Efforts to see railroad action from the I-895 bridge are futile westbound, and
marginal eastbound, instead one needs to navigate and explore via the local
roads. It's cheaper, too, since there's no way to cross this span without
paying the Harbor Tunnel toll, $4 each way as of 2015, ten times what it was
when the Harbor Tunnel Thruway opened just in time for Thanksgiving 1957.
The $4 toll is roughly in line with inflation since 1957, however the bonds
that paid for tunnel construction should have been fully repaid years ago.
Now where is that money going?
I-895 is chronically underutilized due to the toll and due to the intentional
lack of exit ramps, a design that perhaps made sense in 1950, but that is
now outdated. Meanwhile, the nearby I-695 Beltway is routinely overloaded.
To reduce this imbalance, exit ramps should be added from eastbound I-895
to Hammonds Ferry Road as well as to eastbound Patapsco Avenue. An entry
ramp from northbound I-695 to westbound I-895 south of Hollins Ferry Road
would ease congestion where I-695 meets I-95. There is room for all three
ramps, and none would require elevated roadway, so their cost would
be relatively low.