March 25, 2011

On Google, the ICC is open all the way to I-370

On Google World, the 41.9-mile trip from Baltimore to Gaithersburg takes all of 48 minutes along the brand new Intercounty Connector. Just take Interstate 95 south, hop on the ICC and you’re virtually there. On Planet Earth, most of the ICC hasn’t opened yet. The 12 miles between I-95 and the Montgomery County high-tech hotbed is largely a muddy track where bulldozers are still doing what bulldozers do.


In a textbook illustration of the computer adage “garbage in, garbage out,” Google and another popular Web-based mapping service have jumped the gun on the opening of the longest segment of Maryland’s new toll road by about a year.

“Beware: Everything you read on the Internet may not be true,” Lon Anderson, spokesman for AAA-Mid-Atlantic, chortled when told about the error.

A 7-mile stretch of the $2.6 billion ICC, between Georgia Avenue and Interstate 370, opened late last month. But the segment between Georgia Avenue and I-95 is under construction and expected to open late this year or early in 2012.

“Clearly Google understands that many of our people who drive our roads also have all-terrain vehicles,” Anderson said. “Google’s just a little ahead of all of us.”

As funny as the mistake may be to a detached observer, it could be less than amusing to a motorist who was unfamiliar with the region and depending on the directions. A traveler from Baltimore to Montgomery County, for instance, could drive down I-95 expecting to get off on the ICC, only to get lost upon finding find no exit.

Doug Beizer, a communications manager for an engineering society, stumbled across the misleading directions Thursday when he was plotting a route between his office in Landover and Montgomery General Hospital in Olney.

Google Maps assured him that Route 200, as the ICC is also known, was the way to go. Beizer, who is married to a Sun reporter, knew that wasn’t so. SOURCE: Baltimore Sun

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