Maryland's Upper Eastern Shore grew rapidly during the 1980s, mainly because of highway improvements and fewer red lights. A motorist now can travel from the Baltimore beltway to Easton in 90 minutes. The region seems well on its way to becoming a not-too-distant suburb of the Baltimore-Annapolis-Washington triangle.
Will this trend surmount the recession, or will it stagnate until money and jobs are more secure? Heavy traffic moves down I-97 through Anne Arundel County and across the bay bridge along Route 50 to the middle and northern shore communities. Census figures indicate many people are moving to the area permanently. New ex-urbanites are settling from Grasonville to Easton, becoming new and distant suburbanites.
Unless Maryland suffers from a longer-than-expected recession, the Upper Shore could be home of the next satellite communities surrounding metropolitan Baltimore. That might not be as far off as it sounds. Extending the MARC commuter-rail line to Perryville in Cecil County this spring could spur additional residential growth. Many new shore residents already commute to jobs in Annapolis, Glen Burnie and Baltimore. The proximity to the Atlantic beaches is a key incentive.