It's Not Just the Bypass, It's Saving a Way of Life

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 07, 1994

Since hearing that the Route 140 bypass may take some of our property, I already have my answer to how the bypass will affect me. But how does it affect all of us?

Whether it takes your property or comes near it, the bypass will affect your life. Do you realize that the bypass will require the destruction of 430 to 514 acres of woodland, a disappearing natural resource in Carroll County already?

The bypass, whether north or south, will also destroy 5.9 to 12.2 acres of precious wetlands, vital to the protection of our bay. These areas too are disappearing at an alarming rate. The woodlands and wetlands are home to numerous birds and other wildlife. Their homes will be destroyed along with them. Why must we always wait for wildlife to become endangered before man feels they are worth preserving? . . . The farmland that everyone who lives or visits Carroll County loves and believes should be preserved -- there will be 204 to 309 acres less if a bypass is built.

There will also be 28 to 35 displacements. People's homes. Homes not houses. There is a difference. . . .

The destruction of 45.2 to 69.7 acres of historical property. Our children's heritage. Gone.

Although I am native to Carroll County, I realize after meeting so many people that this affects, I am not alone in my love for Carroll. True Carroll countians take Carroll into their hearts. We all share a love for the natural beauty of this area. . . . We want to be surrounded by farmland, woodlands and wetland. This is our haven from the rat race world beyond us.

Are we so willing to trade all of this for a little convenience? If convenience and a faster lifestyle is what you desire then . . . you would be more at home in Baltimore or Washington.

But if you, like me, love the beautiful rolling hills, the surrounding farms, the vast array of wildlife and a slower, less convenient way of life, then you have taken Carroll County into your heart, and it is truly your home. We are told that this is prosperity and it is good for us. If this is true, why are so many people leaving other prosperous areas to come to Carroll County? Could it be that the price for this prosperity is too high? Are we willing to pay that price?

If you feel like I do and want to preserve the rural nature of Carroll County for our children, then write to our local, state and national elected officials. Help us protect our home by joining Carroll Life (The Carroll County Citizen-Rights Protection Alliance). We need your support to fight the building of a 140 bypass. Upgrading Route 140 can be done, and this must be the only alternative we will accept.

Linda Hagan

Westminster

In May 1994, the State Highway Administration informed the public that a new Westminster bypass was to be built (to replace the old Westminster bypass -- Route 140).

Local politicians have said that some Carroll County citizens must give up their homes, lands, farms and businesses for the good of the many. But this is really a fairy tale. It appears that the people who will benefit from the new bypass are not average citizens, but your business/industrial/air park citizens with plenty power and money.

If we pull away the clouds of fairy land, we see a new city/metropolis of Westminster, not the old small-town Westminster. This new Westminster and new Carroll County will be built not to provide a better way of life for the average citizen but to spur new economic growth for the local business community, namely the business/air park.

Let's envision where Westminster and Carroll County seem to be headed over the next 20 years. In the next five years, one of the northern routes of the Westminster bypass will be built . . . to provide better access to the business/air park. The air park will be expanded to add new longer paved runways and a new instrument landing system (already targeted for next year) to accommodate small jets, which can carry more than 20 passengers, and small cargo aircraft. . . . Westminster will begin to grow rapidly.

Within the next 10 years, the second half of the Westminster beltway will be built along the southern route of the Westminster bypass in order to provide complete access to all new industrial/business parks. The airpark will expand again to accommodate larger jets, 727s and finally 747s. Golf courses and lawns in the flight paths will begin to turn brown, due to fuel dumping by large jets, which is required prior to landing. The population of Westminster will be at least twice what it is today.

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