Easy ways to fix the ICC
Before the ICC was finished and toll rates were proposed, ICC officials explained that the tolls had to be high enough to keep traffic flowing and keep revenue up to pay off bonds. At the time, I wrote The Gazette explaining how supply/demand works. Obviously the ICC officials did not read that or have not learned anything since.
When the ICC was "free," the road was far from capacity and traffic was flowing freely. This suggests that even a non-tolled ICC would be freely flowing. This satisfies goal No. 1 of the ICC officials. With regard to goal No. 2, this is where the officials need to open their eyes to get the big picture. The average rate of ICC morning use dropped considerably when tolls came into effect. If tolls were lowered and more people used the roads, revenue would increase. Furthermore, off-peak times, the ICC is practically empty. Similarly, lowering off-peak tolls would increase revenue. Goal No. 2 achieved.
Third, the ICC was touted as a time saver. Why does a road that has been designed from the ground up, with deer fencing and limited access, only have a speed limit of 55 mph? This should definitely be set to a minimum of 65 mph.
Eric Wong, Norbeck
In [a recent] Gazette, I read one motorist's complaint that the ICC has ridiculously over-zealous speed enforcement. Like the writer, I used the ICC when it was free to see if it might be worth using when the tolls kicked in. The police enforcement helped me with my decision.
On every trip on that highway, I saw motorists pulled over. I have no need to risk getting an expensive speeding ticket for inadvertently letting my speed exceed the modest 55 mph limit. It would save me five minutes or so getting to work, but thanks-but-no-thanks. I drive on Interstate 270 all the time. Speeders get pulled over there, too, but if they got nabbed at the same rate as the users of the nearly deserted ICC, the shoulders of the road would look like a bumper-to-bumper light show from the flashing police cruisers.
I realize it's easier and safer to catch people on the deserted ICC, but someone in charge needs to make a policy decision to encourage the public's use of this expensive asset, not to make it an underused embarrassment.
Paul Vale, Olney