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Posted at 6:51 PM ET, 05/14/2010

Science city in the real world

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Anthony Mauger
Kensington

The May 9 Local Opinions letter from Allen W. Feldman [“Two cheers for science city”] criticizing those opposed to suburban growth requires rebuttal. It should be obvious that our horrendous and worsening traffic congestion is a consequence of growth, which is caused by an influx of people and their vehicles to this area.

Mr. Feldman wrote that those who don’t want development should stop having children. The birth rate is irrelevant; a project such as the “science city” in Gaithersburg (praised in another letter by Richard Lampl) will mostly attract people from other places to the jobs it creates. Mr. Lampl and others insist that new transit systems will prevent traffic congestion in the area. Fine in theory, but when will they be built, if ever, and where’s the money?

The intercounty connector is an apt example of what happens in the real world. After years of fierce debate, its construction only recently began long after the surrounding growth was in place and congested.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | May 14, 2010; 6:51 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, development  
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Comments

The family that gave the land to JHU is still unhappy with the plan. It seems like a plan that has been hastily put together to lock in development rights. There are enough approved projects in the vicinity of this project to satisfy developers for the next 20 years.

The idea of a "science city" is great and implies high paying government jobs. The planning and implementation of such a plan is suspect given the current leadership in the County.

They should require completion of the ICC before anything is built. The property is near where the ICC (370) terminates in Gaithersburg. The second Potomac River bridge will probably be built by the time this project is completed.

The CCT is a stupid, high pollution, noisy idea that is bad for the community.

Posted by: Able_Dagger | May 15, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

It's not at all obvious that congestion is a consequence of growth. Indeed, it is flat out WRONG to suggest that. Congestion is a consequence of over-reliance on cars. It is a consequence of building cities that require everyone to drive all the time for everything. When we build cities that don't require that, they don't become congested.

Interestingly, there is an example of this right here in the DC region. Arlington has added some 20 million square feet of office space and tens of thousands of new residential units along its Metro corridors in recent decades with NO discernible increase in congestion. Really. That happened. It happened because Arlington grew in a manner that did not inherently require people to drive.

Smart Growth works. If you want to solve congestion, that's how to do it. There really is no alternative, anyway. Stopping growth just means it goes somewhere else. If you "solve" your problem by stopping growth you haven't solved anything, you've just made it somebody else's problem.

Posted by: Cirrus42 | May 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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