Views on Both Sides of the Connector
I am a homeowner in Derwood, and I say "ICC, YES." This is a decision that has been a long time coming for a road that has been needed for decades.
I plan to use the ICC to travel to BWI Airport, visit my family in Baltimore and basically avoid the Washington Beltway as much as possible when I need to travel east from Derwood. I usually use Route 28 (Norbeck Road) to Route 198, but the ICC will be much better.
I have driven every road between BWI Airport and Interstate 270, commuting from Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties and northwest Washington for work from 1992 to 2001 (from Route 108 in the north down to Route 410 (East West Highway) in the south and every road in between. There is no good way to do this.
The impact on my neighborhood will be small. We are about two miles from Route 370 and Shady Grove Road. But even if the ICC were in my back yard, I would be in favor of the road. It has been on the books for 50 years, and I would have known it was a possibility. And my property values would have reflected that fact.
I live in a neighborhood affected by the ICC route -- approximately 1/8 to 1/4 mile from Longmead Crossing on Twin Valley Lane. When we purchased our home in 1991, I reviewed the master plan and knew we were near the proposed road. We support the construction!
The segment of Route 28 that we travel was not built for the volume and nature of traffic it carries every day. Since the extension segment between Layhill Road and New Hampshire Avenue was completed, exiting our neighborhood is difficult, with backups of 1 1/2 miles from Georgia past our street many mornings. New traffic signals are seriously under consideration, particularly for Wintergate Drive (this would be in addition to the lights at the Leisure World entrance). There have been fatalities on Route 28, as it is a narrow, winding road with virtually no shoulders. The road has been closed because of accidents, necessitating convoluted detours through the neighborhoods west of Layhill Road.
Traveling east from Olney on Norwood Road past the Red Door Store, mile-long backups are the norm. Route 108 has had several newsmaking accidents and backups in recent years, yet further development is allowed. A new shopping center will be built at Route 108 and New Hampshire Avenue, and the current roads simply do not adequately support the related traffic!
The familiar blue signs "Proposed route of the Intercounty Connector" were posted for many years; if people chose to ignore them, that is their personal problem. It is ridiculously difficult to travel cross-county on the existing winding roads -- Route 28 or Route 108 -- and the trucks traveling these routes pose safety issues.
The development of the outer county continues, with housing developments along New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring and Ashton and the growth of cities and towns out along Ednor Road and into Clarksville over the last 10 years bringing large volumes of commuters each day. Many people seem to favor development until their house is completed, then the surrounding roads should be closed and all future growth should be halted; since that is not going to happen, it is high time the necessary related roads were built. While the road may traverse areas that concern the environmentalists, hundreds of cars idling in traffic certainly can't be good for the environment, either!