I’ve lived in a lot of places — Chicago, Fort Lauderale, Pittsburgh, Boston, and now Montgomery County — but I’d be hard pressed to name a city where small talk about the roads and driving is as plentiful as it is here.
People around these parts love to talk about our roads, perhaps because we spend so much time sitting on them — not moving.
Because I know you’re getting back to work after the long holiday week, and because I know you might need water cooler conversation topics beyond how much it stinks to come back — “Wow, does it stink” “It was so hard to wake up” “I want to go home” — I am offering you some stats, with the help of AAA Mid-Atlantic, about Maryland’s recent ups and downs on the roads.
Here they are below. Please wield these stats in a knowledgeable manner, like this man.
* Traffic deaths are down 10 percent — to 493 in 2010 (that’s the latest year there are stats for).
* Average price of gas in Maryland in 2011: $3.50.
* Average price of gas nationally in 2011: $3.52.
* Total number of major new highways in 2011: 1, the long-awaited Intercounty Connector.
* Number of speed camera tickets mailed by Montgomery County in 2011: More than 300,000.
* Face value for those tickets: $13.2 million.
* Number of speed tickets issued in work zones, circa 2011: 399,603.
* Number of speed camera tickets issued to me, circa 2011: 3.
* Number of speed camera tickets issued to my wife (that I know about), circa 2011: 1.
Happy new year. Be safe.