New Road Congestion Study Names I-70 Nation’s 11th Worst

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Two corridors driven by millions of people in Maryland are named as some of the country’s most unreliable.

As Mike Schuh reports, the new study further confirms how bad our region’s traffic really is.

The trip on the Beltway is going fine. Suddenly it’s a sea of red lights.

“I think traffic around here is horrible,” said Kevin Leary, interstate motorist.

Nearest to Baltimore, I-695 seems to be the worst, and a new study confirms that.

This study is not talking about the predictable kinds of delays, like during rush hour. Rather this study talks about the kind that at unusual times brings the Beltway to a complete stop.

“And it doesn’t matter what time I come. I can be completely stopped or moving right along. There is no consistency to that, so I don’t understand it,” said Anissa Beatty, motorist.

In Frederick, I-70 is so slowed by construction it’s the 11th worst in the country. And the top and west side of our Beltway is ranked 92nd nationwide.

“And it’s all day long you have these traffic jams going through Towson or in Frederick, and it’s 24-7 in D.C.,” Leary said.

D.C. is worse. The morning outer loop by Route 1 is the third slowest in the country. And the inner loop around New Hampshire is the 27th worst.

The state chaffs at these types of comparisons, saying:

“Today’s TTI-INRIX study offers very little…”

“On I-695, SHA has several major bridge projects.”

“I-70 will go back to normal in 2013 when the I-70 widening project is done.”

Want some perspective? Motorist Byron Olson recently moved from Northern Virginia.

“And that congestion is far worse than anything I’ve ever seen in around here… Oh my God, it’s horrible,” Olson said.

The state says the delays caused by construction will result in safer, stronger roads once completed.

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