Fresh thinking needed on traffic, bridge issues
A whooping turnout Tuesday of 60 per cent of the registered voters of Queen Anne’s County nominated all but one of the Organization Democratic candidates to office for the General Election inNovember, according to unofficial figures received at the Board of Election Supervisors’ office.
It was not unusual — in 1962, the Organization boys put in all but one of their standard bearers.
The only candidate to be nominated who ran independently was Kent Island merchant Julius Grollman, who piled up 2,254 votes in the unofficial county — to led all county commissioner nominees.
* * * Three volunteer firemen from Sudlersville escaped injury Sunday when the fire truck they were on was in a minor collision with a car on the Duhamel Corner Road, near Sudlersville.
A Galena fireman was not as fortunate — he suffered a broken foot when the truck he ws riding was struck by a car just a few hours earlier.
… Just about 1 p.m. near Massey, truck driven by John Duhamell of Galena Fire Company stopped in the dirt road to extinguish a fire in some logging equipment. A car driven by Samuel W. Johnston, 44, Galena, failed to stop in time and hit the rear of the truck, pinning Richard Hanifee, 17, by the leg.
* * * Plans for a new quartermillion dollar library building were approved, directors and new officers named at the annual meeting of the Queen Anne’s County Free Library this week in Centreville.
A record 63,045 books, periodicals, records and films were circulated through the main library, the branch in Sudlersville and the bookmobile during the past year, according to Mrs. Mary Johnston, librarian.
While new books are being purchased to keep up with reader interest, Mrs. Johnston pointed out that they cannot be displayed on the shelves because of the crowded conditions.
One out of five teenage girls who took a pregnancy test provided by the Queen Anne’s County Health Department scored positive during a six-month period this year.
One of six teens — 128 — out of an approximate high school population of 700 felt worried enough to take the health department-provided test, a fact that has officials concerned enough to submit a grant proposal to the state for a peer counseling program.
The health department provided 128 pregnancy tests to girls under 18 from January through May, with 26 scoring positive, according to a May health department memo. Based on these statistics, the health department submitted a proposal to the Governor’s Council on Adolescent Pregnancy for a $15,000 grant to support a community incentive program entitle PRAISE (Peers Reaching Adolescents In School and Everywhere).
*** The historic Salem Methodist Episcopal Church celebrated its 60th Annual Homecoming Service Sunday with approximately 30 in attendance.
Although organized in 1829, the church was not built until 1845. Even then the “new” church was not quite new. In 1887 church members replacing the roof discovered that lumber from old barns had been used to construct the “new” Salem Church.
Salem Church was active until the death of its pastor, Louis Philip Corkran, in 1931. Since that time, the church has been used just one a year, for the celebration of its Homecoming Ser vice.
The fact that the church has survived to become 146 years old is due largely to the Board of Trustees, many of whom have been active in the church all of their lives, as have their ancestors.
One such contributor, Mrs. Edith Leiby Thompson, past (sic) away last week at the age of 90. George Leiby, brother to Mrs. Thompson, said, She was married in the church Christmas day in 1918.”
*** A house fire killed four people early Sunday in a rural section of Millington.
The victims are believed to be members of the David Noe family, said Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas.
Two victims were found in a front bedroom of the second floor of the wood-frame house and two were found in a second-floor hallway.
While it is admirable to hear the governor’s concerns about traffic at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, an announcement focusing on a shiny new bridge lacks any real discussion about cost, impact on communities and the understanding that a sprawling flood of people, traffic and pavement can detract from rural Maryland.
There is a large and growing body of evidence and near consensus that our conventional approach of solving traffic congestion by increasing roadway capacity is ineffective over the long term. The most immediate example that comes to my mind is Route 1 in Delaware — an expensive, new northsouth highway that was over capacity the day it opened. It brought massive sprawl in southern New Castle County, immediately overwhelming the new infrastructure.
We are long overdue for a more modern approach to transportation planning — one that emphasizes mass transit and other forwardthinking measures that make the most out of the infrastructure we have, and emphasizes land use decisions that decrease auto dependence and increase transportation choices.
What about expanded bus services with a stronger backbone service from Baltimore and Washington to Ocean City, stopping in key population centers and complementary service from rural areas to the backbone stops? Or publicprivate partnerships such as a high-speed ferry option? And should an eventual new bridge be built, what about revisiting passenger rail, which used to exist on the Shore?
Fresh thinking on the Bay Bridge situation could also include ideas such as setting up telecommuting centers in our Eastern Shore small towns, and work policies such that state and federal employees could work from the Shore on peak traffic days or even more often, saving fuel, pollution and traffic while also stimulating the vibrancy of our towns. Implementing new tolling technologies and policies that do away with the toll booths, increasing rates during peak use periods and decreasing rates for high occupancy vehicles is yet another direction that could be explored for considerably less money.
Spending $5 million to study the environmental impacts of a new Bay Bridge feels like fiddling while Rome burns. Let’s talk about the things we can do today to relieve congestion immediately, then think about what might be needed to manage Bay travel demand over the long term, and only thereafter consider whether a new bridge is worth its considerable financial and environmental cost.
Executive Director Eastern Shore Land Conservancy
The apprehensive look of County Commissioner Candidate Julius Grollman’s face as he cast his ballot Tuesday morning in Stevensville soon changed to one of glee as the count began to come in proclaiming him the county favorite.