The Maryland Transportation Authority announced Monday that it will increase the speed limit on the Intercounty Connector to 60 mph from the current 55 mph limit. This new speed limit will become effective by March 31.
Drivers have complained that because the ICC is usually uncrowded or empty, it is easy to drift over the 55 mph limit. The MDTA began an engineering study last year to explore the issue, and it found that the speed limit could be safely increased. Warning signs before curves will also be added to the roadway, as recommended by this study.
An analysis of crashes that occurred during the ICC’s first full year of operations, from December 2011 through December 2012, also found that speeding was not to blame for most of these accidents.
The ICC was designed for a 60 mph speed limit. The authority believes that this speed limit increase will save drivers about 90 seconds of travel time.
Last month, about two dozen lawmakers in Maryland co-sponsored a bill that would let the state raise speed limits to 70 mph on the ICC and other highways.