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Glendening Lobbying for Lynch--and Against ICC

Gene Lynch, a former top aide to Gov. Parris Glendening (D), is among the leading candidates for the Montgomery County Planning Board and his old boss is leaving no stone unturned in trying to help Lynch secure the post.

Lynch and Gledening work together at their development company, Smart Growth Investments, which Lynch founded, and the former guv is board chairman.

Glendening has been calling members of the Montgomery County Council urging them to back Lynch, who also had served as a top aide to former MoCo exec Neal Potter (D). The council will pick two nominees for the board in the next few weeks.

But what really has tongues wagging in the County Council building in Rockville is Glendening's mention to at least one council member that he is trying to persuade Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) to scuttle the fabled intercounty connector, perhaps Maryland's oldest unbuilt road.

Glendening has, in his career, been for and against the road. Then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R), in concert with then-County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) finally approved the road, and efforts are now underway to acquire the land. The ICC would run from Laurel to Gaithersburg.

By Miranda Spivack  |  June 8, 2007; 6:16 AM ET
Categories:  Miranda Spivack  
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Comments

Glendening was a total disgrace as governor, and it appears that he is burnishing his reputation as a disgraceful EX-governor.

By the way, as you sit in gridlock traffic, you can bask in how smart all that "Smart Growth" has been...

Posted by: gitarre | June 8, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

It is not far-fetched to believe O'Malley may be convinced by Glendening and others to reconsider the $3 billion ICC project. He is already bombarded with vocal opposition to the project - one recent poll showed most Marylanders are against ICC. Also, don't overlook the huge budget deficit that Erlich left O'Malley to clean up. Maryland does not have the money to pay for the ICC. The argument is ongoing as the project's merit, but there are no pretty arguments for how tax-payers will finance the ICC. Some have said they will gladly pay the $7 toll for each trip on the proposed 18 miles (I am not one of them)- but most of this project will be money borrowed on the backs of MD tax-payers. Also, if we're blow $3 billion on one road, how will we afford maintaining our current roads? I'll take Glendening's words of caution towards this project over anyone's blind ICC loyalty. The stakes seem too high - we need fiscal responsibility and a true objective assessment of this project.

Posted by: Donny | June 8, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Does Glendening have a helicopter? I'm just trying to figure out why anyone in this area would argue against a new road project.

Posted by: Extend ICC to VA | June 8, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

We've all suffered in the occasional traffic jam and I can think of several roads that I'd like to see built (and improved)...before the ICC route, but like all projects ($3 billion or $1 million) - they cost money...MD is already among the most taxed states in our nation. I am confident that road projects can be done well and be on budget - the new Wilson bridge is a great example - but it was really just an improvement project. Very little new land was required and the project was properly planned and budgeted for...no state went into deep debt for the bridge and it is toll free. There a plenty of examples (pork and non-pork) of roads, bridges, levees, and tunnels that are lessons of poor planning, lack of fiscal responsibility, and sadly the poor construction and lack of safety that result.

Posted by: Donny Again | June 8, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

It makes zero sense to build the ICC. Yes, traffic will be alleviated on portions of the capital beltway between 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm M-F; but just give it time. After a few years the ICC will be another 18 miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Residential subdivisions and suburban office parks will spring up along the road. This development will create levels of traffic on the ICC that we are already experiencing on the beltway; compounding the regional transportation problem and not solving it.

Who wants to commute like this anyway? More that 1 or 2 hours each way to work? Gas prices creeping to $4.00 a gallon?

Wouldn't you rather buy a weekly train ticket for $40 and enjoy an hour each way riding to work? Or I guess we can build the ICC and continue spending 20 hours behind the wheel and $60 on gas per week. I think I could do plenty with all that extra time and money.

Posted by: Non-ICCense | June 8, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It makes zero sense to build the ICC. Yes, traffic will be alleviated on portions of the capital beltway between 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm M-F; but just give it time. After a few years the ICC will be another 18 miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Residential subdivisions and suburban office parks will spring up along the road. This development will create levels of traffic on the ICC that we are already experiencing on the beltway; compounding the regional transportation problem and not solving it.

Who wants to commute like this anyway? More that 1 or 2 hours each way to work? Gas prices creeping to $4.00 a gallon?

Wouldn't you rather buy a weekly train ticket for $40 and enjoy an hour each way riding to work? Or I guess we can build the ICC and continue spending 20 hours behind the wheel and $60 on gas per week. I think I could do plenty with all that extra time and money.

Posted by: Non-ICCense | June 8, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The state's own study says the ICC will not (NOT!) relieve traffic on 495, nor on 270, nor on 95. It will make some roads & intersections marginally WORSE. THose of you who support the ICC need a new reason for saying so.

It will massively generate more traffic-based sprawl.

It will eat up the state' whole allocation of federal highway dollars... all of it going to MoCo. Very nice.

It will raise the cost of ALL state bridges & tunnels that charge tolls. If it goes overbudget (no!) those toll facilities still have to make up their % of the contribution, so even those who don't use the ICC will be paying for it.

It will cost $7 per round trip, or about $1,500 per year

It will make mincemeat out of any "clean air" initiatives with all the pollution projected to come from it.

It will devastate miles and miles of fragile streams, pave over the forests and wetlands that clean our air and water, and bisect existing communities.

It will run 60 feet from an elementary school (no, not mine).

It will give builders/developers one more reason to demand a ninth crossing (the truckway) through either the Ag. Reserve or existing neighborhoods.

Forget about it. Build transit and create mixed-use communities so we can have a world where people can live near where they work.

Posted by: Wooford | June 8, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The state's own study says the ICC will not (NOT!) relieve traffic on 495, nor on 270, nor on 95. It will make some roads & intersections marginally WORSE. THose of you who support the ICC need a new reason for saying so.

It will massively generate more traffic-based sprawl.

It will eat up the state' whole allocation of federal highway dollars... all of it going to MoCo. Very nice.

It will raise the cost of ALL state bridges & tunnels that charge tolls. If it goes overbudget (no!) those toll facilities still have to make up their % of the contribution, so even those who don't use the ICC will be paying for it.

It will cost $7 per round trip, or about $1,500 per year

It will make mincemeat out of any "clean air" initiatives with all the pollution projected to come from it.

It will devastate miles and miles of fragile streams, pave over the forests and wetlands that clean our air and water, and bisect existing communities.

It will run 60 feet from an elementary school (no, not mine).

It will give builders/developers one more reason to demand a ninth crossing (the truckway) through either the Ag. Reserve or existing neighborhoods.

Forget about it. Build transit and create mixed-use communities so we can have a world where people can live near where they work.

Posted by: Wooford | June 8, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The state's own study says the ICC will not (NOT!) relieve traffic on 495, nor on 270, nor on 95. It will make some roads & intersections marginally WORSE. THose of you who support the ICC need a new reason for saying so.

It will massively generate more traffic-based sprawl.

It will eat up the state' whole allocation of federal highway dollars... all of it going to MoCo. Very nice.

It will raise the cost of ALL state bridges & tunnels that charge tolls. If it goes overbudget (no!) those toll facilities still have to make up their % of the contribution, so even those who don't use the ICC will be paying for it.

It will cost $7 per round trip, or about $1,500 per year

It will make mincemeat out of any "clean air" initiatives with all the pollution projected to come from it.

It will devastate miles and miles of fragile streams, pave over the forests and wetlands that clean our air and water, and bisect existing communities.

It will run 60 feet from an elementary school (no, not mine).

It will give builders/developers one more reason to demand a ninth crossing (the truckway) through either the Ag. Reserve or existing neighborhoods.

Forget about it. Build transit and create mixed-use communities so we can have a world where people can live near where they work.

Posted by: Wooford | June 8, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

When taking stock of Wooford's many great points, the ICC makes no sense at all. I doubt anyone can seriously counter those points, but I would like to see the discussion. This project would only make sense to those who stood to make millions on contracts to build this thing or sell it to the public. There will be billions of taxpayers dollars up for grabs because of this project. I'm sure politicians and lobbyists have already gotten their end of the bargain. The problem is the taxpayers do NOT have this money. Every taxpayer in MD and their children will go into debt over this one project. I think Glendening is doing what many of us would like to do to Governor O'Malley: attempt to wake him up on this issue before we all get sold to the company store. Its inconceivable that O'Malley is even considering this thing.

Posted by: Donny | June 8, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Ok anti-ICCers. Let's pony up to the table and listen to your selfishness and conceitedness. The reason this road is so expensive is because of your little special interests! The ICC will increase safety on the overloaded roads mid-county. It will reduce pollution with fewer miles driven and those miles will be driven with vehicles more efficiently (idling or start and stopped cars and trucks = wasted gas and increased NOx and CO2). It will not increase sprawl - in fact, it will decrease sprawl from going further out. The population is going to increase here - we have to plan for it intelligently. Pushing out to the next county (or states as the case is with PA and WVa) is NOT intelligent - it is as stupid as you can get because it forces people to travel further. Go ahead and ask yourself why you are against the ICC - you will realize that it is only to benefit yourself, not the population as a whole.

Posted by: Not an ignoramous NIMBYs | June 8, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The previous post raises concern about NIMBYism in the proposed path of the ICC. This may be true - many people indeed respond to change (any change to their environment) with NIMBYism. However, the debate of the ICC project seems to have passed that stage and it is time for a more serious discussion. Spin does not help us get to the point of the matter. The chief questions should not be avoided - Can Maryland afford to commit so much money to one project? Is this project worthwhile? - long suffering commuters should not be so quick to believe the PR job laid out by the Erlich administration. This debate should be public and inclusive of those who will pay for the project - MD taxpayers.

Posted by: Donny | June 8, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I second the comments of N-O-I NIMBY's 06-08-07-4.21pm.

I'm no friend of many of the ICC proponents Duncan, O'Malley etc. Glendenning strikes me as a sleazeball. I voted Kevin Zeese, Green Party, for US Senate in 2006.

I support the ICC. If and when it is built, the resulting new development,(google "Konterra")will help provide more justification to extend Metro from Greenbelt to Fort Meade, BWI, Columbia,
and Baltimore.

Generally, I see no point in opposing development in suburbia, in the Balto/DC Metro area. It's already ruined. Make suburbia more dense (higher buildings etc.),and limit the reach of suburbia is a better solution.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | June 9, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

The ICC will not reduce traffic on local roads because the traffic on local roads is going to Rockville and Bethesda not Gaithersburg where the ICC will go. If anybody just looked at the map of where the ICC is going to go and then looked at the way 270 South already is in the morning then they would quickly realize that it is not a solution and it is actually a longer trip than the existing options and it WILL make 270 South more congested.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 9, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

BUILD THE ICC ROAD LIKE YESTERDAY !!!!
Traffic if terrible in Montgomery County on 1-495 and backs up to Columbia some mornings , I know I'm sitting in the traffic everyday trying to get in to Colllege Park !!!! This causes people like me to use the neighborhood roads ,such as Powder Mill Road , which is now jammed every morning !!! It's the crazy thing ,I have been every where in the country and our roads are the worst in the Nation !!! The people are already here , millions of them now we need the roads to support the people. We need another bridge to Virginia also , because the one bridge on the beltway cannot handle the growth this region has seen. ITS TOO LATE FOR SMART GRWOTH , THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE ALREADY HERE , METRO IS OVERCROWDED TOO !!! HELP US .

Posted by: Jimmy | June 9, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I-495 cannot back-up to Columbia. Does the previous blogger mean I-95? The ICC will not run North-South to Columbia anyway. North-South roads will not be relieved at all by the proposed ICC route. The MD SHA report actually claims those major roads will not be relieved of any traffic, though ICC proponents still claim east-west routes will benefit. The facts and the geography leave us all asking, " WHY build this road? WHY spend so much money the state does NOT have?".

Posted by: Gary | June 9, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

The ICC is a done deal! It does not matter if the iCC cures traffic anyway. THere is NO cure for traffic - public transportation is a joke - people want SUV's and trucks to get where they are going when they want. Thats why there is no stopping this road or the next road. If you want to get away from traffic and grow trees...go to Oregon! The fact is committments and promises have been made and there is no turning back - the fix is in. The homeowners who are losing their backyards and the tree-huggers can slow this down with lawsuits, but there is no stopping it. Don't get angry with the construction companies...they are just trying to make a buck - plus this will create construction jobs and toll-booth jobs. As far as the money is concerned...Gov. Erlich worked all that out with a multi-billion dollar bond issue. O'Malley has nothing to say about it. Besides, by the time MD has paid off all that debt...inflation will have turned that $3 billion into chump change - a budgetary drop in the bucket. The truth is - no one ever had a choice in the matter - if you did - they'd let the voters decide - oh well - it will never happen! In the end, there is nothing anyone can do - just build the thing, and pay for it later!

Posted by: Herb | June 9, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

The ICC is flawed because most jobs are in Northern VA in places like Reston, Chantilly, Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, and Leesburg. If the highway extended toward Loudoun County, connected with 28 and 7, then swung by the airport and went to I-81 in Winchester, then it would make sense. As it is the project is flawed. Traffic headed to VA still has to cross the American Legion Bridge.

Posted by: NW DC | June 10, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Maryland voters spoke in TWO consecutive elections for candidates in two different parties that THEY WANT THE ICC. This includes folks like me who are concerned about the environment and support most open space and wildlife preservation associations.

Glendening is a tired, old, and pathetic one-trick-pony who should realize that the Maryland population elected TWO successive governors who oppose his misguided policies.

I'm so sick and tired of hearing how the ICC won't improve beltway traffic. Who's talking about the beltway anyway? The winding, unsafe cross-county roads (108, 198)are treacherous under normal conditions, deadly when the weather is bad. The ICC will help that situation enormously.

Communities like Olney and Norbeck are choked with pollution because of the massive tie ups at lights with belching cars travelling cross-county.

Trips to BWI are long, dangerous, and tiresome.

Is the ICC a solution all by itself? Of course not. Montgomery County continues to grow at a rapid pace and, as the Governor says, it is only one piece of a multi-modal solution.

These NIMBY obstructionists need to open their eyes about the GROWING county they live in. News flash - the population will continue to grow even without the ICC, so what are you going to do with all these new residents and commuters? Better to support them with proper infrastructure rather than encouraging greater migration to the north! And if you oppose the ICC because you are now living in the path of it -- that is unfortunate, but TOUGH. It's been on the books long enough and you should have done your research.

And if you think you can scare people with your vague predictions of continued development, nice try. Look at the GW and BW parkways. Large scale development has NOT sprung up at every exit. In fact, the 123 - GW Parkway interchange is almost rural. So leave your one sided, unresearched predictions home.

The best approach is to work with the state to make sure the road is built in the most pleasing, responsible way. Look at the proposed underpass in Olney to see how effective a community voice can be.

Congratulations to Governor O'Malley on sound policy reasoning -- I will be thrilled to be part of the safer, smooth running, less carbon emitting choice of the ICC when it is built.

Posted by: F.D. | June 11, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Glendening won both times he ran for gov. Erlich (Mr. ICC) lost last year. It is a valid point that east/west roads like 198 and 108 handle a lot of traffic, and that the beltway will not benefit from the ICC. However, many believe that roads like 198 and 108 will suffer immensely when all the road funding they would enjoy is tied up for years to build the ICC. Can the rest of MD roads really afford to forgo routine maintenance and improvements while the ICC soaks up the entire road budget? Still others believe there is more benefit for less money in carefully improving existing east-west roads. Roads like GW Pkwy benefit from situations that the ICC will definitely not. GW Pkwy was built long ago - prior to this area "growing up" - and most importantly, GW Pkwy is built on a National Park - Federal charter PREVENTS commercial development on this land. There really is no comparison. The ICC was planned for the world as it was in the 1950's. For its time, it may have been a great vision. However, like most "solutions" of that era, it needs to be reassessed on modern terms.

Posted by: Gary | June 11, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

While far from perfect and with some real trouble spots (RT 1), the roads in Prince Georges county flow much better than those in Montgomery, Fairfax, Alexandria, Loudon, or Prince William. Those who are complaining here need to get outside of PG more often and you'll see what REAL traffic problems look like.

Posted by: D | June 11, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"D" makes a great point. All this talk about spending so much money on the ICC. Not all roads are gridlocked in MD. There are many routes to take in all directions. Worst case - I'd say they just need to maintain the roads that are already there...and work on keeping them flowing. Actually, since New Year, it actually seems like traffic has lightened up...perhaps its the rip-off price of gas. I commute daily and can't remember the last time I got caught in a jam.

Posted by: Mike | June 11, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the comment that the GW Parkway is built on NPS land. Yes, but the area I was referring to was the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Kirby Road -- land that is completely clear for development. Nothing there but a gas station. If the communities fight for proper zoning, it can be replicated.

And yes, the ICC was planned in the 50's. But how as an INCREASE in the county population make the road less needed? Should be the opposite, no?

The two elections, of course, were Erlich's victory and O'Malley's victory, both pro-ICC.

And lastly, while "improvements" might be possibly on 198 (think the people living along it would like this change of plans? There's a fight that will last 20 years, and maybe you know that), the topography of 108 between Olney and Clarksville make it virtually impossible.

Good discussion, though.

Posted by: F.D. | June 11, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

How many of my fellow tax-payers are actually ready to charge another $3 billion for the ICC? Further, how many of you are ready to pay an additional $7 per use? The thing is ...the ICC wil not be built in a vaccum - it will rob other state programs and roads of much-needed funds for years to come. This project should not be put on the shelf again...it needs to be flushed.

Posted by: Jerry | June 17, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I would happily pay both if it means safer, more efficient travel that will save me time, gas, and possibly the lives of my family members.

The ICC will accomplish all of that and the opponents need to move on.

Posted by: F.D. | June 28, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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