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Old 02-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
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Maryland travel gets expensive

For all of you that may travel through Maryland with your trailer you may want to check out the new toll rates.

Using the 301 route with a 2 axle trailer will be $24.00 round trip on the toll bridges. That number jumps to $48.00 if you have 5 axles. A bit expensive but nothing compared to the route 95 route. 5 axles on route 95 round trip will be $72.00.

Not sure why Maryland has taken this punitive position towards recreational vehicles but I am sure it will influence some in their future travel plans.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
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Yikes! It might be cheaper to fly over the bridge.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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Illinois Tollways (Chicago area) just increased by 100% on 1/1/12 as well.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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Sorry I failed to include this link so individuals could check for themselves.

MdTA toll rates
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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They're really targeting commercial vehicles, but it goes by axles, so we're caught up in the mess.

You're better off avoiding I-95 anyway. From the DC area, you can take US 50 over the Bay Bridge (which does have a higher toll as noted), then follow 301 north into Delaware. I don't remember the exact route off the top of my head, but you can pop onto I-95 above the Delaware toll plaza with a difference of only a few minutes' travel, just in time to slam on your brakes for the I-295 exit to New Jersey. My wife and I drive to Philly on Thanksgiving Day and this is our preferred route (not so much because of the tolls, more because of the idiotic drivers).

Also, you neglected to mention that each of those tolls is only in one direction (north for I-95, east for the Bay Bridge, and south for the Nice Bridge, for example - apparently they don't want us to leave ). If you think about the tolls really being for both directions and compare them to other tolls around the country, they actually aren't as bad (or at least they weren't a year or two ago - I haven't checked lately).
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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I did not mention that the tolls on route 301 were in one direction on each of the bridges in question but rather reported the round trip cost. Also the tolls noted for a trip on route 95 is a round trip cost and consider the fact that a camper is forced to used the Key bridge because they are carrying propane.

Yes Maryland has taken the same position as New Jersey in that they charge you to leave the state. A final insult for those living within the state.

Yes Maryland is targeting the commercial rigs not stopping to consider the impact on recreational traffic. While commerce will have to pay or loose business the recreational user will to some extent question do I really want to take the boat to the eastern shore this week end or does a New Jersey or Delaware camper want to camp in southern Maryland or Pa. this weekend. I think Pa. will be the winner.

If you are using EZ Pass and cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge they will also charge you at commercial rates, $25.00 for a tri axle trailer $20.00 for a 2 axle trailer but has posted on it's web page that you will only be charged $10.00 or $7.50 if you pay with cash.

Maryland could have taken a similar position on rates and notification.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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I did not mention that the tolls on route 301 were in one direction on each of the bridges in question but rather reported the round trip cost. Also the tolls noted for a trip on route 95 is a round trip cost and consider the fact that a camper is forced to used the Key bridge because they are carrying propane.
Actually, you could easily go around the west side of Baltimore and pay no tolls with little time penalty. There's more traffic, but we do it all the time both with and without the camper without a problem.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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This is why I avoid toll roads whenever I can. Unfortunately, the nation's refusal to keep highways maintained well seems to be causing more and more efforts to add tolls to highways to pay for deferred maintainence.

A few years ago we were traveling west through Houston and I-10 and there were signs that I-10 now had a toll on it and no trailers allowed. This had been done so recently it was not on the map. We had to scramble to find a way west and it took us an extra hour to get through the area. Texas had apparently decided to ask the federal gov't to allow a toll on an interstate where there had never been one and the gov't (a Texan was president when the request came) allowed it. I don't know what the status of the no trailer rule is, but we won't be going anywhere near Houston again.

When traveling east, we avoid the toll roads from Chicago east and take I-70. A few years ago there was a proposal to make I-80 through Pa. a toll road, but it failed because of much opposition. I thought we might never go to Pa. again.

When I plan a trip, I check for tolls and some places get ignored. The one way toll thing penalizes people visiting who come in one way and leave another. When we went to NYC several years ago (no trailer on that trip) we entered the city from the Bronx (no tolls at all) and left going through the Holland Tunnel. The toll there was to enter the city and we never paid any toll. A victory for us! So now I check to see if tolls are one way and not the other. AAA maps always have a place where tolls are listed.

Fortunately the Rockies are pretty much toll free. Many years ago when the Boulder Turnpike was built between Denver and Boulder, there was a toll, but when the road was paid for, they eliminated the toll. Has that ever happened anywhere else? Now there is a toll road around the east side of Denver. Very little traffic and very high tolls. Avoid that one. On I-70 in Kansas, the Kansas Turnpike was built before the interstate system was built and I-70 goes along it for some time. I think the toll road was built in the '50's and it still has a toll. Same for the turnpikes running from Chicago to NY. Fla. also has a lot of toll roads.

There are plenty of good alternate highways. Maybe a bit slower, but you actually see the countryside. You don't have to deal with big trucks and crazy drivers as often. In Md. and other northeastern states there are a lot of tolls and it is more difficult to avoid them, but we usually avoid toll areas.

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Old 02-16-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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Many years ago when the Boulder Turnpike was built between Denver and Boulder, there was a toll, but when the road was paid for, they eliminated the toll. Has that ever happened anywhere else?
Yes. The section of I-30 that runs between Fort Worth and Dallas was opened in the early 1960s as a toll road called the "Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike." The public was promised that the tolls would cease when it was paid off. Predictably, when it did get paid off (I think maybe in the 1980s?), the powers in charge of it sought to get the state law changed to allow for collections to continue. The public raised such an uproar that the proposal was dropped. As you might guess, the quality of maintenance on it has not been the same since.

P.S. - After posting, I saw that I'm no longer labeled "Mddsmith" - rather, I've been changed to a newbie called "msmith." Not sure what's going on.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:40 PM   #10
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Now there is a toll road around the east side of Denver. Very little traffic and very high tolls. Avoid that one.
Actually, I'll take that one, as well as the Northwestern tollroad, upon occasion. Handy for when I'm in a hurry and it's rush hour, and it's the best way to the airport from the north end of town. It's well maintained, and there really is a lot less traffic, so sometimes it's the best way from StoN and vice versa.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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Gene,

I live in Austin and take 71 to I-10 to the heart of Houston quite often. I have never seen a toll on I-10. Beltway 8 is a toll road but it is a outer loop for Houston.

Over the years, the construction on I-10 around Katy drove me nuts, but it's all finished now and traffic flows quite well (except for rush hour). No trailer restrictions.

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Old 02-16-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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Barry, aren't trailers prohibited on the western side of Houston on I-10?

Maybe I'm getting confused with the beltway because we had to make some quick decisions as we drove through the downtown area and had little idea where to go to get through to San Antonio.

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Old 02-16-2012, 05:17 PM   #13
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Going south without tolls

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Actually, you could easily go around the west side of Baltimore and pay no tolls with little time penalty. There's more traffic, but we do it all the time both with and without the camper without a problem.
Hi,

Could you let this novice know about this " western" route, please? We frequently drive from the Wilmington, DE area to Virginia and Florida. I never paid too much attention to the tolls because they really weren't that much for a car. I know routes to avoid the ridiculous toll at the Delaware border but don't know how to avoid the ones further south.

Your help is appreciated,
Sue
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:23 PM   #14
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Beware Georgia as well

OK, not so draconian as Mary-Land, but still something new to watch out for.

We've only ever had one toll road in the entire state until recently, Georgia Hwy 400. That roadway has been around for maybe 25 years at this point. Not surprisingly, after that road was paid for, the toll was extended. The good news is that it was designed to be a conduit into the downtown area of Atlanta, so it probably doesn't affect too many RV'rs.

On the other hand.......

The geniuses under the Capital Dome have decided to take exising lanes of certain interstates around the city and turn them into High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. The tax (I mean toll) is not that high except during rush hour, but.....

At present, the only highway that has been converted is the I-85 corridor on the North-East side of town (Atlanta, that is). There are plans to convert lanes on I-75 on the North-West side as well. And I-75 on the south side will get a brand new reversible center lane built at great expense (and I'm sure little return).

Punch line is avoid Atlanta like the plague. There are many, many ways around the city along state and federal highways that are much more pleasant drives. The people are much nicer and you don't see near the crazy drivers as close in to the city.

Ain't Gub'ment great???? But I digress.....

Thanks for letting me hijack the thread, Howie.

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