August 15, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Theater Holding Auditions for ‘Clue’ -

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Shakespeare Heads to St. Mary’s City -

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Young Artists Sought for Sotterley Contest -

Thursday, July 28, 2022

St. Mary’s, Eat, Live, and Be Healthy -

Saturday, July 23, 2022

FDR Boulevard: A Slow Road to Nowhere

FDR Boulevard Plan
Posted by Viki Volk

Lexi-TitleI just don’t get it.

How does a new, slow, “shopping” road parallel to Route 235 reduce traffic going to or from work in Lexington Park? Or speed it up? How can more commercial and residential development between Wildewood and Hickory Hills shopping strips improve transportation down the long driveway into Pax River/Lexington Park?

I mean no disrespect.  I’m married to one of the FDR decision-makers who think it will do these things. I disagree. There have been unpleasant dinners.

I say, “Not a single study shows a shopper’s road will improve the highway traffic flow.” I ask, “Why is a failing state highway the fiscal responsibility of the county anyway?” I harangue, “Shoppers have to return to Great Mills Road or we’re all down the tubes.”

It’s better for county coffers and certainly better for Lexington Park (host to Pax River’s largess and detritus) to make more accessible the locally owned business district along Great Mills Road. The economic viability of the district was destroyed a couple decades ago when the state widening of Route 235 took most of the largess and left most of the rest. If there are local economic development funds to invest, the better return for St. Mary’s would be redirecting some of that largess down the abandoned corridor than pumping up more franchise trade. So goes my argument.

There is one segment of the long planned FDR Boulevard that addresses this. This segment creates convenient access between Route 235 and Great Mills Road north of the Gate 2 access intersection. It also allows one of the heaviest trafficked segments of Route 235 to avoid one of the busiest intersections on Route 235.

This is the only segment that could actually remove traffic from a congested portion of Route 235 onto an alternative exit route. Not into a cul-de-sac community; not into a shopping center; not into a destination but onto an alternative route out of town. The only segment.

And it is the only segment that in 25 years continually fails to win funding.

FDR Boulevard Plan

FDR Boulevard Plan. Click to expand.

You begin to imagine just how unpleasant these FDR dinners can be. If we make it to dessert I am drawing tiny connecting roads between cul-de-sac-ed neighborhoods off Route 235 to cul-de-sac-ed neighborhoods off Great Mills Road. I am talking about bringing services, restaurants and retailers along Great Mills Road within easier reach than franchises along Route 235. All of my roads together total fewer miles than the recently funded FDR segments between Wildewood and Hickory Hills.

Fewer asphalt dollars spent. Traffic off Route 235. Neighborhoods connected to local services and retailers via slow, neighborhood roads. Great Mills Road recapitalized, icing on the cake, pie a’la mode.

No. This is too far. I almost never get this far.

For 25 years, not just these more recent years across the dinner table, FDR dialogue is cut off at those most basic queries. Why is this the county’s budget responsibility? What will happen if Great Mills Road continues to be left out of the county economy? When will we invest in ourselves instead of more franchises?

FDR Boulevard? This is how far we get: another sullen morning over strong coffee wondering how we’d gone so wrong, to bring up that old subject again.

7 Responses to “FDR Boulevard: A Slow Road to Nowhere”
  1. Ken says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I think your map is spot on and your proposals are in the best interest of the taxpayers, merchants, commuters and Pax River.

    Maybe you should run for office! By the way, not a good idea to talk politics over breakfast or dinner. Keep it light!

  2. Michelle says:

    I, for one, an greatly opposed to FDR in the Hickory Hills area. Installing a main road in the middle of residences will create a nightmare for those living there. Children stand at the corners of these roads waiting for the bus, people are constantly walking their dogs and children ride bikes to and from the parks and pools. I see a disaster coming to the people of that community and as a member of Hickory Hills community, I will be selling my house and retiring elsewhere. Anyone interested in buying? *snicker*

  3. Jim Bob says:

    So let me get this straight. The way to fix 235 is to enable these people to speed thru residential neighborhoods? Installing round-abouts will not slow people down. Chancellor’s run is a drag strip anyway so now lets send people on FDR with speeds excess of 45-55 mph? Brilliant.

    I’ve heard people mention that Hickory Hills supports this idea. Let’s make one thing clear. Nobody in the area agrees with this notion. Maybe the HOA officers who have their own agenda. But the homeowners are against installing a raceway in our backyard.

    To spin this FDR idea to benefit the community and generate economic growth is ludacris for multiple reasons. Discussing this over dinner wouldn’t make it past setting the dinnerware down before some 4 letter words dropped. Tax dollars wasted yet again.

  4. Bob H says:

    The economic development of this area is still anemic at best. Without a commitment and incentives from politicians to bring in new businesses (ie. a movie theater) or other large reinvestment developers the Lexington Park cooridor is doomed and taking Great Mills Road with it.

  5. I. M. Concerned says:

    Infrastructure is partly the responsibility as the county is the one that zoned 235 the “development district”. Why should the state pay for all further upgrades to 235 when commercial development decisions made at the county planning/zoning level have caused it to be ineffective? On that note, if you travel farther north towards DC, you will realize that the state has much larger infrastructure problems than 235/4.

    I agree though, development should be encouraged along 245 instead of further sprawl up 235. If we want to improve this area though, the truth is that we cannot depend on the state for funding, because we are undoubtedly low on the list. Other rapidly expanding urban/suburban areas have imposed local taxes to fund infrastructure improvements (I would not at all be opposed to this). I think the county should work with residents to identify the best route for all. We desperately need an alternative to 235.

  6. SEB says:

    Well I.M. Concerned – if the nimrods in DC don’t stop the sequester from happening – 235 traffic problems should be resolved in not time… 🙂

  7. Unbelievable says:

    This area is so backwards and so resistant to any type of change.

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