Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Three Things

One, the news that Cardinal Gibbons High School is closing really hit home. For years many young men from Howard County have made the trek down I-95 to the campus in Baltimore. I have high school friends who went there and my older brother went to Gibbons back in the sixties when the school first opened.

Among the hierarchy of Catholic high schools in Baltimore, Cardinal Gibbons lacked the same cachet as Loyola Blakefield or Calvert Hall but its proximity and relatively easy access to Howard County made it an attractive private school option for many HoCo parents. A group of parents and alumni are fighting to save the school so perhaps the last chapter for the Crusaders has yet to be written.

Two, the current plan for the proposed Doughoreghan Manor development that calls for a single access point on Frederick Road is just plain nuts. The most logical thing to do is provide a secondary access into the new community from Burnside Drive but no one is even suggesting this. Burnside Drive is one of those roads built about 20 years ago that dead ends into a farm, not a cul-de-sac. The road simply stops as if it was someday intended to continue through the farm if the farm was ever developed, like now. The problem is that the people who live on Burnside Drive have gotten used to the fact that road stops where it does and that has made Burnside Drive the third rail of the proposed development.

Three, it occurred to me that if General Growth Properties spins off the master plan communities into a new company, that new company would presumably need a new home. Considering that the company already owns a pretty nice headquarters building in Columbia, I think Columbia would be the perfect choice.


Anonymous said...

1--No skin in that game. Personally, why live in Howard County, pay incredible taxes, have great schools, and then send your kid to Baltimore for school? The religious angle, I get it, it just seems so 19th century. It just does not make logical sense.

2--I love single access neighborhoods. It cuts down on traffic and keeps out the riff raff.

3--I'd like to see GGP do a spinoff and HQ them in Columbia. I think it would force them to have skin in the game: they'd have to live and work here, and their neighbors have pitchforks.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the entrance to the Dougheregan through Burnside Dr... I'm not sure that it qualifies as a third rail since PLENTY of people are talking about it - namely the Burnside Dr. and Chateau Ridgelake residents. They don't want their residential street to turn into a speedway. They protested the rezoning because of this, and even brought the Font Hill community into the protest as well.

Anonymous said...

The County Department of Public Works Design Manual for Roads and Bridges says this about cul-de-sacs:

"The maximum length of cul-de-sac roads is 1,200 feet.... A second access shall be provided when traffic volume exceed 1,000 ADT."

The developer's proposal for Doughoregan would create a mile-long cul-de-sac carrying 3,000 daily trips to a single point along MD 144 next to the access points for Kiwanis Wallas Park. But according to the Department of Planning and Zoning that's jsut hunky-dory.

Anonymous said...

WB, doesn't it bother you that the County signed an agreement over 20 years ago to keep Burnside Drive closed.

Tell us, what's your real position on predictability?

Dave said...

Anon 1:51,

Did you see the County Council comments when they passed the bill requiring home sprinklers. It seems that this eliminates the need for dual access to a new subdivision of 325 homes.

Aside from the sprinklers putting out a fire alone, I wonder if the new fangled ones can also provide CPR, oxygen and other emergency services.

Anonymous said...

You got that right, and they wonder why so many people end up suing the County and DPZ.