Living as a prisoner on Kent Island
I’ve lived in northern Queen Anne’s County for over 40 years, owned a local business and volunteered for various organizations. During that time, I ashamedly admit to turning a deaf ear to the increasing complaints about the growth of traffic congestion on Kent Island and its impact on the lives of those who live there. While driving to Annapolis from Centreville for a movie, shopping or a trip to BWI airport could be an inconvenience, it was something to be endured and you always allowed extra time.
Four years ago, my husband and I moved to lovely Kent Island. We now understand the increasing frustration of our fellow Kent Island residents regarding traffic. Its impact which was once only during the beach season is now a year round issue resulting in what can only be compared to a mandated sentence of home-arrest for Kent Islanders. In effect, citizens of this wonderful island are relegated to their communities not only because of the amount of traffic on Route 50 but travelers’ ability to use their GPS systems taking take them on back roads and alternate routes, all of this leading to gridlock. Going any direction for church, groceries, pharmacy and to Annapolis is more than a challenge and requires vacation-like planning.
What exasperates the situation is that there is no relief in sight. There is no sense of urgency by the current administration, nor was there any by prior administrations to resolve the imprisonment of our citizens in Queen Anne’s County. Insightful citizens of Queen Anne’s County were aghast by this administration’s decision to reduce Bay Bridge tolls, regarding this move as great political marketing but, more importantly to Kent Island residents, served only to diminish State funding that could be earmarked for long overdue road improvements for our community.
We are grateful that at least two of our County Commissioners, Steve Wilson and Jim Moran, have attempted to leverage Annapolis to confront the problem but quite frankly they have been rebuffed. Yes, road improvements are costly but what price can we put on our diminishing quality of life?
So as we are relegated to our weekend and holiday confinement on Kent Island, we continue to ask Annapolis and our local government, when can we expect to be released from this captivity?