The Post's Nov. 3 editorial about Silver Spring's future contained errors of both fact and judgment. We'd like to set the record straight.
The Post is wrong in saying the former legal development ceiling could have "kill(ed) plans for housing . . . and for a mall of specialty stores proposed for the Hecht Company building." Under the development limit of 4,700 additional jobs, plenty of new housing could have been built and so could the mini-mall proposed for the Hecht site.
The vast majority of citizens are asking for controlled development in Silver Spring. The 4,700 ceiling provided for just that, because it was based on an analysis of the capacity of the downtown's streets and intersections.
The Post's error in judgment is in implying that Silver Spring development would be "unrealistically stunted" if the job ceiling were too low. What is unrealistic is County Executive Sidney Kramer's end run around standards of decent traffic service.
The regional mall he favors for the business district would pull half a million extra car trips into Silver Spring each month, or about 19,000 a day. And this does not include the rush-hour traffic from the nine or 10 massive new office buildings that Mr. Kramer's higher growth ceiling will allow.
Council member Bruce Adams, who voted against lifting the development ceiling, said it best: Mr. Kramer's new growth level amounts to "plunking Montgomery Mall into the middle of Silver Spring and then putting all of Bethesda's existing office buildings on top." (Planning staff members later confirmed that Mr. Adams' analogy is correct.) The resulting traffic, Mr. Adams said, will make Bethesda's infamous congestion "look like a walk in the country."
What Silver Spring and Takoma Park will be looking for in the next election are some Audrey Moores for Montgomery County. PAT SINGER President, Silver Spring-Takoma Traffic Coalition JOAN ASHLEY ENNIS President, Allied Civic Group, Inc. ROBERT H. CORDELLA JR. Cochair, Coalition for a Livable Down County Silver Spring