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County Council Member Says ICC Underused, Too Expensive

Montgomery County Council Member Phil Andrews proposes a cut in ICC tolls to get more drivers to use the road, NBC Washington reports.

Montgomery County Council Member Phil Andrews says a deep cut in tolls would increase traffic on the Intercounty Connector and he's calling on the state to do it, NBC Washington reported.

Andrews says the $8 round-trip rush-hour toll is among the highest in the nation. He would propose "at least a trial period of several months, if not, a year when the tolls would be...cut in half, in hopes of doubling the traffic," according to the report.

A decision on the toll rate is up to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

A spokeswoman for the MTA told The Washington Post the ICC is meeting both traffic and revenue projections. The road was designed to carry traffic volumes projected for 2030, according to the report.

Andrews said he hopes that by cutting tolls in half, traffic would double and revenues would maintain their current rate.

Read the full story on NBC Washington.

jag December 05, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Agree with Jeff/Andrews. Unbelievable waste of money. Now that we're in this hole...who knows. Induce demand so that people who don't need it start using it? That doesn't solve anything, but then again, neither does having a half-empty highway. Beyond stupid either way. Of all the projects that 2billion could have bought we waste it on a dumb, 2 generation-old idea. ugh.
Rocky December 05, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I thinks the Councilman's idea has merit. It would be worth a 4-6 months trial period. If it does increase traffic on the ICC that only means less traffic on lower 270 and the beltway. We really need to find ways ways to get more drivers on the ICC. It obviously can be a useful tool in helping to manage traffic, but with the fairly meager usage it has had little effect. Bureaurcrats must look for creative ideas to solve problems.
Fred Foo December 05, 2012 at 11:06 PM
People would use the ICC more if it took them where they needed to go, not because of a lower price. So it makes no sense to try and induce demand. You could drop the tolls to $0 and the increased usage would be minimal. I recommend closing the ICC, letting it go back to seed, and turning this in to an unforgettable reminder of the kind of poor planning that we should avoid in the future. If we must keep it open, only permit buses, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Tom Rowse December 06, 2012 at 02:06 AM
If my mother still lived in Leisure World, I would use it regularly at present rates.
Tom Rowse December 06, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Oh, I forgot and I will only go 55mph ;)
ED December 06, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Fred Foo - I disagree. I think the high cost of the tolls are preventing commuters and businesses that travel throughout the County from using the ICC. I have three family members, two that commute daily to Baltimore and one that works for a company with sales venues throughout the Metro area, that would use the road if the tolls were more reasonable.
MD December 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
never used it and I highly doubt I ever will, no matter what the cost. Now, the MCC Alt 4 would help and is needed. I hope it will pass!
Kevin Brooks December 06, 2012 at 12:58 PM
RAISE THE SPEED LIMIT.....it is a 18 mile speed trap! Use it about twice a week....police have drivers pulled over all the time....should be 65MPH. Very uncomfortable road to drive on.....lowering the toll is a no brainer ......
C.Z. Guy December 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM
What a novel (sarcasm) idea... reduce rates to increase revenues! Just like taxes, it has worked every time it has been tried. Phil, have you been reading about Ronald Reagan? Tell your fellow Dems, especially on the state and federal level.
Dave Lechner December 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Newsflash: the ICC was stupid, but we need the?MCC????? Huh? Both these roads were stupid ideas but until the MontCo Dep. of Trans. uses cost benefit analyisi (they don't believe in it) the bad projectsvgo on wasting taxpayer funds.
Tim Fahey December 06, 2012 at 02:30 PM
You might want to allow no tolls for a year to get people in the habit of using the highway. At least they will have a baseline of what capacity it can take, and how much congestion it takes off 270 and 495. Since we spent the money already, you might as well see if it can live up to the dream of reducing traffic.
Pat Schneider Campbell December 06, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I use the ICC every time I go to Rockville/Germantown area from Baltimore/Havre de Grace. REALLY cuts down time of travel BUT MoCo needs to INCREASE SPEED limit! It's just crazy having such a large, straight road posted at 55mph. (I set cruise control because there are so many hidden police just waiting to pass out tickets.)
Eric S. December 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I work in Elkridge, and need to head to upper Rockville/Gaithersburg at least a couple times a month and use the ICC. My boss uses it daily since he lives near it, and works out here obviously. Another guy used to make that same commute, and refused to use it because it was too damn expensive. It's handy when I need to make that commute, and would have been much better 12 years ago when I commuted from G'burg to Beltsville. That said. . . I agree with raising the speed limits. 55 is ridiculous for what amounts to an express freeway. The price is pretty ridiculous too. . . It probably wouldn't get a ton more usage if the rates went down, as it's just not the most traveled commute to begin with, but any extra usage would help at this point. On a side note, I wish the $$$$$$ was dumped into WMATA instead to make metro not suck (i.e. purple line) or into any other number of transit initiatives. I like the ICC when I need it, but I could live without it.
jag December 06, 2012 at 03:29 PM
"Just like taxes, it has worked every time it has been tried." Excellent joke.
MRHarmon December 06, 2012 at 03:37 PM
We only used it when it first opened and it was free. Otherwise only occasionally would it be a good route for us. We don't use it then because of the rediculous "account maintenance" fee for the EZ pass. Go back to the way it use to be and get rid of that fee! It is a huge penality for the occasionally user. I also agree with others about raising the speed limit.
getdebbied December 06, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I drive it everyday Mon-Fri at $8/day. It has taken 15 minutes off my commute to Baltimore from Rockville. I wish it were cheaper, but I will drive it no matter what.
Chuck Flynn December 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Yes, I have used it on occasions. I agree that the speed limit is way to low and that it is nothing but a speed trap. The cost is too high for most users. If the state wants to increase it's use, they must make it more cost effective for drivers. The maximum rate should be no more than $2.00 each way. Let's get with it Maryland!
d December 08, 2012 at 01:50 PM
looks like the solution is to raise the speed limit & lower the toll. More people would use it & they would save more time off their commute.
Katie Shea December 08, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I attended several meetings before the road was built. The ICC team was very coy about the cost of tolls - or if it would even be a toll road. When I asked why the road was terminating so close to the beltway rather than in, say, Ellicott City, I was told that it had to be in Montgomery County, where development was needed. This road wasn't about congestion, it was about money - of course. The tolls should be lowered. The speed limit should be raised. I love the road simply because it's empty. But it should be available to everyone - not just people who can afford the most expensive toll road in the country.
jnrentz1 December 08, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I use the ICC, and find it expensive, but worth the cost. I favor lowering the toll, raising the speed limit, and doing away with the maintenance fee for the EZ Pass.
MK Shultz December 08, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I drive over the ICC often, and it is always practically empty. It costs TOO MUCH-I cannot afford $8.00 a day to save 15 minutes. And why is there a toll at all on the weekends?? Montgomery County is TOO expensive for many of us-sad that I've lived here all my life and will have to move to be able to survive.
MK Shultz December 08, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Never use it- way too expensive. I agree with Councilman Andrews100%.
Gabriel December 08, 2012 at 03:30 PM
The ICC was and is a necessary road expansion. To all the haters, you must not need a shortcut and avoid beltway traffic. We needed 270 a long time ago too. Should we listen to all the haters then too? Every road ever built is necessary to keep up with population growth. The toll is keeping some percentage of drivers from taking advantage of the shortest route. A toll free year would be a good baseline. And absolutely the speed limit should be 65 and police should not be allowed to travel at 80 while we have to be at 55.
Chuck December 08, 2012 at 03:36 PM
This road should have never been built. When it was first proposed, there was no tolls associated with the roads. Then, mysteriously, near completion, it is a toll road. The state squandered away the transportation funds which neccessitated the toll. The road should be toll free forever.
Sharon December 08, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I too agree with Councilman Andrews! The ICC is a 'Ghost Town' (stretch of road). What a waste of money when there were so many other aged issues that needed improvement/repair!
Bob December 08, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I use it occasionally but not during rush hour due to the cost. I agree that it's nothing but a speed trap and the speed limit should be 65, however, the toll charged should be no more than 2 dollars regardless of time. it does save time, but the cost doesn't warrant it's use during rush hour for me. Phil Andrews has it right.
Claudia Rousseau December 26, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I was very much against building this road and petitioned and demonstrated against it. However, now that it's there, I have used it occasionally to get to Gaithersburg or Germantown, and it does definitely save time. As for the tolls, because they are keyed to how far you go on it, it isn't a flat $8. As for Chuck's comment, I was always aware since the most recent campaign at least to build the ICC that it would be a fabulously expensive road with a high toll, although I recall $6. (not 8) was the full amount.
jnrentz1 January 18, 2013 at 04:47 PM
It would be nice if the ICC could be extended to Route 50.
Kay Keene April 27, 2013 at 06:08 AM
I NEVER use the ICC, except for the time I got on unintentionally and loathed receiving the violation notice and ticket for my mistake. Even when I travel from Gaithersburg to Laurel, I refuse to use the ICC. I will not pay to use a road my taxes were used to build and maintain even if the toll were cut in half. My taxes are high enough without being taxed again to use the roads.
jag April 27, 2013 at 06:38 AM
"Every road ever built is necessary to keep up with population growth." This is quite possibly the stupidest thing I've read in my entire life.

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