Wednesday, February 16, 2005

We Must Destroy the Stream to Save It

On occasion, politicians are accused of being humorless. Let that charge never be leveled against Governor Ehrlich. In an Associated Press piece covered in yesterday's Capital, the Guv said the proposed Inter-County Connector (ICC) "will help replenish choked streams, rebuild wetlands and protect wildlife." The Inter-County Connector, which would effectively be an outer beltway, running through many undeveloped parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, has been hailed by its supporters (including Ehrlich, Montgomery Exec. Doug Duncan, and others) as a cure to metro Maryland's traffic congestion problems. Opponents have declared the Inter-County Connector one of the the 27 most wasteful road projects in America, as well as an environmental nightmare.

Whether the Governor's comments were intended to elicit belly laughs from those in attendance at his bus tour of the proposed ICC routes, or he truly believes his doublespeak will fool some people into supporting this project is unclear. What is clear, is that the Governor and others supporting the ICC have consistently overlooked the far more sensible Purple Line Metro extension that would connect metro Maryland suburbs, and avoid the additional traffic congestion associated with more roads.

The proposed $2.4 billion in additional pavement is not what this region or its "streams, wetlands, or wildlife" need. Bob Ehrlich surely must have a sense of humor, problem is, the joke's on us.

More information on the Purple Line.

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