Monday, December 12, 2005

The Road to Perdition

I would guess it's fairly uniform opinion that for both sheer length, and ugliness of that length, Route 2 walks away with Anne Arundel County's most blighted road award. Stretches of the enveloping Route 3 and commercial Crain Highway are competitive, but ultimately, I think, Route 2 triumphs.

It runs the full height of the county, from Brooklyn Park in the north, through Glen Burnie, Pasadena, Severna Park, past Annapolis, into Edgewater and points south, eventually exiting into Calvert County. The commercial creep apparently exited off Aris T. Allen Blvd and headed south.

The Sunday Capital ran the first of a two-part piece on the explosion of commercial growth along the segment of Route 2 south of the South River bridge. The stretch that has boomed, located in the short distance between the River and Route 214 has added something like 3 new gas stations, several convenience stores, a CVS, Wal-Greens, and a several store strip mall. And that's all before the 150,000 sq/ft of commercial space goes in at the Village at Lee Airpark.

Good thing the state just poured $25 million into widening the road, which now backs up with recent arrivals. One local resident summed it up well, "Initially it freed up traffic....Now that it's up and running, it's beginning to look like it was when it was (just) two lanes."

Perhaps the SHA needs a new motto: If you build it, they will come....and clog it.

Anne Arundel Economic Development Director, Bill Badger, has in the past cited Edgewater as a model of "smart growth." If that's the case, Mr. Badger, why is Edgewater now bedecked with the same garish crap that every other slightly inhabited nook of the county is blighted with, or are we to assume Anne Arundel County is a "smart growth" paradise?



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