A hastily erected street sign for a new development of two-million-dollar houses on Noorwood - ahem, Norwood Road in Cloverly.
When's a good time to admit a mistake? Ideally, it should be before anything's put in the ground, like this misspelled street sign near Blake High School. For the controversial InterCounty Connector, the call was raised with little time to spare.
Two weeks before the controversial InterCounty Connector was scheduled to begin construction, the State Highway Administration finds itself in court this week defending the project against accusations that they didn't consider the environmental damage it would cause. This is just a week after the Montgomery County Council demanded more precautions for water quality and public health - and a month after the Prince George's Council rejected the road altogether.
For some opponents of the highway, which would connect Gaithersburg and Laurel, the lawsuit and increased political scrutiny might be enough to kill the project once again - if not an effective stalling tactic. In Takoma Park, the ICC has become a symbol of what some Parkies regard as another mistake: electing Valerie Ervin to County Councilwoman.
so much more AFTER THE JUMP . . .
A bill for dim sum at Oriental East in the Blair Park Shops in Sliver - I mean, Silver Spring.
The Takoma Voice's aptly-named Granola Park blog laments that Councilwoman Ervin's unwillingness to take a stand on the ICC destroys her "progressive" cred in a community made famous for its liberal politics. But Ervin, who represents Takoma Park and Silver Spring below Randolph Road (well south of the ICC), expressed her full support for the road in a JUTP interview last March.
"We could be finding a cure for cancer if we're able to connect FDA to Johns Hopkins to biotech corridors in Shady Grove," Ervin said. An exaggeration, yes, but at the least a genuine response. Nonetheless, it was her suggestions of a moratorium in the Downcounty that won over Takoma Park voters during election season last summer.
Takoma Park is, after all, where three years ago a Subway sandwich shop and other chain stores was vandalized with anarchist slogans. While that's a very extreme form of the community's political slant, Takoma Park's more general intolerance to growth - and anyone who espouses it - comes through in its activists' writings.
"I want her [Ervin] to be on our side," insists betrayed Parkie activist Keith Berner, the subject of the Granola Park post. Berner also urges that Ervin "join the 'good guys'" opposed to the InterCounty Connector. That "us versus them" mentality is divisive. Valerie Ervin's campaign last year took advantage of it to get elected in Takoma Park - and her new constituents may use it to have their promises kept.
Takoma Park's "quirky" character - vintage shops and a thriving artist community - is largely powered by an affluent consumer base who can afford these goods (and willingly pay the taxes that support government subsidies - like the city's rent controls). Will Takoma Park residents recognize that and not penalize its elected officials for trying to support economic growth (and whatever drives it) - or will the "quirky" politics that made "Parkie" a dirty word prevail?
Special thanks to guest blogger Adam Pagnucco for catching the Granola Park post.