According to NBCWashington.com, “A Maryland lawmaker is calling on the state to reduce the tolls charged to use the Intercounty Connector. Montgomery County Councilman Phil Andrews says the ICC is underused.”
As the NBC piece explains, the decision belongs to the Maryland Transportation Authority. But before the MTA experiments with the toll rates, they might want to try something that could make more drivers aware of the ICC.
There’s been plenty of marketing and media about the new road but one thing that could send even more drivers onto the road would be if GPS systems suggested it as a quicker route. A 10 mile section of the ICC that begins at I-95 near Laurel, crosses Route 29 and connects with the oldest portion of the toll road near Olney, does not show up in Magellan my GPS system, even after downloading the latest map update last week.
When I enter in “BWI Airport” as my desired destination, for example, before leaving my home in the Rockville/North Potomac area, my GPS suggests I take 270 to 495 to 95, as if the ICC doesn’t even exist. Yet this faster route has been open for nearly a year now.
Perhaps the tolls are too steep to attract some drivers. But getting the road recognized by navigation devices that seem to be showing up on more and more dashboards might be something to try first, before adjusting rates.
If anyone has experienced anything involving the ICC and other GPS systems, or with a Magellan like I have, please add a comment below.
- Will This Boost Transit? Maryland Promotes Driving on $2.5 Billion Tollway (streetsblog.net)
- Was It Worth It? Maryland Says New Highway Meets Expectations; Critics Aren’t So Sure (transportationnation.org)