Widening Fears

Dear Readers,
Worry is spreading through the city like a computer virus! And the council is jumping to respond like an eager IT department.
The mayor must have reached for the Hotline. The State Highway Administration head administrator has been summoned by state representative Heather Mizeur to explain SHA’s intentions for Route 410 at the next city council meeting. Mizeur’s e-mail to constituents “in response to the outpouring of community concern over this situation” invites residents to the meeting, November 8, at 8 pm in the city council chambers.

She wrote that Neil Pedersen, SHA head administrator, was “enthusiastic about clearing up any concerns the community has and agreed immediately to join us.”
MIzeur and her staff have been involved in city negotiations with SHA, she said, for 11 months. She assured constituents, “All parties are in agreement that the exchange be done in a way that assures 410 is never widened through Takoma Park, either now or in the future.”
Mizeur said, “Public engagement and input is always helpful, and it will be good to get everyone on the same page.”
Councilmembers have also sent out explanatory, mollifying e-mails to local discussion lists.
The Right Words
The Road Transfer quote we gave you in our last post was incorrect. We quoted from the draft available online at the city’s web site. But the version the city council ALMOST voted for was modified. The modifications were as the SHA requested.
The new wording was
“SHA has no plans to revise the number of through lanes or major transportation features of MD 410 and MD 195 and agrees that it would consult with the City of Takoma Park before undertaking any major changes to either of these roadways.”
The OLD language seems weaker.
“SHA agrees to comply with the provision of the Takoma Park Master Plan regarding numbers of through lanes and other transportation features of MD 410 and MD 195 within the City of Takoma Park.”
In the new wording from the SHA, they say up front they have no plan to widen Route 410, and if they change their mind, they agree to consult with the city about it. They no longer hang the agreement on the Takoma Park Master Plan, now it is hung on that consultation with the city, which the way Your Gilbert reads it, is more direct and stronger.

– Gilbert

About the Author

Gilbert is the pseudonym of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, long-time Takoma Park resident who maintains the granolapark blog. Gilbert and William L. Brown — Granola Park's mild-mannered chief of staff, researcher, and drink pourer — have never been seen in the same place at the same time.

8 Comments on "Widening Fears"

  1. Tom Gabriel | November 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm |

    To “consult” with Takoma Park may seem “more direct and stronger” to Gilbert but it implies no duty to agree. Consult is not consent.

  2. It is more direct to deal with the city council than to use the Master Plan as a guide. Who’s to say what changes can happen to the Master Plan and whether the city council’s wishes are expressed in it? That way seems indirect and much weaker than consulting directly with the council.

  3. Tom’s point is still absolutely valid, and if reference to the Master Plan is not a guarantee neither is the mere promise of a process in which one has the upper hand. More direct? maybe. Stronger? Doubtful.

  4. Who says they have the upper hand?

  5. Isn’t that the premise of TP self-government that it has to protect itself from these much stronger institutions, County, State? And that is definitely the thread that is coming out the posts to the listserv?
    Sorry, I know that you tend to get very touchy when someone dares to post something in response to YOUR blog that does not adhere to your views! So are apologies needed?

  6. We see no need for apologies, unless you wish to apologize for being completely wrongheaded when you disagree with US. As wrongheaded as the threads that have come out on the listserves. At least you are not as hysterical as some of them.

  7. let us all repeat and learn that:

  8. Amen, indeed!
    We will now pass the collection plate.

Comments are closed.