How often have we heard that those who don't learn from the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them? Never has the situation so clearly manifested itself as in the latest study of the Montgomery-Prince George's intercounty connector.

The latest proposal reduces lanes from six to four and then adds tolls at rush hour to discourage congestion. Do any of these people have a clue? The whole object of the road is to relieve congestion on local roads and all the things congestion breeds, such as increased air pollution, lost time and road rage, among others.

But this collection of geniuses proposes to build a road that is far too small to serve the need and then to discourage use at all during rush hour, when it is most needed.

Not that Maryland has a lock on roadway planning masterminds. The failure to build a big enough I-66 inside the Beltway and the traffic-light infested Fairfax County Parkway have demonstrated among many other instances the folly of building too small a road.

But I suppose if we are going to be consistent but dead wrong, it makes sense to mimic the too-small and still-with-a-drawbridge foolishness that has given us the Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement. Instead of doing something right after all the demonstrated failures of the past, our leaders stay on the same dead-end road.


Falls Church