Town Square, Oct. 9, 2019

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot

Town Square is an opinion column to which readers can submit their views. As a true community newspaper, we’re always looking for ways to include local thought and pertinent viewpoints. This column is a way to share those thoughts. Civility and fair comment will always prevail.
Fire at Hyatt
TRAGEDY: I’m so sad this happened, but grateful for all who helped put the fire out, and for those paramedics and others who are an important part of tragedies like this one.
GOOD WORK, DISPATCHERS: Excellent job to the communication center and dispatchers working Dorchester Central.
Bay bridge project
DEVELOPMENT TO DORCHESTER: The best time to plan a new bridge is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. And not the current flim-flam that disregards the Eastern Shore, but a solid plan that captures the DC metro traffic, passes through southern Maryland to relieve traffic there, and brings badly needed economic development to Dorchester County.
CALVERT TO CAMBRIDGE: I couldn’t agree more — Calvert County to Cambridge is traffic efficient and economical.
NOT SMART TO DELAY: If you take a lane of traffic away, those cars have to go somewhere. It’s physics. The toll lane seem to have very little to do with it. It’s compression of traffic, ten lanes into two. You can see it’s backed up on the bridge side of the toll plaza. Unless you’re going to give us another way across the bay while this project is underway, nothing else will make that much of a difference. And you have to maintain the bridge. Delaying the project simply doesn’t seem smart
NEED MORE ROOM: It’s also notable that MD 270 North backs up for miles and miles every weeknight, and more dramatically on Fridays, and nobody’s in a panic about that. It’s the same issue of compression of multiple lanes into few and no investment in infrastructure to keep up with growth. There simply is not enough room for all the cars on the road.
TAKE A STEP BACK: While we all recognize the need for long overdue repairs, poor planning has turned everyone’s worlds upside down. I commute from Kent Island to D.C. and expect to be inconvenienced, but to cripple and penalize everyone else on the Shore is unacceptable. Take a big step back right now. Plan. Regroup. Move forward in a reasonable, responsible, and least intrusive and detrimental manner.
ALL-VIDEO TOLLING: While I recognize that repairs to the bridge are necessary, I agree that the implementation has been poorly planned. I would strongly advocate for the removal of the toll booths and re-striping the east bound roadway back to 2-3 lanes of high-speed video/E-Z Pass tolling. The major source of delay eastbound is the fanning out and merging back in at the toll booths. If they can convert the Key and Hatem bridges to all-video tolling, why in the world would they not do it at the Bay Bridge?
ANOTHER SOLUTION: Instead of delaying the project, start winnowing the lanes several miles before toll plaza while reducing speed limit. This would facilitate a slow but continuous moving traffic pattern. The bridge repairs are necessary in spite of the inconvenience to commuters.
Views on D.C.
VICTORY TO TRUMP: You liberal snowflakes melt. You have hollered impeachment since Pres. Trump took office, and will grasp at anything to achieve that. Good luck, because the Democrats have just handed the victory flag to Trump in 2020.
IGNORE IT: You want so desperately for this lifelong con-man to not be guilty of anything, simply because he’s a “Republican,” that you’re willing to ignore every ill deed he’s done; deeds for which you would like to crucify members of the opposition. You, and what has become of the Republican Party, are a disgrace.
Town Square – your public forum – is moderated by Dorchester Banner Editor Dave Ryan. Email your comments to

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