REPRINT of piece by Peter Samuel in Op-Ed page of DC Examiner:
Maryland Transportation (Toll) Authority (MdTA) almost a lone among toll agencies around the US is proposing to freeze car tolls and put the burden of toll inflation heavily on truckers with a mostly 50% increase. Charges for transponders are also to be increased. The truck & transponder heavy plan is aimed to increase revenues by $60m/year on the $280m of FY2008. That's a 21.4% increase.
Environmentalists have run up the white flag and agreed to end obstructionist efforts against the Inter County Connector (ICC) tollroad in Montgomery County Maryland, 15 miles (25km) north of the White House.
Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) reopened the right lane of the southern span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge late Sunday, and contrary to warnings of horrendous queueing and disruptions, holiday traffic was described as flowing better than normal.
The famous Olympic Games traffic scare effect was in evidence - if you say how horrendous it's going to be, it won't be too bad.
EDITORIAL: America's national capital region with a population of over 7.5 million people needs an elegant and efficient bridge on the way to the Atlantic coast. The existing pair of troubled, obsolete and ugly spans called the Chesapeake Bay Bridge need to be phased out, and a modern bridge put in their place.
Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) toll operators of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge say they have to close a lane on the damaged southern span 24/7 for two to three weeks because they need to make urgent repairs to the southern parapet of the southern span. This at the height of the summer travel season on a bridge that constitutes a bottleneck even with all five lanes in operation. (UPDATE: the closures could go on for ten weeks it is now being said. See bottom.)
Officials say a car driver falling asleep at the wheel and veering into the path of a truck traveling the other direction during two-way operations was the cause of the crash that sent the truck crashing down into Chesapeake Bay last Sunday morning. The car driver, a 19 year old woman, told police at the hospital and a Washington Post reporter by telephone that she fell asleep at the wheel. It was 4am.
Maryland's notorious Chesapeake Bay Bridge suffered another fatal collision in two-way traffic on Sunday morning. A tractor trailer struck a car in the opposing direction of traffic at around 4am, lost control, neatly punched out a section of concrete parapet and plunged 10m (35ft) into the waters of the Bay.
The driver was killed.
Environmental extremists have gained sponsorship of a bill in the Maryland general assembly which would halt work on the Inter County Connector tollroad in Montgomery County. The bill HB1416 would require a study of the 'greenhouse gas' emissions impact of opening this road.