Neighborhoods change. To the residents of Trotter Road, that simple truth probably sounds about as empty as the promises they were given a little over two years ago by Howard County officials.
At the time, residents were concerned about the advent of River Hill, Columbia's final village, and the increased traffic it would cause on Trotter Run as people tried to gain access to a rerouted Route 32. The solution, accepted by the County Council at the time, was to close off Trotter Road on both sides of Route 32, creating two dead-end streets.
Now, two years later, the council has reversed itself, deciding that Trotter Road should remain open north of Route 32, so that residents of the Columbia village can exit their community more easily.
Not surprisingly, the residents of Trotter Road feel betrayed. In their anger, they have vowed to unseat their representative on the county council, Paul Farragut, in the 1994 election. They have every right to try. However, in doing so, they may be losing one of the most upright and hard-working council members the county has.
While it is true that Mr. Farragut masterminded the plan to leave Trotter Road open to the north, he did so after careful consideration and wise judgment.
As Mr. Farragut points out, the mistake was made two years ago, when council members voted to close the road without knowing the full traffic impact created by the new village. Originally, county officials believed that only 1,200 automobiles a day would have used Trotter Road as a way in and out of the village. Now, the number is estimated at 3,000.
It is only prudent that the plan be changed to reflect those numbers.
Accepted traffic standards dictate that a daily traffic flow substantially above 1,000 automobiles be provided with two points of access. While Trotter Road and the Village of River Hill can be gotten to from Route 108 to the far north, to not have another access point at Route 32 would invite unbearable congestion.
Having said that, county officials do owe the residents of Trotter Road an increase in police patrols to discourage speeding. Beyond that, punishing Mr. Farragut for making the best of a bad situation seems misguided.