Residents still wary
The governor pulled the plug last week on plans to upgrade routes 32 and 97, but residents opposed to the project said they're not convinced it won't arise again.
In July, the State Highway Administration began a study to find ways to improve traffic flow on stretches of the two roadways in Carroll and Howard counties. News of the study prompted an uproar among residents in both counties.
So Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo wrote Gov. William Donald Schaefer, asking him to suspend the project.
In a letter released Monday, the governor said he was stopping the project because of lack of state money and because of residents' outcry.
The project called for widening and realignment of some stretches of the two roads, and for a possible connector road between them.
"As far as we're concerned, this is only temporary," said Kathy Harden, a Gaither Road resident opposed to the project. Her home lies in the path of one of the three proposed locations for the connector road.
"It has not been scratched," she said.
Byron decries budget tiff
The federal budget package that went down to a stunning defeat in the House Friday morning was far from perfect, said U.S. Representative Beverly B. Byron, D-6th, but she said the measure represented a step in the right direction.
Of Maryland's eight House representatives, Byron was one of four who voted in favor of the $500 billion deficit-reduction package. However, the measure fell in the House in a 254-179 vote.
"I supported the package despite its many shortcomings," Byron said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, Byron spokesman Beau Wright said the congresswoman had a number of objections to the proposal, including cuts in Medicaid and education grants, and increased taxes on home-heating oil and gasoline.
"The more she delves into the specifics of the budget, the less pleased she becomes with it," Wright said.
Still, Byron said in Friday's statement that not reaching an agreement would amount to a failure on lawmakers' "highest priority."
"Chaos was our alternative to the defeat of the budget agreement and to me that was simply unacceptable," she said in the statement.