Wednesday, August 9, 2006

hey! both silverman and leggett are from east county

While the anti-Silvermanites are laughing at the chicken races on Channel 7 that pre-empted coverage of the Purple Line bus tour, the Post presents what is one more in a series of stories about how Montgomery County voters are sick and tired of traffic.

And, according to a commenter on Sprawling Towards Montgomery, Steve Silverman also made an appearance on Hot 99.5 yesterday, talking about his Purple Line bus tour, which I think is good publicity for the transit-riding younger set (younger than 35, I mean).

The Purple Line enjoys very high support County-wide. It's been on the books for seventeen years. We have a right-of-way between Bethesda and Silver Spring and a nice, wide stretch of University Boulevard between Long Branch and College Park that are both ready for some tracks to be laid down. Why hasn't this happened yet? And how the hell am I supposed to believe the deliberative old "drum major" Ike Leggett is going to make it happen anytime soon?

From the Post:
Leggett, a former council member, emphasizes the need to slow development so road and transit construction can catch up. Or else, he said, "the level of growth has consumed you, and you're back where you started -- or worse."
Whether or not we slow development, the cars are going to be there, full of angry solo drivers trying to cross the County to get to work. The FDA campus will be consolidating in East County in two years, bringing seven thousand new employees to my community and untold thousands more from companies eager to locate near FDA. We're going to have some pretty nasty traffic: thank God those Route 29 interchanges are underway. But that traffic's going to be a lot worse because of the moratorium on new development in East County that lasted through the 1990's. Now they're going to be coming here from God knows where because they can't find places to live near FDA.

There has to be a better strategy to growth than simply turning it on and off like a spigot. We didn't see any new homes in East County for a decade - and what happened: the traffic got worse. The schools are more crowded. Why? Because we're less part of a County and more part of a metropolitan area with eight million people in it - and we should stop planning like the world ends at the County line. There have to be huge investments in our infrastructure no matter what happens, and they need to take place now.

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