The little engine that could (whine a lot)
Adam Pagnucco at Maryland Politics Watch is building up a head of steam for his apparent argument that the rest of the state owes Montgomery County $4.6 billion to turn Interstate 270 into the gazillion-lane Maryland Sprawlway.
The theme is that Montgomery County is the "economic engine of the state" and deserves to remain so forever. It appears that if the Baltimore region, Prince George's, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore don't give Montgomery what it wants (even though it's dubious that all of Montgomery wants it), the entire population of the county will decamp across the Potomac and leave nothing but scorched earth from Takoma Park to Germantown.
"This engine is wearing down. And if it breaks, the state will stop moving," Pagnucco wails.
Uh, Adam, is the federal government going to move to Yucca Mountain, Nevada, if I-270 isn't widened? Don't think so.
Maryland has been flying far too long on a single economic engine. It will fly a lot smoother and straighter if it had one on each wing. Let me suggest that growth be rechanneled toward Interstate 95, where much more of the state can reach the jobs. Montgomery's been pulling too much of the weight for too long. It behooves the rest of the state to give it a break from the arduous task of creating wealth and to absorb some of that traffic stuck in the growth-saturated I-270 corridor.
I can't wait to read Pagnuco's Part 2. The more these Montgomery folks lecture us about their indispensibility, the sooner we'll decide to decommission I-270 and turn it into a hiker-biker trail.