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List Grows for Lower ICC Toll Supporters

Speak out: Do you think the Intercounty Connector’s tolls are too high?

Gaithersburg, MD is the terminus for the Intercounty Connector (MD-200), an east-west highway that connects Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The ICC opened in 2011 and is Maryland's first all-electronic toll road. FILE | Patch
Gaithersburg, MD is the terminus for the Intercounty Connector (MD-200), an east-west highway that connects Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The ICC opened in 2011 and is Maryland's first all-electronic toll road. FILE | Patch

Add the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce to the list of those in support of lower tolls on the Intercounty Connector.

Marilyn Balcombe, CEO and president of the local Chamber, told The Gazette that the road was supposed to alleviate traffic, not raise revenue.

Gaithersburg is the terminus for the ICC (MD-200), an east-west highway that connects Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The ICC opened in 2011 and is Maryland's first all-electronic toll road.

The Washington Post has reported that the highway cost $2.5 billion to build and that the Maryland Transit Authority had to increase its debt in order to do so.

But ever since, motorists and public leaders have complained that the roadway is underused. About this time last year, Montgomery County Councilman Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg, Rockville) complained that the toll cost too much and that bringing the cost of the toll down could get more people to use it.

Recently, Andrews reportedly told The Gazette that riding on the ICC felt like being on a “private road or airport runway.”

According to Maryland Transportation Authority rates, it costs $8 roundtrip for a regular car to drive from Interstate 370 to Interstate 95 during the morning and evening commute, what are considered peak hours.

That same trip would cost a five-axle truck $48.

The newspaper cited an MTA study that found cutting the toll in half would increase traffic by 50 percent by 2015, though doing so would reduce revenue by about a third—$43.7 million in 2015 as opposed to the expected $65.1 million. 

>>> Speak Out: Are ICC tolls too high? Do you think lowering them would get more people to use it?

Sharon December 29, 2013 at 10:22 AM
I don't use ICC! But what I learned from my daughter & son-in-law yesterday I find highly 'mercenary and criminal' and actually infuriating! One can owe $1 or $4 dollars, any amount (ICC bill received in mail). Amount doesn't matter. On bill it specifically states bill has to be paid within 30 and, if late, a $50 fee is added. FIFTY DOLLAR LATE FEE! Unbelievable! If we pay that extra amount, do we get to get out of our car and chisel part of the highway and bring home as a 'keepsake'?! Hummm!
Sharon December 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM
Talk about 'highway robbery'!!!!!
Sharon December 29, 2013 at 06:09 PM
A friend just relayed this ICC experience with me! "I helped a friend's hubby straighten out a ICC mess. He's on there all day long with 3 different vehicles for his business. One of the trucks was missing the 1st digit of the license plate on his EZPass account (not his fault), and he ended up with thousands of dollars in fees/fines. Of course consumer is guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around. Bottom line make sure you have an active, funded EZPass account before getting on the ICC, and periodically review your account online."
Steven Gower January 11, 2014 at 07:03 PM
I live in Laurel and travel to Morgantown quite frequently and the ICC saves me a lot of time by putting me directly to 270 then on to 70 and eventually 68. The rate does seem a little bit high and what is up with all the cops pulling people over on that toll road? It's not like there is so much traffic on it speeding is an issue but every-time I am on that road someone is pulled over and usually in both directions! At the rate of traffic the speed limit on that road could be 90-100mph. It is a nice scenic road though. I say get rid of the cops saving about $300,000 a year and decrease the toll rate and you'll get more people using the road and finally doing what the road was built for in reducing congestion.

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