About Connecting the Counties . . .
Finally, a story about the real reason the intercounty connector is being pushed: so that developers can do something with their otherwise worthless land. And all this to put more people on the road and, of course, make lots of money [front page and Business, July 13].
Building the ICC has nothing to do with moving traffic (after all, the big traffic tie-ups are north-south, not east-west) or about homeland security (that one was a real stretch) and everything to do with lining the pockets of developers such as Kingdon Gould III whose land would be worthless without the ICC.
Too bad the rest of us (and the brown trout) would be the losers and his ilk would be the winners!
The proposed intercounty connector is a good idea to the extent that it provides a through route for motorists traveling between upper Montgomery and Prince George's counties, Howard County, Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Baltimore. However, the prospect of intensifying development in undeveloped sections of northern Montgomery County violates the principles of smart growth.
Montgomery County has done a great job concentrating new development in mixed-use clusters near mass transit, so that residents and workers have choices in housing types and transportation modes. As a result, much of the northern and western portions of the county have preserved their rural character, unblemished by sprawl. A new highway that serves as a conduit for area residents to drive ever-further distances to work only unravels the hard-earned successes that make the region among the best places to live and work in the country.
The ICC should therefore minimize the number of interchanges between Interstates 270 and 95 to discourage the kind of bad development requiring automobile use for all trips, which only worsens the region's traffic and air quality problems.