No, I am not from Maryland. But it is a great place: America in miniature, the cliche says. Big city Baltimore, the Mountains of the West, tranquility of the Eastern Shore. It’s a nice state. It’s also known as the Smart Growth state.
OK, well then why the hell is the state considering another sprawl-inducing arterial road? This coming on the heels of the ICC, which is going to require a moonlighting gig for users to be able to pay the $6+ one-way tolls because, well, building new roads is EXPENSIVE.
I always thought Smart Growth was about utilizing existing infrastructure to accommodate residents and businesses. But in Maryland, where even in warm weather water mains continue to break and like the rest of the country there are billions of dollars of necessary infrastructure repairs and upgrades, the government is pushing more Draper-era policy.
The houses are already there in Gaithersburg, Clarksburg and Damascus. They aren’t going anywhere. But this supposed shift by our country to cutting fossil fuel emission, sprawl, etc. (all that feelgood stuff our politicians are preaching but rarely following through on) is going to require some hardship. So yes, maybe traffic will remain bad in the upcounty; I have yet to see a road in a major metro area like D.C. that relieves traffic. Have you? So a new road likely isn’t going to change anything, except induce more sprawl (AKA not Smart Growth).
I lived in Silver Spring for a year; the snerd has lived there most of his life. It’s a diverse place with lots to do, good public transportation and beautiful neighborhoods tucked into trees. It is an example of Smart Growth. The Metro station is there, so let’s build around it. It’s not like we can’t make more Silver Springs. Montgomery still has Metro stations that are not fully utilized (am I the only person that has ever used the weird-ass Forest Glen station?). And since we can’t afford to repair our old roads, bridges and rails, doesn’t it make sense to concentrate on what we already have? I mean, have you SEEN Rockville Pike? Why are there 9349393 car dealerships next to the Shady Grove Metro?
As long as Maryland and Montgomery keeps sending mixed messages like approving the great White Flint plan then continuing to plan more sprawl, it’s really hard for me to refer to Maryland’s planning as “Smart” anything.