Capital LTE: “Development has already put too much of a strain on Forest Drive”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, April 22, 2017

Recently hundreds of residents were negatively impacted when one lane on Forest Drive was shut down during rush hour due to “miscommunication” between county agencies. Traffic was completely stopped, back into the neighborhoods on Arundel on the Bay Road. As a result, commuters were late to work and school buses were detained for hours.

All of this because one lane was shut down. Imagine a situation in which fire and rescue, police and other first responders were unable to get through in the event of a real emergency.

Currently there are in excess of 1,000 new housing units proposed or under construction along the Forest Drive corridor. This is a conservative estimate, based on city planning data, and that doesn’t even include the commercial and retail projects. The largest by far is the massive proposal for 393 senior homes and 48 assisted-living units at Crystal Spring, which will be submitted to the city sometime this spring.

While the developers have stated that their individual projects will have minimal impact on our current traffic situation, common sense tells us that this is certainly untrue.

We must look to our city and county officials to address our current traffic insufficiencies before approving, on a case-by-case basis, developments that clearly will increase traffic along the corridor.

I understand that cities are evolving entities and that change and growth are a part of that. However, I implore our elected officials to create a comprehensive and common-sense plan for traffic before approving further development.

With our upcoming mayoral election, now is the time to pressure our current mayor to act and the mayoral candidates to take a definitive stand on this significant issue.


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