Wednesday, July 9, 2008

ICC ‘benefits’ questioned

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Neil J. Pedersen, administrator of the State Highway Administration, gave his (and, I assume, the elected and appointed officials of Maryland’s) version of the great benefits of the Intercounty Connector (‘‘ICC will benefit more than motorists,” June 18 commentary).

I have a few questions about his justifications:

1. Relocating turtles and monitoring them for three years: Please explain your action if the turtles are found to not survive in their new environment. Will you detect this situation during the three years, tear out the ICC and put them back? Will you wait until there is only one couple left, so as to not completely destroy the pack, and then do the preceding?

2. Renovating historic Woodland Barn: Explain the advantage to the environment of this action.

3. Creating a sports complex in 2006: You have not explained why this requires an ICC, or justifies the taking of people’s homes through eminent domain.

4. Expanding trails: I did not realize that hiking⁄biking trails were required to be beside a highway.

5. Replacing parklands: Since you said nothing about where parklands would be, I find it safe to assume that the government’s practice in this regard will not change, i.e., you will define remote locations as ‘‘parklands.” When the time comes to destroy them, your successor or his⁄her successor will be in office, and the promise will be forgotten.

I find the commentary sorely lacking in full disclosure. Rather, it is defensive. Why you believe that encouraging more use of road vehicles is beneficial is completely beyond my comprehension.

Martha Lewis, Bethesda