Wednesday, July 06, 2011

ICC impact on 495 traffic

What will be the impact of ICC – Inter County Connector (MD -200) on the traffic on the Washington DC beltway?  The ICC is scheduled to open in the early part of 2012.  This road will connect MD-370 in Montgomery County to I-95 in Prince George’s County.

I do not believe this road will alleviate any traffic on the DC beltway.  First of all, the ICC is a toll road.  The tolls will be very heavy during the rush hours.  The road will cost motorists over $10 dollars a day during rush hour commutes.  A stiff price to pay.

The second reason, the often not discussed reason, is that the direction of the road is designed wrong from the start.  The road goes from southeast towards northwest if you look at the map.  The rush hour traffic does not flow that way in DC suburbs of Maryland.  The heavier traffic flow is from Prince George’s County and Howard County towards Montgomery County and into Virginia during the morning rush hours.  The ICC sort of takes the motorists away from the general flow in the morning.  This road is essentially useless for the morning commutes for a lot of people.  The inverse also applies in the evening.  Because of this design flaw the road lends itself almost useless in terms of reliving traffic on the I-495.

On the other hand, I think that if the road was designed in such a way that it connected Howard County from around Route 32 or MD-100 to Montgomery County around MD-370 then the traffic flow could have been either east to west or northeast to southwest.  This type of design could have had a huge impact on the traffic on the I-495. 

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