Scaremongering Over the Intercounty Connector

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The proposition that the intercounty connector will sicken or kill children ["ICC Could Be Hazardous to Your Children's Health," Close to Home, Dec. 3] is an outrageous diatribe to scare people into opposing construction of this much-needed artery.

The article's premise is that car exhaust is unhealthy and therefore busy highways near schools and parks are dangerous to children's health.

While we need to be concerned about the impact of exhaust on children, realistically, large numbers of schools and parks locally and nationally have been built near major highways for decades, while life expectancy has increased.

What the authors ignore is that our traffic -- nearly the worst in the nation -- is already here. Building the ICC will not mean more traffic; it will mean serving existing traffic better while reducing gridlock and exhaust on existing highways that pass schools, parks and homes. Congestion not only produces pollution, it also robs us of precious time, fuels aggressive driving, wastes energy and contributes to crashes.

Far from killing children, the ICC will improve the lives of county residents and provide more quality time with children. Maryland Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley has wisely indicated that he will build the ICC. That is the right decision, because the ICC will attack gridlock, not children.

MAHLON G. "LON" ANDERSON

Director, Public and Government Affairs

AAA Mid-Atlantic

Washington


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