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May 31, 2006

Parkland over people

The so-called "Intercounty Connector" is about to be built. In Maryland, and especially in Montgomery County, where the goo-goos are dominant, nothing ever happens right away -- by which I mean "in your lifetime." According to the article in today's Washington Post, the ICC has been 56 years in the making.

In another example of what I call the "double-inverted pyramid" style of journalistic writing, you have to read to the end of the article to see the most important information. A protester was angry that her house was going to be taken when the road was built, and the article clarified why:

Burton is a resident of the Cashell Estates community, where about a dozen homes will be destroyed to make way for the highway. Original plans for the connector did not call for running it through the community, but the current route was proposed in 2003 to avoid parkland, state officials said.
You see? They had to avoid damaging parkland, so they decided to destroy this woman's home and a bunch of others instead. Nice.

The article concludes:
The federal government "basically said damage of Rock Creek Park could not be mitigated," [State Transportation Secretary] Flanagan said of the original plans. "The road might not have been buildable if we had taken that route."
There's a lot to be said for the road, but is this the price of progress?