "too cheap" to fork over money in an internet argument.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 11, 2014, 01:15:02 PM
Quote
The Montgomery County planners were (for inexplicable reasons) not willing to go to the mat with regulators from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who claimed that having a separate bike/pedestrian trail next to the six lanes (plus shoulders) of Md. 200 would somehow damage the cold waters of the Paint Branch of the Anacostia River - a claim that was (and remains) ridiculous on its face.

If that's truly the case, then perhaps the CoE shouldn't have allowed a permit for ANY of the ICC.  To allow a permit for a 6-lane freeway but not for a bike/ped path on the same corridor is pretty ludicrous.

Quote
Theoretically, it could be extended to the B-W Parkway or even US 50 in the east, and VA 28 in the west, because it (along with the Franconia-Springfield Parkway, IIRC) follows the same path that the Washington Outer Beltway would've taken. But the current route is a good start for now.

Besides what SPUI mentioned, neither VA 28 nor the Franconia-Springfield Parkway were ever part of the Outer Beltway proposal.  The Outer Beltway would have crossed I-66 near Stringfellow Rd and I-95 just north of the US 1/Woodbridge interchange.
Guess I was wrong, but I had been under the impression that those were leftovers from the failed Outer Beltway project.

I believe the portion of the Fairfax County Parkway running roughly from the interchange at West Ox Road and Route 29 was constructed along the right-of-way that was at one point discussed for an Outer Beltway, but south of there it would have run further west than the route the parkway eventually took. The parkway superseded old two-lane Pohick Road between Route 123 and where Pohick now splits off to turn towards Lorton.

I believe the Franconia–Springfield Parkway is an evolution of what was planned as the "Northern Virginia Expressway." Its interchange with I-95 (see below) was to be a stack interchange located roughly a mile or so south of where the parkway now crosses the Interstate. (My mental image of this is roughly where the new ramp connecting Heller Road to the HOV flyover ramp is now under construction, though that's probably a little further south than what was planned). The Northern Virginia Expressway wasn't the same thing as the Outer Beltway, though. It would have passed further in than the Outer Beltway in the vicinity of Fairfax City—it would have passed Braddock Road around the current intersection with Guinea Road, cut a bit northwest, then roughly followed Pickett Road and crossed Route 50 just east of Fairfax Circle (roughly where the Circle Towers development has stood since the early 1970s). I find it hard to develop any sort of mental picture of these sorts of highways in that area. My parents have lived near the intersection of Guinea Road and Route 236 since the early 1980s and my brother and I both attended Woodson High, so it's kind of hard for me to visualize the sorts of changes the Northern Virginia Expressway would have worked on that area.

(http://web.archive.org/web/20081011143309im_/http://www.roadstothefuture.com/roadsnova/nvei95.gif)


There was also a plan to turn Braddock Road into the "Monticello Freeway" out to the Guinea Road area. Supposedly Fairfax County is again pushing VDOT to upgrade Braddock to expressway-grade (RIRO or grade separation, no left turns) from Burke Station Road to Heming Avenue, with an option for either a busway, HOV lanes, or HO/T lanes.



Edited to add: Here is a summary map I found.

(http://web.archive.org/web/20080930173308im_/http://www.roadstothefuture.com/roadsnova/novaroadsplan1969map.gif)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on November 11, 2014, 02:52:56 PM
Are there any online resources for how the Outer Beltway would have made its southern crossing of the Potomac and run through Charles and PG Counties?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: NE2 on November 11, 2014, 03:09:38 PM
Are there any online resources for how the Outer Beltway would have made its southern crossing of the Potomac and run through Charles and PG Counties?
I saved these a while ago:
(http://i.imgur.com/oF9VfNS.gif)
(http://i.imgur.com/riVzKVu.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/npxwq5C.gif)
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 11, 2014, 03:13:39 PM
Are there any online resources for how the Outer Beltway would have made its southern crossing of the Potomac and run through Charles and PG Counties?

NE2 posted while I was typing.

I haven't found anything other than a rough map Scott Kozel sketched out (available at http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Outer_Beltway.html ). It seems to me there is more information online about planned roads in Virginia than in Maryland, but that may be a function of my being far more familiar with Virginia and thus having a better sense for what to look for.

I know the public library in Fairfax City has two copies of the Northern Virginia Major Thoroughfare Plan. I keep meaning to go out there one day when I don't have anything urgent to do and take a look at it. Perhaps I can scan some maps using my iPad; if so, I'll convert them to images so I can upload them here.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2014, 02:47:25 AM
I haven't found anything other than a rough map Scott Kozel sketched out (available at http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Outer_Beltway.html ). It seems to me there is more information online about planned roads in Virginia than in Maryland, but that may be a function of my being far more familiar with Virginia and thus having a better sense for what to look for.

Scott's map is consistent with what I recall for the crossing of the Potomac River south of the Wilson Bridge (the path was published on the Alexandria Drafting Company atlases for many years) - it would have crossed from the Mason Neck area of Fairfax County into Charles County north of Naval Support Facility Indian Head, then quickly into far southern Prince George's County, curving north to Upper Marlboro and ultimately becoming part of the proposed A-44 highway (as the ICC was designated on planning maps in Prince George's County).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 12, 2014, 03:36:43 PM
I was out in Fairfax today, so I shuffled my schedule around to allow for a stop at the library to look at the books. Didn't have time to do much reading, and even if I'd had more time I would have skipped over large sections containing financial estimates and the like. But I scanned a bunch of maps to .PDF using my iPad. I'll try to upload some images once I convert them to another format.

cpzilliacus's description of where the Outer Beltway would have crossed the Potomac is spot-on, though. See Google Maps link below. On that map, notice where the word "Maryland" appears just beyond the end of Mount Venon Boulevard. The highway would have crossed roughly where that "M" appears.

http://goo.gl/maps/7pE1w

It would have crossed I-95 a short distance north of the present Exit 161.

Lots of interesting maps. One of them indicates that if it all had been built, I wouldn't be living where I do now because a freeway-grade Van Dorn Street would have been built less than a quarter-mile east of where our house now sits.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on November 12, 2014, 04:16:59 PM
Following up on my previous post, here are some maps. The book didn't have anything for Maryland, of course. I do find it interesting where the Outer Beltway is shown crossing the Potomac in the north. Either of the proposed locations would connect nicely with an extension of what is now the Fairfax County Parkway. I've long thought connecting the Parkway across the river to Maryland, perhaps to the ICC, would be a more effective option than extending Route 28 north across the river (setting aside the issue of ramming such a road through residential areas and then through either parkland or Donald Trump's golf course). The Parkway, while not freeway-grade, offers more connections more useful to people driving from one part of the DC area to another than Route 28 does. Using the more easterly alignment shown on the map below would avoid the worst impact to parkland or Trump National, though it couldn't be angled too far east lest it impact Great Falls.

The description of the Outer Beltway reads as follows:

Quote
Like several of the other proposed facilities, a previous consideration had been given to another beltway for the metropolitan Washington area. The need for such a beltway in Virginia near the outer boundaries of Fairfax County was confirmed in this study. The Outer Beltway proposed in Virginia is a four-lane, controlled access facility throughout. Interchanges are provided at intersections with major roads except for Route 29-211. There are sufficient alternate means of access to the Outer Beltway in this vicinity to preclude the necessity of an interchange at Route 29-211. A Potomac River crossing on the east in the vicinity of Masons [sic] Neck is contemplated. The Potomac River crossing and its approach in Virginia on the north is to be the subject of further study by the Virginia Department of Highways which prepared the functional plans for the Outer Beltway.

Overview map of Fairfax County with my highlighting added (the dashed area is where the VDH was to perform further study). The Northern Virginia Expressway could not be built today on this alignment because it would run through Huntley Meadows Park, an environmentally-sensitive area. Back in the late 1960s that land still belonged to the US government.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Old%20road%20plans/FairfaxCountymapwithhighlights_zps56e8351e.jpg)


Map showing the southern end of the Virginia portion of the Outer Beltway:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Old%20road%20plans/SouthernendofOuterBeltwaymap_zpse58b4aad.jpg)


Finally, just because I was so surprised to see it, unrelated to the Outer Beltway was this map of a portion of the Potomac Freeway that would have done a number on the western end of Old Town Alexandria between where the King Street Metro and Joe Theismann's Restaurant are today:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Old%20road%20plans/PotomacFwythruOldTownmap_zps18159447.jpg)


The Potomac Freeway apparently would have connected to another Potomac crossing located just south of the Wilson Bridge and connecting to an extension of I-295 roughly where the Gaylord Hotel is in Maryland today. THAT would have resulted in massively different traffic patterns on a part of the Beltway so many of us grew up despising!

I made some other scans but don't have time to rotate and upload them all just now. One thing I found interesting was that the Outer Beltway was to have a full cloverleaf interchange with the Dulles Access Road. Remember this was long before the Dulles Toll Road was planned. Back then the Access Road did not allow for westbound exits or eastbound entrances (I suppose that's still true, as any such exits/entrances are on the Toll Road except for those two bus-only ramps).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2014, 12:54:35 AM
Washington Post: Low traffic on ICC prompts calls for lower tolls to ease congestion on local roads (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/low-traffic-on-icc-prompts-calls-for-lower-tolls-to-ease-congestion-on-local-roads/2014/11/27/c2347da8-756e-11e4-9d9b-86d397daad27_story.html)

Quote
Welmoed Sisson’s drive between her northern Montgomery County home and her business clients across the Maryland suburbs often includes a trip on the Intercounty Connector, a toll highway with so little traffic that Sisson can’t recall ever tapping her brakes.

Quote
Almost 19 miles of pavement with no one in her way. Ever. Not even at rush hour.

Quote
“It’s not an empty wasteland,” said Sisson, 54, who owns a home inspection business with her husband. “But it’s certainly nowhere near the volume of the free roads in the area. . . . It’s nice, but then again, you’re paying for that quiet.”

Quote
Sisson said the 20 minutes or more she can save and the stress-free drive are worth the $50 in ICC tolls her company typically pays every month. But the amount of open asphalt that remains on the ICC nearly four years after it first opened is prompting some to urge Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) to cut toll rates, particularly for regular commuters.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2014, 08:11:58 PM
The Montgomery County Sentinel: ICC numbers either on target or not depending on who looks at the numbers (http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1394:icc-numbers-either-on-target-or-not-depending-on-who-looks-at-the-numbers&Itemid=766)


Quote
ROCKVILLE – The ICC’s numbers are on target – depending on who you ask. Officials from the Maryland Department of Transit [sic] (MDTA)  said traffic and revenue numbers during fiscal 2014 were on par with projected numbers but community activists said the current numbers are lower than the original projections from the MDTA because the numbers were changed multiple times during the last 10 years.

Quote
According to the final numbers for fiscal 2014, in combination with toll plazas on I-95, the ICC collected $174.5 million in tolls and 45,000 and 50,000 daily users rode the 18-mile highway connecting Route 1 in Prince George’s County and I-270 in Montgomery County.  Annual ongoing operating costs for the highway are nearly $80 million.

Quote
“We’re feeling pretty good about where we stand. We are on point with traffic and revenue projections and there is steady growth in traffic on the ICC. We think that users are beginning to recognize its time-saving value,” said John Sales, spokesman for the MDTA.

Quote
During the gubernatorial campaign, both Governor-elect Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown told voters they would consider lowering tolls on the highway, which vary depending on the time of travel. A trip from Route 29 in Burtonsville to I-370 in Gaithersburg during rush hour is $3.20. Hogan has declined to discuss any policy issues until he takes office in January 2015.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on December 06, 2014, 03:01:58 PM
I do wonder what the traffic counts would be on the road if there were no toll. It seems that there being a toll at all discourages people from using it instead of the roads they've been used to taking for years. The tolls aren't really even that high, it's more a psychological barrier of "there's a toll, I have to pay more".

Lowering the tolls might encourage some more people to get on the road but I doubt it would have much of an impact since this presumes your average person is financially literate and shops rationally instead of emotionally, and we all know that's not true. Maybe if they advertize hard "REDUCED TOLLS!!" then people will go to it because putting something "on sale" makes it instantly more attractive regardless of absolute price.

Still, I think that even if MdTA does nothing, over the years traffic counts will gradually rise as the population turns over. I suspect you will find that people who moved into the area after the ICC opened may be more likely to use it than people who were living there beforehand. As more and more of the local population becomes part of the former category, traffic counts will go up.

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 06, 2014, 06:44:10 PM
I do wonder what the traffic counts would be on the road if there were no toll. It seems that there being a toll at all discourages people from using it instead of the roads they've been used to taking for years. The tolls aren't really even that high, it's more a psychological barrier of "there's a toll, I have to pay more".

It was free for the first week or two when the Contract A section opened (February 2011), and then again when the Contract B and C sections (November 2011).  Clearly the volumes were higher (especially) when the A, B and C section was "free"  in November 2011.

Lowering the tolls might encourage some more people to get on the road but I doubt it would have much of an impact since this presumes your average person is financially literate and shops rationally instead of emotionally, and we all know that's not true. Maybe if they advertize hard "REDUCED TOLLS!!" then people will go to it because putting something "on sale" makes it instantly more attractive regardless of absolute price.

Many people do not want to pay for something they can get which is "free," even though they wear the car more and probably burn more fuel on the congested or severely congested arterial alternatives.

Still, I think that even if MdTA does nothing, over the years traffic counts will gradually rise as the population turns over. I suspect you will find that people who moved into the area after the ICC opened may be more likely to use it than people who were living there beforehand. As more and more of the local population becomes part of the former category, traffic counts will go up.

I agree.  Had the road been built as originally planned from U.S. 50 in the east to either Va. 28 or Va. 286 in the west, then there would be tremendously more traffic on the road, without (as was planned in the 1960's and 1970's)  or with tolling (which would keep the road reasonably free-flow).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2015, 11:57:12 PM
GreaterGreaterWashington: The Intercounty Connector's traffic is light so far, but the road's future is still unclear (http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24959/the-intercounty-connectors-traffic-is-light-so-far-but-the-roads-future-is-still-unclear/)

Quote
Planners routinely overestimate how much traffic will grow in the future in order to justify new highways. Usage of the Intercounty Connector is still growing but it looks like the ICC, too, will get less use than planners thought.

Quote
At first glance, traffic on the ICC seems sparse, and as many journalists report, drivers are taking far fewer trips on the road than predicted. But the trips are longer—about 9½ miles on average, compared to the 6½ miles forecasters expected. Also, the road's initial "ramping up" phase, which is when traffic grows rapidly as drivers learn about a new highway, has not yet ended.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: lepidopteran on February 12, 2015, 04:22:17 PM
A sign at the ICC/I-95 interchange has been modified.

On the EB ICC is a loop ramp leading to the I-95 NB C/D road.  Originally, on the BGS before that ramp, there was only a forlorn MD-198 shield present.  The sign has since added a "TO" before the shield, and control cities Laurel and Burtonsville are now listed.

Though when you think about it, having Burtonsville as a control city there seems a bit silly.  For if you were heading EB on the ICC to begin with, you could have gotten off at US-29 NB to get to Burtonsville and saved time, gas, and ~50¢ in tolls.  Sure, it's MUTCD protocol, but there's probably a thread somewhere that lists locations with dubious control cities.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mrsman on February 12, 2015, 09:08:16 PM
IMO, the whole ICC should have control cities like a normal freeway instead of the signs to I-270 and to I-95. 

Westbound, Gaithersburg should be the control over I-370/MD 200 until the Frederick Rd exit and then the control can read Sam Eig Highway to Great Seneca Highway.

Eastbound, Laurel should be the control all the way to I-95 and this transition ramp.  East of I-95, the sign can read MD 200 to US 1.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Henry on February 13, 2015, 01:44:21 PM
IMO, the whole ICC should have control cities like a normal freeway instead of the signs to I-270 and to I-95. 

Westbound, Gaithersburg should be the control over I-370/MD 200 until the Frederick Rd exit and then the control can read Sam Eig Highway to Great Seneca Highway.

Eastbound, Laurel should be the control all the way to I-95 and this transition ramp.  East of I-95, the sign can read MD 200 to US 1.
Agreed on all counts.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2015, 03:23:02 PM
IMO, the whole ICC should have control cities like a normal freeway instead of the signs to I-270 and to I-95. 

Westbound, Gaithersburg should be the control over I-370/MD 200 until the Frederick Rd exit and then the control can read Sam Eig Highway to Great Seneca Highway.

Eastbound, Laurel should be the control all the way to I-95 and this transition ramp.  East of I-95, the sign can read MD 200 to US 1.

I would like westbound to read Gaithersburg and Rockville, at least as far as Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue).  West of Md. 97, just Gaithersburg (though there are no interchanges (now) between Md. 97 and the western terminus of the toll road at "secret" Md. 200A).

Eastbound, my preferences would be Laurel and Beltsville, and ideally Silver Spring as far east as U.S. 29 (Columbia Pike).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: mrsman on February 13, 2015, 03:37:52 PM
IMO, the whole ICC should have control cities like a normal freeway instead of the signs to I-270 and to I-95. 

Westbound, Gaithersburg should be the control over I-370/MD 200 until the Frederick Rd exit and then the control can read Sam Eig Highway to Great Seneca Highway.

Eastbound, Laurel should be the control all the way to I-95 and this transition ramp.  East of I-95, the sign can read MD 200 to US 1.

I would like westbound to read Gaithersburg and Rockville, at least as far as Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue).  West of Md. 97, just Gaithersburg (though there are no interchanges (now) between Md. 97 and the western terminus of the toll road at "secret" Md. 200A).

Eastbound, my preferences would be Laurel and Beltsville, and ideally Silver Spring as far east as U.S. 29 (Columbia Pike).

Rockville / Gaithersburg combined westbound would be OK, since the ICC does hang around the border (Shady Grove Road).  Plus, the end of the freeway leads directly to many of the Biotech jobs in Rockville near Darnestown Road.

Silver Spring??? The ICC isn't that close to the heart of Silver Spring (Georgia/Colesville) and even though the neighborhoods of Colesville and Burtonsville may have Silver Spring PO boxes, it isn't the real Silver Spring. 

Would Silver Spring be the control city from the Georgia Ave entrance as well?  It's clearly more direct to just head straight south at that point.

Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2015, 04:19:20 PM
IMO, the whole ICC should have control cities like a normal freeway instead of the signs to I-270 and to I-95. 

Westbound, Gaithersburg should be the control over I-370/MD 200 until the Frederick Rd exit and then the control can read Sam Eig Highway to Great Seneca Highway.

Eastbound, Laurel should be the control all the way to I-95 and this transition ramp.  East of I-95, the sign can read MD 200 to US 1.

I would like westbound to read Gaithersburg and Rockville, at least as far as Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue).  West of Md. 97, just Gaithersburg (though there are no interchanges (now) between Md. 97 and the western terminus of the toll road at "secret" Md. 200A).

Eastbound, my preferences would be Laurel and Beltsville, and ideally Silver Spring as far east as U.S. 29 (Columbia Pike).

Rockville / Gaithersburg combined westbound would be OK, since the ICC does hang around the border (Shady Grove Road).  Plus, the end of the freeway leads directly to many of the Biotech jobs in Rockville near Darnestown Road.

Silver Spring??? The ICC isn't that close to the heart of Silver Spring (Georgia/Colesville) and even though the neighborhoods of Colesville and Burtonsville may have Silver Spring PO boxes, it isn't the real Silver Spring.

Yes, Silver Spring.  The areas off of the interchanges at Md. 650 (Exit 13, New Hampshire Avenue); U.S. 29 (Exit 16, Columbia Pike); and Briggs Chaney Road (Exit 17) are all Silver Spring Zip Codes, mostly 20904, which is the "Colesville" Zip Code, which is Silver Spring every much as 20901 (Woodmoor) and 20903 (Hillandale) are Silver Spring. The numerous auto dealerships in the Montgomery Auto Sales Park usually describe their businesses as being in Silver Spring, which they are. Fairland could also be used at U.S. 29, but that is a master plan area designated by M-NCP&PC, and not widely known.

Would Silver Spring be the control city from the Georgia Ave entrance as well?  It's clearly more direct to just head straight south at that point.

I might use Aspen Hill or Wheaton, though much of those places can also be considered Silver Spring.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2015, 04:50:34 PM
WTOP Radio: Shooting reported on the ICC Tuesday afternoon (http://wtop.com/maryland/2015/03/shooting-reported-on-the-icc-tuesday-afternoon/)

Washington Post: 2 traveling on Intercounty Connector report being shot at in their car (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/two-traveling-along-icc-report-being-shot-at-in-their-car/2015/03/03/382d698e-c1e1-11e4-9271-610273846239_story.html)

Baltimore Sun: Authorities investigate if one gunman is behind shootings (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-nsa-icc-shootings-20150303-story.html)

Quote
Authorities say a string of recent shooting incidents in public spaces — the latest involving shots fired at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade — may be connected to the same gunman, according to law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

Quote
The sources said investigators are looking into whether one gunman is tied to five incidents in Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Howard counties, including four in the past two days. At least two people were hurt in one of the incidents with non-life-threatening injuries.

Quote
"They're looking into whether these are linked together," said Lt. Kevin Ayd, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, which investigated a shooting on the Intercounty Connector in Laurel on Tuesday.

Washington Post: Five shootings in public places in Maryland said to be linked; 35-year-old charged (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/video-shows-vehicle-possibly-involved-in-several-area-shootings/2015/03/04/60227f42-c263-11e4-9ec2-b418f57a4a99_story.html)

Quote
The handgun was a ­.380-caliber semiautomatic. The vehicle was a 1999 Lincoln. The alleged shooter, suspected of firing indiscriminately at people and buildings as he roamed by car through a swath of suburban Maryland in the past week, was a 35-year-old former prison guard named Hong Young, now in police custody.

Quote
Still to be answered: Why?

Quote
“We have not gotten into the mind of the suspect,” Anne Arundel County police spokesman T.J. Smith said in announcing Young’s arrest Wednesday. Young is charged with shooting at a motorist Feb. 24 from the driver’s seat of his Lincoln Town Car and is suspected of opening fire Tuesday on two men in a tree-service truck, police said.

Quote
They said he also is suspected of firing shots into a Wal-Mart store and an AMC movie theater in the wee hours of Monday, when both businesses were closed, and shooting at a National Security Agency building Tuesday evening.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on May 14, 2015, 11:29:40 AM
Crash first fatality on ICC since November 2011 opening (http://wtop.com/maryland/2015/05/crash-first-fatality-on-icc-since-november-2011-opening/slide/1/)
Quote
A Montgomery County dump truck skidded across the eastbound lanes for unknown reasons before overturning on the median strip. The truck was hauling gravel which spilled across the westbound lanes of the highway following the crash.
Quote
Another vehicle, a 2004 Nissan Altima, was also involved in the incident. MDTA police spokesman 1st Sgt. Jonathan Green says the driver of the Nissan was transported to MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 15, 2015, 02:59:48 PM
Gazette.net opinion: For a busier ICC (http://www.gazette.net/article/20150513/OPINION/150519770/1266/for-a-busier-icc&template=gazette)

Quote
Gov. Larry Hogan is continuing to follow through on his campaign platform by authorizing cuts to Maryland’s road and bridge tolls.

Quote
In Montgomery County, that means the Intercounty Connector will cost less, starting July 1. For example, a peak-time trip the full length of the road, from Interstate 370 in Gaithersburg to U.S. 1 in Laurel, will drop from $4.40 to $3.86 for a two-axle vehicle using E-ZPass.

Quote
Drivers also will see lower tolls at the Bay Bridge, the Fort McHenry Tunnel and elsewhere.

Quote
In addition, the state is eliminating the $1.50 monthly E-ZPass account fee.

Quote
Hogan pledged to stem a tide of tax increases if he were elected. Tolls aren’t the same, as they’re user fees, but they also eat into a household budget.

Quote
The first question when revenue is lowered is how the money will be replaced or what spending will be cut as a result.

Quote
On that question, the Maryland Transportation Authority is vague: “The $54 million annual toll reduction is made possible by efficiencies in MDTA’s capital and operating budgets that will allow the agency to meet its financial responsibilities and implement the governor’s toll rollback.”
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 18, 2015, 04:18:52 PM
Washington Post: Traffic on Intercounty Connector is growing faster than on other Md. tollways (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/10/14/traffic-on-intercounty-connector-is-growing-faster-than-on-other-md-tollways/)

Quote
Traffic on the four-year-old Intercounty Connector toll road in the Maryland suburbs jumped by 18 percent in the last fiscal year, putting its growth rate at more than double that of the state’s other tollways, according to a financial report released Wednesday.

Quote
Motorists took 24.1 million trips on the ICC in the fiscal year that ended June 30, up 3.6 million trips from the previous fiscal year, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority’s year-end financial statement. The six-lane highway connects the Interstate 270 corridor in Montgomery County with the Interstate 95 corridor in Prince George’s County, outside the Capital Beltway.

Quote
The 18 percent growth in fiscal 2015 compares with 19 percent growth in the previous fiscal year. Traffic on all Maryland toll bridges, tunnels and roads grew by 8 percent in fiscal 2015. The ICC brought in $56 million in toll revenue, up nearly $8 million from the previous fiscal year.

Quote
Motorists still remark on the relatively open feel of the ICC, which was hotly debated for decades because of its $2.5 billion construction cost and its environmental and community effects as it sliced through woods and neighborhoods.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on October 19, 2015, 12:53:12 AM
How expensive is ICC's annual debt servicing costs?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 19, 2015, 10:58:30 AM
How expensive is ICC's annual debt servicing costs?

I am not qualified to answer, but here (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/About/Documents/Financial_Forecast/Financial_Forecast_July_2015.pdf) are the latest toll forecasts and bond amortization schedules for the entire MdTA.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 25, 2016, 03:30:45 PM
Washington Post editorial: Beltway traffic near the Intercounty Connector has eased. Coincidence? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/beltway-traffic-near-the-intercounty-connector-has-eased-coincidence/2016/07/21/8b13256e-4eab-11e6-a422-83ab49ed5e6a_story.html)

Quote
TRAFFIC ON the Beltway is getting better, and traffic on the Beltway is getting worse. That information, shared in a AAA study this week, is not much of a revelation. The real news: Where congestion has decreased, commuters may owe their thanks to Maryland’s Intercounty Connector.

Quote
The toll road connecting Montgomery and Prince George’s counties was a local transportation hot topic for almost a half-century. In 2011, the artery finally opened. The roadway, as we said many times over the course of the decades-long debate, always had the potential to benefit countless commuters who live and work between the two counties. Now, there’s data to back that up.

Quote
Though many of the Beltway’s busiest segments have only gotten busier, AAA’s study shows, on others the flow of cars has thinned — and not where the agency expected. When AAA consulted traffic engineers about its findings, they said the Intercounty Connector might have something to do with the change. A closer look from the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance bore that out: Major interstate segments served by the connector have seen traffic decrease by as much as 13 percent since the connector opened, 5 percent on net. Segments unaffected by the artery saw an increase of 2 percent.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connecto
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 25, 2016, 07:52:25 PM
I'm still sore about the discontinuous ICC trail but I am pleased to see that actual data is demonstrating the value and utility of the ICC as it is currently built. I will be interested to see if the MdTA has to use congestion pricing on the road at any point over the next several years if its popularity and usage continues to rise.

What are the chances that the link to Midcounty Highway will be built within the next 10-15 years?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 06, 2017, 11:28:47 PM
I'm still sore about the discontinuous ICC trail but I am pleased to see that actual data is demonstrating the value and utility of the ICC as it is currently built. I will be interested to see if the MdTA has to use congestion pricing on the road at any point over the next several years if its popularity and usage continues to rise.

The MdTA's board could just increase the tolls across-the-board during the peak AM and PM periods.

What are the chances that the link to Midcounty Highway will be built within the next 10-15 years?

Good question, and I wish I knew the  answer.  I do know at least some of the usual suspects in Montgomery County's old anti-ICC cottage industry are absolutely against any extension of Mid County  Highway at the north or south  ends (the south  end being the  one that would tie in to the ICC just west of the Winters Run tunnel).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 06, 2017, 11:46:03 PM
For those that have an interest, a copy of the 1983 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the ICC and the Rockville Facility can now be found online, courtesy of Google. Aside from some of the maps that were more than a standard page width and not completely scanned, the document is otherwise apparently intact (it is a lot smaller than the 1997 DEIS and the 2006 approved FEIS).

It can  be found here (https://books.google.com/books?id=RqA1AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=intercounty+connector+rockville+facility&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjY-6Tnx8PSAhXG6SYKHR3zCCUQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=intercounty%20connector%20rockville%20facility&f=false) at just over 400 pages.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 10, 2017, 11:43:12 AM
Apparently there is litigation pending or under way regarding the newest section of the ICC, Contract D/E.   

The May 4 meeting agenda (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Meeting_Schedules/Agenda/Capital_Committee/Cap_Comm_Meeting_Agenda_05-04-2017.pdf) of the MDTA Capital Committee contains this:

Quote
VOTE TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION
- Discuss pending litigation involving SHA Contract No.
AT3765D60 -  MD200, Intercounty Connector Contract D/E
Modified Design Build Project
Title: I-370/MD-200?
Post by: MrAndy1369 on April 09, 2018, 04:26:38 PM
May sound like a simple question, but why can't they just extend I-370 from I-270 to I-95/U.S. 1 and discard the MD-200 designation?
Title: Re: I-370/MD-200?
Post by: 1 on April 09, 2018, 04:41:19 PM
It's a toll road; if it was converted now, it would not receive federal funding, so there is no benefit. (This rule does not apply to older toll roads or to toll bridges.)
Title: Re: I-370/MD-200?
Post by: The Ghostbuster on April 09, 2018, 04:58:06 PM
They should throw out that rule. If a toll road is up to Interstate Standards, it should be allowed to have an Interstate designation, if one is desired.
Title: Re: I-370/MD-200?
Post by: MrAndy1369 on April 09, 2018, 05:26:05 PM
Gotcha. Didn’t realize that toll freeways could not become toll interstates. I vaguely remember seeing tolled interstates before, but maybe I was mixing them up with bridges/tunnels.
Title: Re: I-370/MD-200?
Post by: jwolfer on April 09, 2018, 05:46:47 PM
A lot of older toll roads were grandfathered in as interstates (PA turnpike is i76 for most of it's route).  Also some toll roads got an interstste number to allow speed limits above 55 when NMSL was first repealed only interstates could be above.55 mph( Illinois i88).

I would think if a state applied for interstate designation there should be nothing legally stopping it.. I would like the Florida turnpike to be a southern i91 to match the secret SR number.. and Central Florida toll roads could be x04 or x91

Z981
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 74/171FAN on April 09, 2018, 06:20:35 PM
I merged the "I-370/MD 200?" thread with the general ICC thread.  -Mark
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Mapmikey on April 09, 2018, 07:36:08 PM
A state can also pay back all federal money spent on the toll road from design through opening and then the toll road can have an interstate shield.

This actually makes no sense to me really.  Not sure why it matters who paid for a road...if the road meets interstate standards, a shield should be allowed.  I guess it is the perception that "my federal tax dollars paid for this so it shouldn't be toll mentality"
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on April 09, 2018, 08:54:29 PM
A lot of older toll roads were grandfathered in as interstates (PA turnpike is i76 for most of it's route).  Also some toll roads got an interstste number to allow speed limits above 55 when NMSL was first repealed only interstates could be above.55 mph( Illinois i88).

Some fairly new tollroads have been designated as Interstate routes.

Built since 1990 --
IL I-355 North-South Tollway
PA I-376 Beaver Valley Expressway, 18-mile segment on either side of the mainline PA Turnpike.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 10, 2018, 10:42:16 AM
A state can also pay back all federal money spent on the toll road from design through opening and then the toll road can have an interstate shield.

Seems convoluted, though 

Maryland is certainly on track to pay-off the federal GARVEE bond balances that were used to fund part of the construction cost of MD-200. 

Does that mean that  MDOT can then apply for an Interstate route number in place of MD-200? 

Though I doubt that they will.

This actually makes no sense to me really.  Not sure why it matters who paid for a road...if the road meets interstate standards, a shield should be allowed.  I guess it is the perception that "my federal tax dollars paid for this so it shouldn't be toll mentality"

I agree - and people that come with  the "it's already paid for" claim have obviously never heard of the cost associated with maintaining and operating and repairing highways that frequently carry heavy volumes of traffic.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Mr_Northside on April 10, 2018, 03:53:27 PM
Gotcha. Didn’t realize that toll freeways could not become toll interstates.

Yeah... I don't think that statement is really true.  As others mentioned, there were a bunch of "grandfather" type situations, but there also have been recent additions of toll roads as interstates.

Of course, they have the rules against tolling an interstate that was built as a free road (there's a lot of experience in PA here with I-80) - or any free road (it doesn't have to be an interstate)....   Does it really work the other way around too? 
I'm guessing that building an interstate-standard toll road doesn't guarantee it would get approved for an interstate number if requested - but I don't think it's blatantly not allows.
 I'm wondering if new non-interstate toll roads (like the ICC) are sticking with State Route number is because the agency doesn't care enough to pursue and interstate designation.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on April 10, 2018, 07:06:56 PM
I thought the ICC was intentionally designed with interstate-substandard features to please nimbys
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Mapmikey on April 10, 2018, 08:41:38 PM


Of course, they have the rules against tolling an interstate that was built as a free road (there's a lot of experience in PA here with I-80) - or any free road (it doesn't have to be an interstate)....   Does it really work the other way around too? 


Check out this letter denying VA 895 interstate status (courtesy Scott's website):  http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Route-895-FHWA-letter.jpg
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Revive 755 on April 10, 2018, 09:09:56 PM
Some fairly new tollroads have been designated as Interstate routes.

Built since 1990 --
IL I-355 North-South Tollway
PA I-376 Beaver Valley Expressway, 18-mile segment on either side of the mainline PA Turnpike.

Plus the currently planned but yet to be constructed I-490 in Chicagoland
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Alps on April 10, 2018, 11:21:25 PM


Of course, they have the rules against tolling an interstate that was built as a free road (there's a lot of experience in PA here with I-80) - or any free road (it doesn't have to be an interstate)....   Does it really work the other way around too? 


Check out this letter denying VA 895 interstate status (courtesy Scott's website):  http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Route-895-FHWA-letter.jpg

See, this is why we need a Like button.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: davewiecking on April 11, 2018, 12:25:02 AM
I thought the ICC was intentionally designed with interstate-substandard features to please nimbys

It's possible the lefthand shoulders of the main route between I-370 and I-95 are not wide enough for a 3 lane Interstate. The only part that was rerouted from the half-century old planned route was actually routed away from a stream and put in the backyards of a set of townhouses, but even with the curves necessary to do that the road has a 60 mph speed limit.

However, the east end (between I-95 and US-1) is most certainly not built to Interstate standards, so it seems the last mile or so would still be MD-200. Might as well give the entire toll road the same number.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: froggie on April 11, 2018, 07:44:47 AM
I believe the law has changed enough since 2001 to where VDOT could theoretically re-ask FHWA to sign VA 895 as an Interstate. SAFETEA-LU (2005) and MAP-21 (2012) made a number of changes in terms of tolling on Interstate highways.  If VDOT were to eliminate tollong on VA 895 east of Laburnum Ave and toll just the James River Bridge, there would DEFINITELY be nothing stopping them from asking for an Interstate.

I'm pretty sure that the ICC was built to Interstate-standard...even the inside shoulders on the narrow-median part under Olde Mill Run and over Rock Creek.  I do not believe there is anything (besides local/statewide political will) preventing them from asking for Interstate designation to I-95.

CP:  it's not just "paying back the Federal GARVEE bond balances".  Under the old system, they would have to completely refund the Federal highway funding used to cover those GARVEE bonds....in short, use state money instead of FHWA money to pay them back.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 11, 2018, 08:29:04 AM
I believe the law has changed enough since 2001 to where VDOT could theoretically re-ask FHWA to sign VA 895 as an Interstate. SAFETEA-LU (2005) and MAP-21 (2012) made a number of changes in terms of tolling on Interstate highways.  If VDOT were to eliminate tollong on VA 895 east of Laburnum Ave and toll just the James River Bridge, there would DEFINITELY be nothing stopping them from asking for an Interstate.

I'm pretty sure that the ICC was built to Interstate-standard...even the inside shoulders on the narrow-median part under Olde Mill Run and over Rock Creek.  I do not believe there is anything (besides local/statewide political will) preventing them from asking for Interstate designation to I-95.

The only part that would seem to not comply with Interstate standards is the eastern terminus at U.S. 1 on the southern edge of unincorporated Laurel, which has a "continuous flow" signalized intersection instead of an interchange of some sort.

CP:  it's not just "paying back the Federal GARVEE bond balances".  Under the old system, they would have to completely refund the Federal highway funding used to cover those GARVEE bonds....in short, use state money instead of FHWA money to pay them back.

Given that the road is doing well in terms of collected revenue, that is something they probably could do, but the MDTA's management and board might well ask if there's any benefit to doing so, what with big-money projects like the Gov. Harry Nice Bridge replacement and an anticipated bridge deck replacement on the "old " (1952) span of the WPL Bridge coming in the fairly near future.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on April 11, 2018, 04:27:02 PM
I believe the law has changed enough since 2001 to where VDOT could theoretically re-ask FHWA to sign VA 895 as an Interstate. SAFETEA-LU (2005) and MAP-21 (2012) made a number of changes in terms of tolling on Interstate highways.  If VDOT were to eliminate tollong on VA 895 east of Laburnum Ave and toll just the James River Bridge, there would DEFINITELY be nothing stopping them from asking for an Interstate.

I am still waiting on my requests from last fall on VA-288 and VA-895.  I was informed a month ago that the district office is doing impact studies.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Roadsguy on April 13, 2018, 08:46:05 AM
inb4 they pull a Caltrans and just sign it as I-288.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 13, 2018, 12:20:43 PM
inb4 they pull a Caltrans and just sign it as I-288.

I doubt that MDOT or MDTA are interested.  The road is now well-known as MD-200 (there are few if any signs with the words "InterCounty Connector" left standing).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on April 13, 2018, 02:44:04 PM
inb4 they pull a Caltrans and just sign it as I-288.
I doubt that MDOT or MDTA are interested.  The road is now well-known as MD-200 (there are few if any signs with the words "InterCounty Connector" left standing).

As I have said before, I would propose using I-470 for the whole current I-370/MD-200 route between I-270 and I-95.  Let the stub to US-1 remain as MD-200.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on April 17, 2018, 04:52:28 PM
I believe the law has changed enough since 2001 to where VDOT could theoretically re-ask FHWA to sign VA 895 as an Interstate. SAFETEA-LU (2005) and MAP-21 (2012) made a number of changes in terms of tolling on Interstate highways.  If VDOT were to eliminate tollong on VA 895 east of Laburnum Ave and toll just the James River Bridge, there would DEFINITELY be nothing stopping them from asking for an Interstate.

They get considerable toll revenue from the section east of Laburnum Avenue, so I can't see it going toll-free.  The RIC airport easterly connection between I-295 and the airport uses VA-895 and the 895 airport connector, and that is tolled via the easterly ramps at the 895 airport connector.

Tolls on Pocahontas 895 are $4.30 for 2-axle vehicles at Main Plaza, and $2.45 for 2-axle vehicles at the Laburnum Avenue and Airport Drive easterly ramps.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 19, 2018, 02:57:56 PM
Tolls on Pocahontas 895 are $4.30 for 2-axle vehicles at Main Plaza, and $2.45 for 2-axle vehicles at the Laburnum Avenue and Airport Drive easterly ramps.

Quite a bit more than MD-200 (maximum toll for E-ZPass users is a, IIRC, $4.10).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on April 19, 2018, 07:03:41 PM
Tolls on Pocahontas 895 are $4.30 for 2-axle vehicles at Main Plaza, and $2.45 for 2-axle vehicles at the Laburnum Avenue and Airport Drive easterly ramps.
Quite a bit more than MD-200 (maximum toll for E-ZPass users is a, IIRC, $4.10).

I didn't post that as a comparison.  Toll levels are a function of the levels of indebtedness and traffic volumes and truck percentages.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 24, 2018, 02:42:35 PM
WTOP Radio: More and more drivers in Maryland continue to take the ICC (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/04/more-and-more-drivers-in-maryland-continue-to-take-the-icc/)

Quote
The Intercounty Connector holds on to its spot as Maryland’s second-busiest toll road; in 2017, the roadway beat out all other toll roads in the state except Fort McHenry Tunnel.

Quote
The stretch also known as MD-200 saw 32,634,000 trips last year — that’s up 9 percent over 2016, according to the Maryland Transportation Administration.

Quote
“More people are using the ICC than the Bay Bridge,” said John Townsend with AAA-Mid Atlantic.

Quote
The ICC, which gives drivers a Capital Beltway alternative to get from Gaithersburg to Laurel, was a project that saw criticism over whether or not drivers would fit it into their commute. Motorists now appear to be flocking to it, also raising revenues since the road uses a variable toll system that sets the price based on how busy it is.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: BrianP on April 24, 2018, 05:04:53 PM
I think that's a bit misleading since the other toll facilities are single point tolls.  Whereas the ICC is a 20 mile toll road with several toll collection points.  Like I think on I-95 north of Baltimore only the trips that cross the Millard E Tydings Memorial Bridge are counted.  I think even the Hatem Bridge crossings are considered separate.  So if you just looked at a single toll collection point on the ICC then it would be an apples to apples comparison. 
Quote
“More people are using the ICC than the Bay Bridge,” said John Townsend with AAA-Mid Atlantic.
Uh yeah.  I don't think there are that many daily commuters that cross the Bay bridge.  I also don't think there are many daily commuters crossing the Tydings Bridge.  But I would imagine that there are a large number of daily commuters using the Fort McHenry Tunnel. 
Quote
since the road uses a variable toll system that sets the price based on how busy it is.
Not true.  It uses a time of day variable toll system.  The HOT lanes in VA use congestion based pricing.  The timing of the toll rate on the ICC is based on rush hours.  But the rates do not react to moment to moment congestion. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: MillTheRoadgeek on April 24, 2018, 05:15:56 PM
WTOP Radio: More and more drivers in Maryland continue to take the ICC (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/04/more-and-more-drivers-in-maryland-continue-to-take-the-icc/)

Quote
The Intercounty Connector holds on to its spot as Maryland’s second-busiest toll road; in 2017, the roadway beat out all other toll roads in the state except Fort McHenry Tunnel.

Quote
The stretch also known as MD-200 saw 32,634,000 trips last year — that’s up 9 percent over 2016, according to the Maryland Transportation Administration.

Quote
“More people are using the ICC than the Bay Bridge,” said John Townsend with AAA-Mid Atlantic.

Quote
The ICC, which gives drivers a Capital Beltway alternative to get from Gaithersburg to Laurel, was a project that saw criticism over whether or not drivers would fit it into their commute. Motorists now appear to be flocking to it, also raising revenues since the road uses a variable toll system that sets the price based on how busy it is.

That's actually something surprising to see! I wonder if I can see anything of the road's traffic especially in cases where it fills up quite a bit. From what I previously saw on Google Maps traffic was lighter than anything pictured. Also the whole Bay Bridge comparison is interesting... considering holiday traffic?
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Jmiles32 on April 24, 2018, 06:30:57 PM
Glad to see increased use on the ICC as I remember shortly after it opened, the intense public criticism it got for it's "low traffic volumes". I have personally used the ICC on multiple occasions and have found it far more relaxing and enjoyable than the hellish stretch of I-495 between I-270 and I-95. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if developers and politicians in VA try and use this as backing that an outer Potomac River Crossing between VA-28 and I-370 is a necessity.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 24, 2018, 07:30:46 PM
I think that's a bit misleading since the other toll facilities are single point tolls.  Whereas the ICC is a 20 mile toll road with several toll collection points.  Like I think on I-95 north of Baltimore only the trips that cross the Millard E Tydings Memorial Bridge are counted.  I think even the Hatem Bridge crossings are considered separate.  So if you just looked at a single toll collection point on the ICC then it would be an apples to apples comparison.

As you say, all other toll roads and toll crossings in Maryland have a single-point of toll collection, and except for the three crossings at Baltimore (I-95 (FMT), I-895 (BHT) and I-695 (FSK) - and the I-95 Express Toll Lanes), all are tolled in one direction only.  And only the BHT was designed so that nearly all traffic must pass through the one toll barrier and pay (on the FMT and the FSK, it is possible to use parts of the toll-maintained approaches without paying toll).   Even the I-95 Express Toll Lanes have exactly one entry point and one exit point and one tolling  point. 

That's obviously not going to work so well when the state made a commitment to keep tolls high enough to maintain free-flow of traffic at all times on all sections between each of the  interchanges, as it did with MD-200. 

I believe that MDTA counts every transaction at every gantry as a separate toll transaction - and in a sense that is correct, since drivers passing under those gantries do pay a certain  amount for each one.   Though my own  preference is to look at the published annual average daily traffic (AADT) for each of the links of MD-200 and just use highest one as a reasonable estimate of traffic, with the understanding that traffic can use the road without passing that "maximum load point." That max load point appears to be between MD-182 (Layhill Road) and MD-650 (New Hampshire Avenue), at 53,588 AADT for year ended 12/31/2016 (so almost certainly higher now).
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Mapmikey on April 24, 2018, 07:36:40 PM
I think that's a bit misleading since the other toll facilities are single point tolls.  Whereas the ICC is a 20 mile toll road with several toll collection points.  Like I think on I-95 north of Baltimore only the trips that cross the Millard E Tydings Memorial Bridge are counted.  I think even the Hatem Bridge crossings are considered separate.  So if you just looked at a single toll collection point on the ICC then it would be an apples to apples comparison. 
Quote
“More people are using the ICC than the Bay Bridge,” said John Townsend with AAA-Mid Atlantic.
Uh yeah.  I don't think there are that many daily commuters that cross the Bay bridge.  I also don't think there are many daily commuters crossing the Tydings Bridge.  But I would imagine that there are a large number of daily commuters using the Fort McHenry Tunnel. 
Quote
since the road uses a variable toll system that sets the price based on how busy it is.
Not true.  It uses a time of day variable toll system.  The HOT lanes in VA use congestion based pricing.  The timing of the toll rate on the ICC is based on rush hours.  But the rates do not react to moment to moment congestion. 


A different way of looking at it:

Lowest 2017 AADT (SHA data) on the ICC between I-370 and I-95 is 47K (1st segment west of I-95) and the rest of the segments are 55-58k range.

Tydings Bridge: 86k
Hatem Bridge: 26k
Harbor Tunnel: 78k
Ft. McHenry Tunnel: 124k
Key Bridge: 32k
Bay Bridge: 74k
Nice Bridge: 19k

From this data, and taking credit for some of those facilities being tolled in only one direction, the ICC is busier from a toll perspective than all but the Baltimore Tunnels.  I'm guessing the multiple toll points makes it possible to have more toll transactions than the Harbor Tunnel despite the lower AADT.  So their statement isn't wildly out of place.  I do believe the AADT is a better apples to apples comparison and easier to evaluate against the criticism when the road was being built that nobody would use it.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Beltway on April 24, 2018, 08:44:53 PM
Lowest 2017 AADT (SHA data) on the ICC between I-370 and I-95 is 47K (1st segment west of I-95) and the rest of the segments are 55-58k range.
[...]
From this data, and taking credit for some of those facilities being tolled in only one direction, the ICC is busier from a toll perspective than all but the Baltimore Tunnels.  I'm guessing the multiple toll points makes it possible to have more toll transactions than the Harbor Tunnel despite the lower AADT.  So their statement isn't wildly out of place.  I do believe the AADT is a better apples to apples comparison and easier to evaluate against the criticism when the road was being built that nobody would use it.

The current AADTs put it in the range of needing the current 6 lane freeway.  Those AADTs will only grow in the future.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 24, 2018, 11:12:32 PM
The current AADTs put it in the range of needing the current 6 lane freeway.  Those AADTs will only grow in the future.

One of the demands made by the anti-ICC cottage industry in Montgomery County (after their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Maryland had been dismissed in its entirety by Judge Williams) was that the road be built as a four-lane freeway only. Never mind that the estimates of toll-paying traffic justified six lanes (3 each way) except for the far eastern section between I-95 and U.S. 1.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: TheOneKEA on April 25, 2018, 06:16:38 AM
The current AADTs put it in the range of needing the current 6 lane freeway.  Those AADTs will only grow in the future.

One of the demands made by the anti-ICC cottage industry in Montgomery County (after their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Maryland had been dismissed in its entirety by Judge Williams) was that the road be built as a four-lane freeway only. Never mind that the estimates of toll-paying traffic justified six lanes (3 each way) except for the far eastern section between I-95 and U.S. 1.

I would be curious to know if any of the individuals who tried to prevent the ICC from being built have altered their opinions on this road, or if they continue to insist that it should not have been built.

If the road continues to grow in use, I would be interested to know where those users are coming from and which routes they were using before they switched to the ICC.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: abefroman329 on April 25, 2018, 03:42:28 PM
The current AADTs put it in the range of needing the current 6 lane freeway.  Those AADTs will only grow in the future.

One of the demands made by the anti-ICC cottage industry in Montgomery County (after their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Maryland had been dismissed in its entirety by Judge Williams) was that the road be built as a four-lane freeway only. Never mind that the estimates of toll-paying traffic justified six lanes (3 each way) except for the far eastern section between I-95 and U.S. 1.

I would be curious to know if any of the individuals who tried to prevent the ICC from being built have altered their opinions on this road, or if they continue to insist that it should not have been built.

If the road continues to grow in use, I would be interested to know where those users are coming from and which routes they were using before they switched to the ICC.

I used to travel from Gaithersburg to NYC pretty frequently by car over a decade ago, and it was either 1) 270 to 495 to 95 or 2) east on county roads to 95 (don't remember the exact route).  Neither were ideal.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 25, 2018, 05:58:14 PM
I would be curious to know if any of the individuals who tried to prevent the ICC from being built have altered their opinions on this road, or if they continue to insist that it should not have been built.

If the road continues to grow in use, I would be interested to know where those users are coming from and which routes they were using before they switched to the ICC.

Certainly there are some politicians in both counties (including at least one candidate for Montgomery County Executive) that still make a big deal out of opposing the highway.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Duke87 on April 25, 2018, 09:21:20 PM
If the road continues to grow in use, I would be interested to know where those users are coming from and which routes they were using before they switched to the ICC.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the slow but steady growth in traffic not coming from users who used to be taking other routes, but rather from users who used to make entirely different trips.

A great example: I know someone who, a couple years ago, relocated from California to Maryland for work. This individual's place of employment is located in Rockville. Their place of residence is located in Laurel. Naturally, they use the ICC for their daily commute.

Prior to the ICC, they lived somewhere else entirely. Because of the ICC, when they relocated, it was a viable choice to live in Laurel to work at a job in Rockville. Without the ICC, this person would likely be living and/or working somewhere else since their current commute would not be feasible.


This, of course, is exactly why the cottage industry in Montgomery County was so opposed to the ICC. The ICC enables people who work in Montgomery County to live in Howard County, and by doing so evade Montgomery County's social engineering policies aimed at preventing people from living in detached single family homes.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: Eth on April 25, 2018, 09:44:42 PM
I used to travel from Gaithersburg to NYC pretty frequently by car over a decade ago, and it was either 1) 270 to 495 to 95 or 2) east on county roads to 95 (don't remember the exact route).  Neither were ideal.

I used to live in Gaithersburg myself; I'd imagine my route to get to BWI would have been the same as I'd have used to drive further northeast: MD 124, MD 115, MD 28, Norbeck Rd, MD 198, I-95. The ICC was only completed to MD 28 by the time I left, so it still didn't entirely address the issue then.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 27, 2018, 01:50:18 PM
This, of course, is exactly why the cottage industry in Montgomery County was so opposed to the ICC. The ICC enables people who work in Montgomery County to live in Howard County, and by doing so evade Montgomery County's social engineering policies aimed at preventing people from living in detached single family homes.

Funny thing is that most of the usual suspects in the anti-ICC (and anti-all-other-highways) cottage industry (most reside in Montgomery County, but there are some in Prince George's County too) live in single-family detached homes.  A fair number of them are retired, and as a result are not as badly impacted by severe traffic congestion. 
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: jeffandnicole on April 27, 2018, 02:13:07 PM
This, of course, is exactly why the cottage industry in Montgomery County was so opposed to the ICC. The ICC enables people who work in Montgomery County to live in Howard County, and by doing so evade Montgomery County's social engineering policies aimed at preventing people from living in detached single family homes.

Funny thing is that most of the usual suspects in the anti-ICC (and anti-all-other-highways) cottage industry (most reside in Montgomery County, but there are some in Prince George's County too) live in single-family detached homes.  A fair number of them are retired, and as a result are not as badly impacted by severe traffic congestion. 

Not too surprising.  It's fairly common to see people drive in to a public meeting to complain about adding capacity to roadways or building new ones.  Amazingly, these people never seem to carpool with each other or take mass transit, and all live in suburban areas rather than in more urban locations.   

It's the typical Do As I Say, Not As I Do crowd.  They want what they got, but will prevent everyone else from getting what the same thing.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: abefroman329 on April 27, 2018, 02:54:05 PM
I used to travel from Gaithersburg to NYC pretty frequently by car over a decade ago, and it was either 1) 270 to 495 to 95 or 2) east on county roads to 95 (don't remember the exact route).  Neither were ideal.

I used to live in Gaithersburg myself; I'd imagine my route to get to BWI would have been the same as I'd have used to drive further northeast: MD 124, MD 115, MD 28, Norbeck Rd, MD 198, I-95. The ICC was only completed to MD 28 by the time I left, so it still didn't entirely address the issue then.

I meant to say "country roads," not "county roads," and I think it was a single state highway all the way.  Back then the ICC didn't exist at all.
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: 1995hoo on April 27, 2018, 04:58:59 PM
This, of course, is exactly why the cottage industry in Montgomery County was so opposed to the ICC. The ICC enables people who work in Montgomery County to live in Howard County, and by doing so evade Montgomery County's social engineering policies aimed at preventing people from living in detached single family homes.

Funny thing is that most of the usual suspects in the anti-ICC (and anti-all-other-highways) cottage industry (most reside in Montgomery County, but there are some in Prince George's County too) live in single-family detached homes.  A fair number of them are retired, and as a result are not as badly impacted by severe traffic congestion. 

Not too surprising.  It's fairly common to see people drive in to a public meeting to complain about adding capacity to roadways or building new ones.  Amazingly, these people never seem to carpool with each other or take mass transit, and all live in suburban areas rather than in more urban locations.   

It's the typical Do As I Say, Not As I Do crowd.  They want what they got, but will prevent everyone else from getting what the same thing.

Heh. Back in the 1970s, one lady who was very vocally active in the movement to ban Concorde at Kennedy Airport was in London for something and wanted to get back for a protest, but there was only one way to get back in time: She flew Concorde to Dulles and took a short flight to Kennedy!
Title: Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 30, 2018, 06:13:15 AM
I meant to say "country roads," not "county roads," and I think it was a single state highway all the way.  Back then the ICC didn't exist at all.

Prior to completion of MD-200, there was no continuous east-west state-maintained road across Montgomery County with the sole exceptions of MD-193 (does not serve the same travel market as MD-200, since it runs well inside the Beltway between U.S. 29 and the Prince George's County/Montgomery County border, and stays inside the Beltway until it reaches Greenbelt) and I-495 (Capital Beltway itself).

MD-28 (has various names) between I-270, through Rockville and then on to the northern reaches of Silver Spring ended at MD-182 (Layhill Road) and  still does.

Headed east, MD-198 (also has various names) picked up at MD-650 and continues east past U.S. 29 into Prince George's County to an interchange at I-95, then through the City of Laurel and into Anne Arundel County to an interchange at the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and ending at an interchange at MD-32.

The combination of Montrose Road/Montrose Parkway, Randolph Road, East Randolph Road and Cherry Hill Road go across Montgomery County from I-270 almost to I-95 (nearly all of this is county-maintained) and much of it is a four lane residential street, also not intended to carry the traffic to which it is subjected.  It is at least four lanes all the way now, though the usual suspects that campaigned against MD-200 (and sometimes touted in bad faith "upgrade existing  roads" as an alternative) were also loudly opposed to improvements along Randolph Road.

Between MD-28 and MD-198 was a long-standing gap, which was eventually spanned by Norbeck Road Extended, a county-maintained road.  But the combination of MD-28, Norbeck Road Extended and MD-198 was (and is) nearly all two-lane undivided, and much of it is old design, suitable for a low-volume rural road, which this is not -  describing it as a "country road" is accurate.