ICC Tolls Rates Approved: Will Be Among Highest In U.S. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

ICC Tolls Rates Approved: Will Be Among Highest In U.S.

Play associated audio

By Jonathan Wilson

Maryland's Intercounty connector roadway, an 18-mile stretch between Gaithersburg and Laurel, will have some of the highest tolls in the country when it opens in the Fall of 2010. Maryland's Transportation Authority approved the plan today.

Today's vote means two-axle vehicles, 95 percent of the vehicles expected to use roadway, will have to pay somewhere between 25 and 35 cents per mile on the ICC during morning and afternoon rush hours, and between 20 and 30 cents during off peak times. Exact rates will be set by the fall of 2010.

The authority's approval was unanimous and came in spite of three-fourths of the public comment collected saying the high tolls were too high.

Authority Executive Secretary Ronald Freeland says the public should hold off on judging the tolls. "I think we're premature to really make a statement that rates are too high to attract customers--motorists," says Freeland.

Freeland says toll rates will be re-evaluated, but stresses that it will take five to ten years of operation before the ICC ramps up to its projected usage.

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen says the authority needs to consider providing discounts to regular users of the road. The authority said such local preference is unconstitutional, but Floreen says there are ways to make discounts work.

"So, okay, don't limit them to Montgomery County residents --I'm fine with that, but make them available, like they have in other parts of the state of Maryland," says Floreen.

The board did add a lower overnight rate: from 11 p.m to 5 a.m, rates could be as low as 10 cents a mile.

NPR

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book, A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

Climate Policy Takes The Stage In Fla. Governor's Race

Rick Scott, Florida's GOP governor, has come under criticism for his record on the environment. Now, he's rolling out his own proposals for safeguarding the state's water and wildlife preserves.
NPR

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

You probably haven't thought about whether your phone could help diagnose alcohol withdrawal. Well, it can. An app for doctors measures tremors and may help tell if someone's faking it to get drugs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.