Rarely has Montgomery County's Kramer administration put it so bluntly as in a quote by its traffic czar, Robert McGarry: "If our dreams come true ... we'll have congestion in downtown Silver Spring" {"Third Rush Hour," front page, Aug. 12}. The administration's dreams soar with visions of commercial land exploited to the maximum and dozens of tall towers crammed into relatively small areas like Bethesda and Silver Spring.

In contrast, county residents hope for sensible limits. They feel driven to protect the quality of life and prevent traffic backups exceeding half a mile on their main roads. The public hates snarled traffic and knows who to blame for it. A recent poll conducted for state legislators asked residents: "Do you believe that Silver Spring development should be limited due to traffic concerns?" Sixty four percent of the respondents said yes, 20 percent said no and 17 percent had no opinion.

Mr. McGarry also said that "heavy traffic is desirable because it's a sign of thriving commercial activity." Actually, suburban rush hour jams are a sign of overdevelopment. And on weekends heavy traffic often signifies a regional mall that has been permitted to grow beyond the road capacity. In neither case would the public call it "desirable."

While the Kramer administration dreams its nightmare schemes, places like Silver Spring will revitalize in spite of them. The recent agreement by Nordstrom's to anchor the beautiful, modestly sized mall, City Place, guarantees a nucleus around which new retail businesses will assemble in the normal manner of successful town centers like Alexandria, Georgetown and Shirlington. The bitter stalemate over Silver Spring will end when government abandons County Executive Sidney Kramer's impossible dream of oversized malls and office buildings from horizon to horizon.


The Kramer administration's true transportation policy was revealed by Montgomery County's transportation director, Robert McGarry: traffic congestion is desirable; it has been planned; more heavy traffic is the goal and the "dream" of our county officials. This information must outrage all those Montgomery County residents who suffer the long commutes each day and those who fight backups on the Rockville Pike, in downtown Bethesda and in Silver Spring.

Now that the secret agenda of creating more traffic congestion is known, we must reassess the proclaimed reasons for building the Intercounty Connector. Mr. Kramer claims it is needed to shorten the cross-county commute. But studies show it will only cut 7 1/2 minutes off the trip from Gaithersburg to Rt. 1. Mr. Kramer claims the four- to eight-lane freeway will benefit county residents -- in actuality the beneficiaries will be developers who build commercial centers at the interchanges of the ICC. The increased traffic at these interchanges will inevitably cause more congestion on the already crowded north-south routes. Mr. McGarry will surely welcome these future traffic jams. However, those residents who consider traffic a nightmare rather than a "dream" should take issue with the wisdom of Mr. Kramer's transportation proposals. JOAN WEISS Silver Spring