The House of Representatives yesterday voted to honor former congresswoman Gladys Noon Spellman by renaming the Baltimore-Washington Parkway after the four-term legislator, who remains in a semicomatose state following heart arrest she suffered during her 1980 campaign.
The proposed renaming, which still must receive Senate approval, would cost the federal government about $30,000, and the state of Maryland about $2,000 for commemorative markers and roadsign changes, according to federal and state officials.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), the bill's chief sponsor, yesterday called for passage of the measure, asserting that while Spellman "made significant contributions to both health care and education throughout her public career, it was the parkway which captured her heart and spirit."
Hoyer, elected to replace Spellman last year after her seat was declared vacant, said that Spellman, as one of her first acts in Congress, worked to free nearly $6 million in funds for badly needed repair work on the parkway and then made sure the repairs were properly completed. The parkway is a major north-south artery through the 5th Congressional District in Prince George's County, which Spellman represented.
Officials of the National Park Service will erect a commemorative marker and change road signs on the 19 miles of the parkway over which it has jurisdiction. The Maryland legislature passed a measure last session to make similar changes on its 10-mile portion of the road from Maryland Rte. 175 to Baltimore.
All members of the Maryland House delegation were among the 162 cosponsors of the Hoyer bill, and Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) is sponsoring a similar measure in the Senate.