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Old 07-16-2009, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Eastern Balto County
99 posts, read 293,007 times
Reputation: 31

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is now over 50 years old. Even with two bridges the roadway is overtaxed with vehicules. I would say with more people moving to Kent Island and more beachgoers all the infrastrucure has reach maximum capacity. My fear is if nothing is done within years in will be a nightmare. I always thought of building a new span but at a different location, Anyone have any opinions on another bridges or ideas to improve traffic flow? One idea I thought of would is to eliminate the toll collectors and just electronically bill vehicules. Backups are not good for air quality.
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
35,007 posts, read 44,576,664 times
Reputation: 45244
Where do you build a new bridge? Calvert County that has one road in? Further north above Baltimore?
In reality there are no easy answers.

I usually don't use WIKI as a source but this one accurately reflects the study's findings.
2005 Chesapeake Bay crossing study - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:27 AM
 
3,178 posts, read 8,319,131 times
Reputation: 2010
I like the electronic tolling as one idea, but that doesn't really solve the problem, since there are backups in the non-tolled westbound direction also. Variable tolling (in both directions) to make people pay more when traffic is heaviest might help also, but it's not going to have that much of an effect.

Another span has to happen. It will be expensive and tolls will have to be raised, but the alternative is that millions of hours and dollars will be wasted in congestion every day. Eventually, this is going to have an effect on the shore resorts also. If traffic gets bad enough, some people will find alternate beach destinations.

I like the Northern route (Baltimore via Millers Island to Tolchester Beach) because it would serve a large population and require fewer new highways. Anyone coming from the Baltimore area (about 50% of Bay Bridge travelers) would be able to utilize this new bridge, which would greatly reduce traffic on the existing Bay Bridge. 695 already comes within a few miles of the proposed bridge site and you'd only need about 20 miles of upgraded highway to connect Tolchester Beach to 301, which could easily handle the extra traffic. Also, there's tons of alternate routes to get from Tolchester Beach to Ocean City, which would be a huge improvement over the current situation where 50 is the only option. The Northern route could have the dual benefit of getting people off of the Bay Bridge and also getting them off of 50 and 404 on the Eastern Shore.

The Southern Route (Lusby to Taylors Island) is a terrible idea though. There are a lot of problems with it. Problem 1 is the lack of highway access. You'd need to upgrade Route 4 to a freeway all the way from Dunkirk to Lusby- a lot more than 20 miles. You'd also have to upgrade Route 2 from Annapolis to Dunkirk if you want anyone from Baltimore to use the new bridge. Problem 2 is that this bridge would only benefit the Ocean City traveler. It would only be used on summer weekends, and it's too far out of the way for someone going to anywhere north of Bethany Beach. The bridge would be of no use to daily commuters. Also, once someone crossed to the Eastern Shore, their only option to get to Ocean City is Route 50, which is already maxed out traffic-wise on summer weekends.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Eastern Balto County
99 posts, read 293,007 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcity View Post
I like the electronic tolling as one idea, but that doesn't really solve the problem, since there are backups in the non-tolled westbound direction also. Variable tolling (in both directions) to make people pay more when traffic is heaviest might help also, but it's not going to have that much of an effect.

Another span has to happen. It will be expensive and tolls will have to be raised, but the alternative is that millions of hours and dollars will be wasted in congestion every day. Eventually, this is going to have an effect on the shore resorts also. If traffic gets bad enough, some people will find alternate beach destinations.

I like the Northern route (Baltimore via Millers Island to Tolchester Beach) because it would serve a large population and require fewer new highways. Anyone coming from the Baltimore area (about 50% of Bay Bridge travelers) would be able to utilize this new bridge, which would greatly reduce traffic on the existing Bay Bridge. 695 already comes within a few miles of the proposed bridge site and you'd only need about 20 miles of upgraded highway to connect Tolchester Beach to 301, which could easily handle the extra traffic. Also, there's tons of alternate routes to get from Tolchester Beach to Ocean City, which would be a huge improvement over the current situation where 50 is the only option. The Northern route could have the dual benefit of getting people off of the Bay Bridge and also getting them off of 50 and 404 on the Eastern Shore.

The Southern Route (Lusby to Taylors Island) is a terrible idea though. There are a lot of problems with it. Problem 1 is the lack of highway access. You'd need to upgrade Route 4 to a freeway all the way from Dunkirk to Lusby- a lot more than 20 miles. You'd also have to upgrade Route 2 from Annapolis to Dunkirk if you want anyone from Baltimore to use the new bridge. Problem 2 is that this bridge would only benefit the Ocean City traveler. It would only be used on summer weekends, and it's too far out of the way for someone going to anywhere north of Bethany Beach. The bridge would be of no use to daily commuters. Also, once someone crossed to the Eastern Shore, their only option to get to Ocean City is Route 50, which is already maxed out traffic-wise on summer weekends.
The earliest plans were to built a bridge from Millers Island area to Betterton but it was scrapped. I may be wrong' but I think several years ago a bill was passed that would prohibit this concept because of waterfront homeowners opposition. My fear is that age and excessive traffic will shorten the life of the present bridges. One day a new parallel span may be the only choice.
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Arlington Virginia
4,538 posts, read 8,318,747 times
Reputation: 9716
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcity View Post
... Another span has to happen. It will be expensive and tolls will have to be raised, but the alternative is that millions of hours and dollars will be wasted in congestion every day. Eventually, this is going to have an effect on the shore resorts also. If traffic gets bad enough, some people will find alternate beach destinations...
It's becoming more and more clear that the current model where individuals each get into their personal SUV to travel from place to place has failed massively, not to mention the security burden placed on this country by the need for foreign petroleum that this model demands. I wish I could take a convenient bus to the beach with my friends, but there is nothing other than a six hour route on the Hound via Baltimore with layover and transfer that is not very appealing for those from DC heading to the Maryland and Delaware shore.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:39 PM
 
3,178 posts, read 8,319,131 times
Reputation: 2010
But the bus has to stay in the same travel lanes as cars do and experience the same congestion. And a railway isn't practical for a destination that's only popular 3 months of the year. Unless everyone stops driving all of a sudden, you still need another bridge.
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