Friday, October 19, 2012

Dayspring Church Farm Against Funding M-83


Dear Members of the County Council and County Executive,

I urge you to reject TPAR because it contains provisions to fund acceleration of the study of Mid-County Highway Extended (M83).  Rather than further funding this already costly study, I support defunding it.  It is becoming clearer and clearer that this road project is unwise and should not be built.
Dear Children of the Earth Retreat

The environmental damage that building this road would cause is huge, given the master plan alignment through the precious amount of stream valley parkland and forest that still exist in Germantown and Montgomery Village. 

I have been a water quality monitor with the Audubon Naturalist Society monitoring the quality of the Dayspring Creek tributary of Great Seneca Creek since 1993.  The water quality of this creek, though adversely affected by an upstream development in the 1990's, remains one of the better quality streams in the County, and deserves protection from a large highway crossing it and running on a ridge parallel to it. 

An exceptionally special natural feature of Dayspring Creek in the area of the proposed road is a section of the creek valley that has been designated by Montgomery County Parks as one of the top biodiversity areas in the County.  Because this steep-walled valley remains cool in the summer heat, northern species such as Black Ash are able to grow here, about as far south as this tree species is known to grow.  Rock outcrops and seeps in the valley sides provide unique habitats for unusual plants such as false hellebore, ebony spleenwort, and a proliferation of wild columbine that rivals any other in the County.

All along the more than six miles of this proposed highway between Ridge Road and the current terminus of Mid-County Highway at Montgomery Village Avenue there are serious impacts to natural features, to school playgrounds, and to neighborhoods.  There are environmental, social, and fiscal costs to building this highway.  Any one of these costs, taken alone, should be enough to justify not building this highway.  Taken together, the evidence is overwhelming.  This road should not be built.



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