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Advertise on the Tentacle

October 28, 2005

A Bridge Too Far!


A Bridge Too Far!

We stand at a crossroads as Frederick City prepares to vote next Tuesday. Looming in the background is next year's equally important run for five seats on the Board of County Commissioners.

One of the most interesting aspects of these campaigns is the "getting things done" attitude of the candidates: what actually shows up when the job is completed.

In the late 1980s the county was in a pickle over trash, or rather, what to do with the ever-increasing mound of it that the county had to dispose of. Prior to the 1990 election, all the candidates were in favor of "getting it done" - as in locating a final resting place. The Schrodel farm on Reich's Ford Road next to what was then the landfill seemed a logical choice.

Candidates paraded through the kitchen of Bill and Kathleen Schrodel trying to establish a kinship with them and the problems they faced in the wake of the county's march to acquiring their farm. Now, more than 15 years later, the concerns expressed at that table still resonate with the property owners who live nearby "Mount Trashmore" as the cells fill up way before their expected life span.

Now there is talk of a transfer station, even an incinerator. Will next year 's race for Winchester Hall's five commanding seats center on "getting it done" once again.

This "git 'er done" cry is not only being heard in the county in expectation of the next round of campaigning. For decades we have heard a similar howl about Carroll Creek running through the heart of the city. Finally something is being done.

For some the thought is "that is not what I was expecting;" or, "that's just not Frederick;" to "it's too fancy;" and finally to: "are we paying for all this?"

Others are gleeful that something, anything, is finally coming to fruition. Still others are concerned about the new Frederick along the creek being more like an urban canyon with high rises and high prices. So much for continuing the linear park that runs from Baker Park and now ends at Court Street.

While we anticipated and expected improvement along our concrete creek, a question seems to be emerging: "Did we really need all that?"

A case in point is the recent buzz about what has become known as "the half moon bridge" and its location within 100 feet of Market Street, conveniently blocking the view along the creek. So much for the touted viewscapes envisioned as part of the project.

Perhaps it will all come together someday and prove to be everything the politicians hoped it would be. On the other hand, we detect a lingering perception that in the rush to "git 'er done," we'll need to improve the project within a few years. Maybe it will be a simple matter: removing that half-moon bridge.

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