AASHTO Journal, 12 July 2013
A study released last month by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and the MD Transportation Authority shows that since opening to traffic, Maryland’s Intercounty Connector has cut travel times by half when compared to travel on local east-west routes, and drivers continuing to use the local routes during rush hour are also reaping time saving benefits from the ICC.
The study was conducted over three years (spanning from before the opening of the ICC in 2010 through 2012, after the ICC had been open for a year or so) through INRIX data. Results showed that during peak hours, drivers experienced uncongested roadways at a much higher percent than before the ICC was operational (24 percent uncongested route miles during the morning rush hour in 2010 versus 46 percent uncongested in 2012, with similar numbers for the evening rush hour).
“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 Department of Transportation Secretary James Smith, Jr., in a statement. “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.”
INRIX data also showed that traffic was reduced for those drivers opting to stay on other local routes. In fact, traffic on those other roadways around the ICC decreased between five and 10 percent.
“The ICC is working,” said SHA Administrator Melinda 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.”
The $2.5 billion Intercounty Connector, also known as Maryland 200, is the state’s first all-electronic toll road. ICC tolls are collected electronically at highway speeds using E-ZPass technology.