Some of my environmentalist friends were very much against it being built. They were concerned about the construction of the road negatively impacting habitat and wildlife.
My long-time and very good friend, who happens to be on the PG County Council, would argue with me not only that the ICC would contaminate forests and streams, but that it would also add to sprawl- that when we build roads, more development along those roads naturally follows.
First of all, I think the ICC is close-in enough that it doesn’t qualify as sprawl. I believe that development should be built as close-in as possible, consolidating businesses and residents, which makes for less travel to and from work, shopping, etc. The ICC cuts through the heart of Montgomery County, where there is already a rather dense population- so I’m OK with it getting more dense.
Roads aren’t what create development, increased population creates development. This area, country, and planet are only getting more populated. New houses wouldn’t be added if the population wasn’t growing- and new buildings are built because there are more businesses to serve the increasing population.
Secondly, I think the ICC will save thousands, if not a million+, gallons of gas per year. I cringe at traffic jams, as thousands of cars sit idling for sometimes hours, getting horrible mpg. Cars that would normally travel 20 miles in 20 minutes at an average 25mpg probably burn at least twice the amount of fuel when in stop-n-go traffic. Also, the more roads there are, the more direct routes there are, which decreases travel distances.
Nobody likes to see natural areas bulldozed- and it is bad for the environment to do so. However, if this global warming thing plays out like 99% of scientists are saying it will, habitats and entire ecosystems are at risk and we must do everything we can do reduce carbon emissions.
Traffic jams are horrible for the environment (and horrible for the economy and people’s standard of living for that matter, considering all the time wasted). I believe that in areas with dense populations such as Montgomery County- that in addition to more public transportation, we need more roads and roads with more lanes.