Cameras catch speeders; bumps bother everyone
I'd much rather see anti-speeding cameras installed to catch the scofflaws than the traffic bumps that Jim Robey's Howard County Government seems to consider as the answer for controlling speeding. Cameras will trap the speeders - bumps make for an unpleasant drive for all the lawful drivers.
Wallace C. Knapp
Planned development threatens traffic safety
Western Howard County residents should be concerned about the safety of the Route 108 and Ten Oaks Road intersection in Clarksville, and the planned development at this site by BP Corporation and Motiva Enterprises LLC/Shell Oil Products Co.
Most residents who are familiar with this intersection will agree that it is congested and confusing. At a recent Board of Appeals hearing, the engineer hired by BP Corporation described the current plan as attempting to make the best of a marginal site.
My observation is that BP is attempting to fit a round peg in a square hole. The proposed traffic improvements may ease some of the traffic burden on the already taxed Ten Oaks and 108 intersection. However, this is not an adequate solution to the long-term needs of our growing community.
My concern is that the predicted traffic flow data, presented by BP at the two recent Board of Appeals hearings, is not consistent with the observations of citizens who testified at the hearing in December of 2001.
This data will fail the validity test if held to the standards of scientific rigor.
Oversight is needed by local and state elected officials to ensure public safety is the number one priority as the planned development of the intersection of 108 and Ten Oaks Road moves forward. The current traffic improvement plan is inadequate, irresponsible from a corporate citizen perspective and dangerous.
Hopefully, in the end, a traffic improvement plan can be implemented to meet the public safety needs of our community and the perceived need to develop this intersection.
'Strategic Planning' preserves status quo
The "strategic planning" that has taken up much of the Columbia Association Council's time over recent months was revealed last week as the usual charade.
The Council majority first commissioned a polling group to survey Columbians on their views of the future course of their city. It's difficult to see this group, a local organization with many ties to Columbia, as objective. Yet, after meetings in each village and one city-wide meeting, they reported to the Council that the main concerns of Columbians were the "vision" and the governance issues.
At the Feb. 14 Council meeting the proposed phone survey was discussed and the first draft of questions to be asked were seen for comment. The Council's reaction? First, add $5,000 to double the number of phone calls and ensure that enough African-Americans and young people are included. So much for randomization.
Next, Pearl Atkinson Stewart felt we should exclude questions on the vision. Then, Linda Odum capped the discussion by suggesting questions on the governance be dropped.
The upshot: Once again CA (i.e. our) money will be spent to sanctify pre-selected conclusions with a purchased consultant. This is "strategic planning" to preserve the status quo.
Henry D. Shapiro
Infill development not always Smart Growth
Once again, The Sun has reported on the coming degradation of an established community by over-population, this time in Howard County ("Getting lots from little," Feb. 17).
The nice little established community of Crowder, with a few open parcels of one or two acres each, are about to see the effects of infill development. Now that Howard County is running out of all but unconnected pieces of land, developers have to seek out and subdivide those pieces for intensive building.
Infill building is part of "Smart Growth"; that is, growth in established communities with infrastructure in place. Trouble is, a place like Crowder, with narrow streets and no sidewalks, cannot comfortably accommodate heavy traffic while remaining safe and contented. No matter how nice their new neighbors may be, there will be too many people and cars.
It is not enough for people who are experiencing the degrading effects of overcrowding, or who observe examples of it, to wring their hands and cry, "Ain't it awful!" They must support the groups who are seeking a reasonable, sustainable population and immigration policy until those agencies can claim to represent a million or more members. If the people in Crowder are not members of Zero Population Growth or FAIR or Numbers USA, they might as well change their name to "Crowded."
Carleton W. Brown