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Misplaced Priorities

I know it sounds like a broken record, but I can never be amazed how much Dan Rodricks can misplace his priorities. Time and time and time and time again, Rodricks has shown us he would rather spend a billion dollars on new sports facilities than he would dealing with real problems facing Baltimore’s residents.

Now apparently, Rodricks also thinks that the arena project is more important than other state projects too. Because while Rodricks thinks there is money for arenas, apparently the Intercounty Connector is just a bridge too far:

The ICC has been sold to us – first by Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich, then his Democratic successor, Martin O’Malley – as one of those costly but necessary government projects that support development and commerce. It’s an 18.8-mile stretch of expensive toll road to move cars and trucks between congested areas, relieve some of the traffic on the Other Beltway, the one that snakes around the nation’s capital, and even enhance homeland security. Accepting all these arguments, the Bush administration put the Intercounty Connector on the fast track for Ehrlich five years ago.

But in 2008, it’s the Intercounty Anachronism.

With an economic downtown fueled by a housing bust and the cost of energy, the so-yesterday quality of the ICC should be apparent to most Marylanders now.

Why not scrap the whole thing? Why should we feel stuck with building a highway that first hit the drawing boards in the 1950s?

That’s right. Rodricks sees no problem in wasting money on an unnecessary project like an arena, but when it comes to building a vital and necessary transportation and economic lifeline, well we certainly can’t be having any of that, now can we?

And what exactly is Rodricks solution to deal with the transportation problems that would not be solved by the construction of the ICC? Transit projects that will allegedly alleviate congestion on the Capital Beltway. Never mind the fact that one of the purposes of the ICC was to…..alleviate congestion on the Capital Beltway by removing through traffic going from the Baltimore area to Montgomery County, particularly trucks and business vehicles that would never use this proposed transit model.

Rodricks misplaces his priorities once again. I wonder how much of this is related to Rodricks myopic, Baltimore-centric universe, or just to the fact that Rodricks is ignorant of issues that actually matter to the rest of Maryland’s citizenry.

(Crossposted)






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