The Post printed a letter from a Connecticut Avenue resident between Jones Bridge Road and the Beltway, complaining about the State Highway Administration's proposal to relocate a Beltway ramp from Kensington Parkway to Connecticut Avenue {Letters to the Weekly, Dec. 3}. While one can sympathize with the parochial concerns of this resident, there are larger issues involved. The real question is: Where does it make the most sense to put the ramp -- on a two-lane neighborhood street (Kensington) or on a six-lane state highway (Connecticut)?

Traffic engineers from both the SHA and the Montgomery County Planning Board agree that the Kensington location constitutes an inappropriate use of a local road. Why then is the proposed relocation causing such controversy? One reason is that it is always more difficult to correct a mistake than to do it right in the first place. Today, 32,000 cars use northbound Connecticut daily between Chevy Chase Circle and Jones Bridge Road. Because 12,000 cars veer off onto Kensington between Jones Bridge and the Beltway ramp, 20,000 cars pass the homes between Jones Bridge and the Beltway. While this number will increase when the ramp is relocated, the total will not exceed that which is currently tolerated by other Connecticut Avenue residents south of Jones Bridge.

A second reason for the controversy is the desire of the SHA to increase the efficiency of the Connecticut/Jones Bridge/Kensington intersection. In response to this goal, several proposals have been made, including widening Connecticut in the vicinity of the intersection. Many people have misunderstood these proposals to be related to the ramp relocation rather than the intersection improvement. In fact, both SHA and planning board engineers agree that the relocation project does not require widening Connecticut. When the issue of intersection improvement is removed, the choice for the ramp relocation becomes clearer.

Twenty-three years ago, for reasons that seem inexplicable today, two Beltway ramps were placed on Kensington Parkway. The ramp traffic physically divides a small Special Taxing District, the Village of North Chevy Chase, which maintains the portion of the parkway within its borders. Motorists traveling at 35 mph on the three northbound lanes of Connecticut to access I-495 east find themselves suddenly on a single lane of Kensington Parkway with a speed limit of 25 mph before reaching the ramp and the interstate. On a rainy or snowy night, some have found themselves on the front lawns of the homes that line the curving parkway. Engineers have stated that this location for a ramp would never be approved today -- and it should not be allowed to continue. The citizens of Montgomery County expect and deserve sensible traffic management. We trust that the officials entrusted with public safety will make the only sensible choice: relocate the ramp.

JEFF NOAH Chairman, Citizens Committee, Village of North Chevy Chase Chevy Chase