While investigating the idea of extending Interstate 795 into Carroll County, the commissioners and transportation planners should also examine the feasibility of having the subway or a light-rail line reach the southern end of the county.
Carroll needs to protect itself from suburban sprawl. By using mass transit, the county would be able to concentrate development and prevent the suburban scatter that has become so characteristic of rural counties surrounding large metropolitan regions. Since World War II, roads have been the key catalyst for promoting suburban growth. Whenever roads are extended from an urban center into nearby rural areas, development inevitably accelerates.
This county is on the cusp of a development explosion. Even though Carroll's master plan calls for the preservation of substantial amounts of farmland, building new roads capable of handling heavy traffic volume could easily overwhelm the plan's best intentions. Once a road is constructed, there's an inexorable pressure to build houses, malls and commercial buildings along its length.