A growing number of communities in Montgomery County and Northwest Washington have sought to immunize themselves from life in the fading 20th century by closing off their roads to outside traffic. They put up barricades at the entrance to their little Shangri-Las and install signs informing the heathens that they are not to trespass.

The town of Somerset lies between two such communities -- Chevy Chase Village on the east, Kenwood to the west. For perhaps two years, access to Chevy Chase Circle through the Village has been barred. Recently, the Village added speed bumps to make life disagreeable to eastbound traffic. Then Kenwood barricaded itself against traffic from the two arteries on its borders.

The desire to minimize traffic in one's community is understandable, but the net result of acting on that selfish impulse will inevitably be that "you can't get there from here."

So, to Chevy Chase Village, Kenwood and others of like mentality: how about dropping your provincialism and enlarging your community spirit to include us all?


Chevy Chase . . . 'Balkanization'

In an open society we should not have closed communities -- communities that roll up their streets to divert traffic to other areas. First, Chevy Chase Village excluded traffic to Wisconsin Avenue. Now, exclusive Kenwood has persuaded the county to refuse nonresidents access to its Dorset Avenue main street -- a street it once requested to have cut through to Wisconsin Avenue for its convenience. Balkanizing the down-county area is not the solution to Montgomery's traffic problems.


Chevy Chase