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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 05:07 PM
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InterCountyConnector opening Tuesday.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 09:38 PM
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1. ICC opening delayed until Wednesday.
The planned opening of the first stretch of the Intercounty Connector was delayed until 6 a.m. Wednesday after forecasters predicted a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow that authorities said was likely to stall last-minute work on the toll road.

The 7.2 mile segment -- which links Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg and Norbeck Road, just east of Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring -- had been scheduled to open Tuesday morning.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-26-11 05:51 PM
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2. The Road for the Rich: a rant
To drive on the ICC after March 6, you have to buy an EZ Pass transponder, which I think is about $22, and prepay toll money into your account.

And if you drive the ICC without an EZ pass, they'll take a picture of your drivers license and send you a bill for the toll, plus a $3 surcharge. That's a lot of money, either way. If you don't need to drive on the ICC on a regular basis, it's not worth the cost of the EZ Pass setup.

I live about 2 miles from the ICC/Rt. 370/Shady Grove Road intersection, and the construction has been a major pain in the ass from the start.They've made it much harder for people driving south on Shady Grove Road to get onto Rt. 370. It used to be an easy right-hand exit. Then they made it into a left-turn exit at a traffic signal, and added a huge loop to the route. Every morning at rush hour there are vehicles backed up, sometimes for two or more miles up Shady Grove Road, trying to get on the heavily used Rt. 370, but stuck at the new traffic light.

Meanwhile those who have the money to get the EZ Pass and afford the tolls get to use the right-hand ramp from Shady Grove to the ICC. There will be nowhere near the amount of cars using this entrance ramp, as there will be stuck trying to get on Rt. 370.

They've been busily building the Road for the Rich and carefully landscaping it and hiring painters to paint the gray concrete noise barriers and overpasses to look like they were built with stones of different colors -- a lot of labor, totally useless and a huge waste of our transportation funds. But they've also seriously loused up parts of Shady Grove Road and Rt. 370, with grooves, potholes and temporary (I hope) patch jobs over utility cuts in the roadways. Going from Shady Grove Road on Rt. 370 toward Rt. 270, is horrible, as is the reverse trip.

We who live in the area are paying for this massive boondoggle in many ways: the noise and disruption of the construction, particularly when they were pounding in the pilings; the loss of a good entrance ramp to Rt. 370 and a consequent increase in rush hour backups; the eyesore of orange traffic cones all over the area; the loss of sensitive wetland, the demolition of homes and wiping out the center of a nice neighborhood in Derwood (Winter's Run), the diversion of Maryland's road repair and improvement funds to the ICC for years at the expense of other roads critically in need of repairs, the squandering of federal transportation funds (Come on: painting concrete to look like various colored stones???); and now, all the noise and air pollution from the giant SUVs and Hummers and other ego-cars of the affluent as they glide above us to Georgia Avenue and eventually to Rt. 95.

The only times we would ever use the ICC, if we could afford it, might be driving to BWI a couple of times a year, or visiting family in NJ a few times a year. It ain't worth it.
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