Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Balking at Another Bay Bridge

Tuesday's Capital reported on the ongoing discussion about whether or not to build another Bay crossing. On the table is a potential new span from one of four locations [pdf]:
  • Another span at the existing RT 50 location.
  • Southern Anne Arundel County/Calvert County to Talbot County.
  • Baltimore County to Kent County.
  • Southern Calvert County to Dorchester County.

The truth of the matter is, I don't think there's a decision before state residents right now that has the potential to wreak more environmental havoc and create more sprawl than this one. Perhaps not even the infamous inter-county connector. Already, the eastern shore is saddled with more growth, faster than its existing residents seem to want it. Opening another bridge, particularly one that crosses the Bay at a different point would cause overnight growth explosions in Kent, Talbot or Dorchester County.

Dire predictions about traffic are given by the MTA, should nothing be done: More than 230,000 cars will drive past Annapolis daily by 2025; backups lasting 12 hours on the weekends and regularly backing up even on non-summer weekdays by 2015. But, we all know, or should know, that building another bridge is just going to draw more people to cross, and that we'll be facing the exact same problem 20 years down the road.

So, do we continue to build more bridges, creating more congestion, and the need for more bridges, feed the eastern shore to the development wolves, and create future generations of Dorchester to DC commuters, or do we just leave things as they are? Two thousand residents of Kent County, Worcester County Commissioner Sonny Bloxom, and Walter C. Thompson, former president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association, have all made their opinions on the matter clear. You can submit your comments to the Task Force here.

Check out the information for yourself at the Bay Crossing Task Force home page.

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