Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Chicken and the Egg

Ken Ulman spoke at the Democracy for Howard County meeting on Monday, March 13th at the Elkridge Library. He was asked many questions about development in Howard County. I asked him about mass transit (or the lack thereof) in the county. His answer was that mass transit was expensive and a certain density of population was needed in order to justify the cost of building metro or light rail systems (I've lived in the county since 1991 and heard the same thing then). I think that is the WRONG approach. Howard County cannot wait for the whole county to be dense enough to justify a mass transit system. The eastern parts of the county are dense enough to get going with a rail transit system now. This system could provide intra-county transportation and inter-county connections with the existing mass transit systems (Baltimore's light rail and Montgomery's and Prince Georges' metro lines). By building mass transit we would get less traffic, save green space and direct development into appropriate areas of the county, get walkable neighborhoods, help all of us get some exercise, allow people who do not drive (the elderly, disabled, poor) to live in Howard County, cut down on pollution and cut down on our dependence on foreign oil; not to mention we just might meet our neighbor!


Anonymous Regina said...

I completely agree that we should start right now to invest more money in mass transportation. When I need to go into Baltimore and DC, I would much rather take mass transit. I live near the Dorsey train station, but the trains running between Baltimore and DC only run at times meant to take people to and from work. Which means no mid-day trains or weekend trains.

Sometimes when I go up to Baltimore, I drive over to Glen Burnie to catch the light rail.

I have doctors in Howard County and I would love to be able to take mass transit to their offices. There are times when a medical condition might make me unable to drive.

I'd love to be able to take mass transit to visit friends in Howard County.

We need to invest money in mass transit so that our roads do not continue to get more crowded.
Just look up the word "Invest" in the dictionary....yes, it means spending money now....but you will benefit down the road (no pun intended).

When I lived in the city, I always took buses. It was so much easier than doing the driving myself. It was less wear and tear on my car, less stress on my nerves (anybody heard of "road rage"?).
And riding the bus allows me to read or do crossword puzzles......even talk to other people and make friends.

When I visit friends in DC, we take mass transit. Not only is driving in DC a hassle, but so is parking. Mass transit solves that problem for me.

People may not think of New York City as the most environmentally-friendly place, but the fact that so many people live there and use mass transit means there are less automobile (uh, and SUV) miles driven per capita there than in suburbia. That makes a difference.

I could go on and on, but, suffice to say, I agree with everything the writer of the original post on this topic wrote.

6:12 PM  

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