Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Pro-environment, pro-ICC

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Open letter to those who oppose the ICC:

Don’t you hate getting caught in a traffic jam? Watching your gas gauge drop as you sit in traffic, blocked in on all sides by other distraught commuters who are equally as frustrated as you?

Thank goodness it doesn’t happen often — unless you travel the Interstate 270⁄495 corridor most days during rush hour.

The reasons for building the ICC are obvious:

Environmental: Not only are commuters wasting costly fuel sitting in gridlock traffic but they are also releasing more greenhouse gases and particulates into the air through continuous braking and idling than if the traffic were flowing smoothly.

Quality of life: Commuters are forced to leave home earlier and leave work later to navigate the daily gridlock, causing them to miss out on precious family time as well as denying themselves the down-time necessary to mentally and physically re-energize and refresh before the next workday.

I have read the articles that claim building the ICC will not reduce traffic on the Beltway. If it wasn’t a credible plan for easing traffic congestion, then it would never have been considered in the first place. It is a necessary and long overdue solution to the currently hellish conditions commuters are forced to endure.

I am an environmentally friendly vegetarian who cares about our planet. But if cutting down a tree to build a road will alleviate the mental, physical and financial suffering commuters have to bear, then I say, cut down that tree!

Carla Chase, Rockville