I recently received from Councilman David Marks a copy of a letter that he sent to the Baltimore County Department of Public Works (DPW) asking whether there is money in the current DPW budget year to undertake improvements to the intersection of Joppa and Harford Roads.
If there is no money Councilman Marks said that his decision for CZMP issue 5-019 becomes easy..
The first question that I would have for DPW is what is the timeline and cost for the improvements to the Harford and Joppa Road intersection.
I think that project timeline and cost data before should be included in the response from DPW and the response should be shared with citizens most impacted, the Carney citizens.
That said I don't understand how there could be money in the budget for this project when there are so many road repairs needed and replacements for sinking drains are needed in neighborhoods all over Baltimore County. How could fixing this intersection be the priority? Just so CVS can put a pharmacy the citizens of Carney do not need and do not want on the southwest corner of Joppa and Harford Roads?
I think that DPW could advise that the money is in the budget and then would later say "Oh! We were wrong" now "Project XYZ" now has to be givn priority. By that time the CVS would be built and the County Government would be happy and the Carney citizens would have been screwed again.
Why you ask would I be so cynical? One particular experience soured me.
When Vince Gardina represented Carney on the County Council, he finally publicly declared that the intersection at Joppa and Harford Roads was failing. He designated the intersection an "F" during the Basic Map Services process.
However, with no improvements having been made to the intersection, the next spring, which happened to be an election year, Councilman Gardina reversed his decision of the year before and changed the rating of the intersection back to a "D" from an "F".
He said rating the intersection at Joppa and Harford Road an "F" during the Basic Map Services process the year before was a mistake.
Why did he do this? He had pressure from developers to change the intersection rating back to a "D" because no development can be done within 2 miles of a failing intersection. When he changed the intersection back from an "F" to a "D" developer money flowed into Vince Gardina's campaign chest.
So Councilman Marks we hope you take whatever the Baltimore County Department of Public Works tells you with a grain of salt.