EVER SINCE the last of Gov. Glendening's semi-annual changes of mind on an intercounty connector highway in Maryland, he has been threatening the ultimate blow: sales of land originally set aside for the route. By a new and slim majority, the Montgomery County Council also wants to get rid of county-owned land, to make sure nobody with the good sense to proceed with this long-overdue road project can ever reverse the governor's new road-kill fever. But state lawmakers with more prudence and a better sense of direction are moving to stop the land sales, and the effort deserves the bipartisan support of all responsible members of the General Assembly.
Del. Richard La Vay of Potomac says he is considering legislation to prevent Montgomery and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission from selling or leasing any ICC land. Waiting for Gov. Glendening to complete his term would be risky; besides, who knows what his successor's views might be? Dumping off the land leaves no room for wiser heads to prevail as commuter and commercial traffic continues to mount and businesses turn away from Maryland as a possible location.
Support of the Prince George's County delegation will be needed, too. The park and planning commission, which owns about 320 acres, would need Montgomery County Council approval--not currently in the cards. But council supporters of a land sellout should have an option to reconsider, at least to weigh all possible uses of the land. The state owns about 200 acres of ICC land that certainly ought not be lost.
Without any proven alternatives to a connector and without even complete studies of all possible routes for road relief, a sellout must be stopped.