Innoviations Ignored at Opening of Maryland’s Inter-County Connnector

Maryland recently opened the Inter-County Connector, or ICC, after decades of delay. Public officials lauded the “achievement,” noting the new road would dramatically reduce travel times and improve safety along the corridor. What was missing, editor Peter Samuels notes recently, is an acknowledgement of the technological innovations the road imbeds. The ICC is the first all electronic tollway in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states and allows for variable pricing by time of day and traffic volume.

Peter reproduces the excellent letter penned by International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Assoaciation Executive Director Pat Jone and published in the Washington Post (Feb. 25, 2011). Pat says in part:

“Tolling and dynamic pricing address two of the biggest transportation challenges we face in this country: a chronic lack of funding and increasing congestion. We should praise the courage and foresight of those who insisted on including these two critical features in the ICC.”

TollroadsNews also reports that the ICC’s opening day traffic count on February 23, 2011 exceeded forecasts. We’ll have to see if that holds up.

Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.