Hickory Ridge Is Now A RacewayIn the Oct. 14 Sun, Mark...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 22, 1992

Hickory Ridge Is Now A Raceway

In the Oct. 14 Sun, Mark Guidera wrote about the concerns of parents of young children at school bus stops on Hickory Ridge Road in Columbia.

Now that the Broken Land Parkway and Martin Road have exits onto Hickory Ridge Road, traffic has increased tremendously. So has the speed of traffic. . . .

We who live in Hickory Ridge Place on Hickory Ridge Road and Sunny Spring also are at peril. Most of us are elderly. Many of us use the services of the hospital and medical help nearby. Many of us try to walk to these services both for a bit of exercise or lack of transportation of our own. We try to cross the street at the crest of a hill, both to see approaching traffic and to be seen as soon as possible by approaching drivers. Still, there have been accidents and many close calls . . .

I don't know what good another traffic light would do. . . . I realize that roadways are built for the convenience of drivers, not people crossing roads or streets. But we are afraid that all the cheers for the completion of Broken Land Parkway may soon turn to tears for broken people.

Aurora F. Hagegeorge

Columbia

Academics

Thanks for Sherry Joe's Oct. 16 article on the class scholarship established at Oakland Mills High School in Howard County. Hopefully, it will inspire parents and others to create support and similar scholarships for leadership, achievement, sports and scholarship . . . in the greater Baltimore area.

Bill Coughlan

Columbia

Route 100, Open Space and Anger

We are flabbergasted to learn that our community open space parcels which were acquired by the county over the last decade as parkland are no longer considered as significant to the communities involved.

The county has stated that these open space parcels "do not play a significant role in meeting the recreation, park, wildlife or waterfowl refuge objectives of the communities involved, based on the 4F criteria . . ."

How absurd! . . . Why is the county fooling with policies that have been established for some 25 years? The answer is quite blatant. It is the intention that Route 100 go through at all costs. And why? If Route 100 goes through as planned, then the county can upgrade the zoning in the Route 100 corridor. After that occurs, the county will need to put in a mass transit system of some sort, preferably light rail.

. . And to top it off, we as homeowners in Columbia are subject to the same blanket statement. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? And even if Columbia is miraculously exempt from this parkland decision, what does that in itself say to our fellow Howard countians?

Karen and Dennis Rutten

Columbia

____________

The Howard County planners have begun presenting their recommendations for major changes to the county zoning map. Many of these changes reflect individual requests for specific pieces of land rather than broad implementations of the long-range plans for the county. They announced at the meetings that their recommendations had the broad approval of the county executive.

The media does not seem to be aware of the fact that the citizens are expressing the belief . . . that they are entitled to "government of the people, by the people, and for the people," and that they are entitled to rely on the comprehensive master plan as representing the long-range goals of the county.

When the citizens at the public hearings put this proposition to the planners, "If the commercial and industrial zoning being recommended at Route 29 and Montgomery Road was there first, would the planners have planned their residential area as it has been developed?," the answer was "probably not." The writer of the recent editorial recommending approval of special zoning for Wal-Mart, needs to take a walk along Route 40 from Edmondson Village to Chatham Mall and take a good look at what has and is happening to small and mid-sized businesses.

When the planners were asked by the citizens why they had not discussed such major changes with them, the answer was "we were pressed for time."

. . . I believe that . . . the citizens are going to empower themselves to bring about some changes. This may start with the composition of the County Council (which also serves as the zoning board) in Howard County.

James M. Holway

Ellicott City

____________

Can Route 100 be built without destroying parkland, wetlands and homes? The answer is "yes."

This could have been done years ago, but the State Highway Administration, the Howard County Council and the developers made sweet deals in the area of the Hunt Country Estates subdivision.

The developer, Macks & Macks, wanted the proposed route shifted to the northern edge of its property, so it could build more condos. The builder claimed that it did not know that the "Hunt Country" subdivision was in place.

SHA and the County Council made similar claims. Yet, prior to the council approving a resolution, and prior to SHA signing an agreement with Macks & Macks, it was advised by Thomas Harris, director of planning and zoning, about the subdivision. Mr. Harris wrote a letter to Mr. L. Macks, with copies to Hal Kassoff, administrator of SHA and the County Council, chaired by Vernon Gray. This letter stated that certain conditions would have to be met before he could concur and support the shifting of the Route 100 alignment. . . .

Did the developer, SHA and the County Council know? Certainly JTC they did. . . . It is no wonder the people do not trust government.

This portion of Route 100 can be built without destroying parkland, wetlands and homes.

Thomas O'Brien

Ellicott City

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