Bikes should roll

Our view: Intercounty path is worth small environmental cost

August 26, 2008

Maryland bike riders are being taken for a ride by Montgomery County park officials who are arguing that a 2.4-mile gap should be left in an 18.8-mile bike path planned to accompany the new Intercounty Connector between Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Bike users are stunned by the challenge, with gas prices high, traffic jams common and cycling being pushed by governments as an environmentally friendly form of transportation.

Park officials argue that to protect county parkland from potential environmental damage, this piece of the path should be diverted to nearby local roads. But raised wooden paths and other methods could be used to minimize the trail's impact, which would be tiny compared with the six-lane superhighway it is intended to accompany.

The Montgomery County Council should tell the overzealous park protectors to take a walk, and OK the entire path as outlined on the county master plan. The environmental cost will be relatively tiny and the benefits large.

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