Letters To The Editor


July 19, 2005

State still needs a larger vision to end gridlock

The Sun's editorial regarding the Intercounty Connector (ICC) and the need for an equally ambitious transit plan for Maryland was right on target ("The fast lane," July 13).

As a strong supporter of this critical transportation link between Interstate 270 and Interstate 95, I am very concerned that the Ehrlich administration seems to believe that this one road alone will solve our state's traffic congestion problems. It will not.

The ICC has been in the works for 40 years - and it is high time it was built. And my hat's off to the Ehrlich administration for its commitment to this project. But I remain troubled by its refusal to put forward a comprehensive transportation plan for the state - one that includes a significant transit component.

In addition to more road capacity, we need more transit that is efficient, economical and accessible. When I put together a 10-year plan for my county, for instance, half of the funding was earmarked for transit and other alternative forms of transportation.

The ICC is a step in the right direction, but it is only one of the many things we need to do to get out of traffic gridlock.

Douglas M. Duncan


The writer is county executive of Montgomery County.

ICC will add jobs and aid mobility

In its editorial on the Intercounty Connector, The Sun agreed that one of the most compelling arguments in its favor is that the ICC would be a critically important link between job-rich and technology-oriented Montgomery County and the rest of central Maryland, particularly the Baltimore-Washington International Airport area ("The fast lane," July 13).

My organization, along with many others, has long supported the ICC specifically for that reason.

The road is important for our region's economic competitiveness. It would help our state's major airport draw passengers from the highly competitive, well-traveled market in Montgomery County.

It would link two important corridors with an east-west highway capable of quickly moving people and goods.

The ICC has overcome decades of hurdles. Let's move on with building it.

Linda Greene


The writer is executive director of the BWI Business Partnership Inc.

ICC costs a fortune to benefit just a few

The editorial on the Intercounty Connector was a welcome relief from the unthinking boosterism that has steamrolled this project forward despite the common-sense arguments against it ("The fast lane," July 13).

The road would be among the most expensive stretches of highway in the country. And the state's $2.4 billion cost estimate doesn't even include the hundreds of millions in interest payments the state will owe for the project.

The substantial environmental damage the road would cause to the parks, stream valleys, wetlands and watersheds it crosses and the 5,000 acres of currently unplanned growth and development that would follow in its wake would change the region's landscape forever.

According to the state's own data, this highway would have no appreciable effect on regional congestion. It wouldn't reduce the gridlock on the Capital Beltway, Interstate 95 or Interstate 270 and, in fact, would add to it in several areas, while it would help only a tiny fraction of the region's drivers.

Citizens across the state suffer when their highway projects and mass transportation needs can't be funded so that the state can build one, 18-mile toll road.

So far, only a route for the road has been chosen. Common sense could still prevail.

Kim Coble


The writer is Maryland executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Demanding answers on the leak scandal

The coverage in recent days concerning the controversy over Karl Rove has been a breath of fresh air ("Rove allegedly learned CIA agent's name from columnist," July 15). It is encouraging to see reporters demand that the White House answer the questions many of us are asking.

Mr. Rove apparently leaked the identity of Valerie Plame to the press, and it is now clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is involved as a major player in this scandal.

We need to unite and demand answers, demand honesty and, most of all, demand action on this situation.

No more lies. No more cover-ups.

Jennifer H. Schlager


President's loyalty must be to the nation

It should surprise no one that the Bush administration wagons are now circling Karl Rove. President Bush has often reminded us that he is loyal to his friends and that he "doesn't like it when a friend gets criticized."

And indeed the president has put forward policies and legislation that help or would have helped his friends in the oil, coal, automobile, banking and investment businesses.

He has done little to increase national security where efforts would be costly to those or other businesses.

The administration's environmental policies are skewed to benefit big business, not the environment, and few of its policies help middle- or lower-income Americans.

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