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Thursday, April 24, 2014 9:42 AM

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Pressure builds and ICC speed limit raised to 60 MPH


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Published on: Thursday, April 04, 2013

By Holden Wilen

Drivers looking to fulfill their need for speed may now go a little bit faster on the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/state Route 200 after the speed limit for the tollway was raised to 60 miles per hour.

Sgt. Jonathan Green, public information officer for the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), said MDTA police issued 1,509 speeding tickets to drivers and handed out 2,997 warnings during the ICC’s first year of use.

Since Dec. 1, 2012, Green said MDTA police issued 383 speeding tickets and 752 warnings. Green said he expects the number of speeding tickets issued with the new speed limit to remain about the same.

MDTA workers changed the signs on March 29-30 after officials determined the speed limit could be raised safely.  According to MDTA, the increased speed limit will save drivers about 90 seconds in travel time to go from one end to the other.

“Following months of careful deliberation and a detailed engineering study and crash analysis, I’m pleased that we are able to safely raise the ICC speed limit to 60 mph," said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold Bartlett.  “We needed one year of ICC operations and full consideration of the design speed and geometry of the roadway to ensure that a 60 mph speed limit is safe and justifiable.”

John Sales, public affairs manager for MDTA, said citizens sent comments and inquiries requesting an increase in the speed limit ever since the ICC opened. Now that it has been over a year and MDTA has sorted through the data, Sales said the speed limit increase was able to take place.

Sales said 60 mph is the highest speed the roadway was designed for, so he does not anticipate an increase to 65 mph in the future.

According to the crash analysis of the ICC for its first year of use, there were 30 crashes identified. Of the 30 crashes, only six were directly related to speeding. The analysis concluded there were no identifiable crash trends related to the speed limit.

Sales said he does not expect the number of crashes to increase as a result of increasing the speed limit.

“It is only a small speed limit increase,” Sales said. “I think the numbers should stay about the same.”

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