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Votes

Answer Is Still No

Council considers resolution to oppose Techway.

A resolution to oppose the techway, a new Potomac River Bridge, and its accompanying highway, sometimes called the Western Bypass, was introduced at the County Council on June 15.

The resolution, introduced by Councilmembers Nancy Floreen (D-At Large), Steve Silverman (D-At Large), Mike Knapp, (D-2) and Michael Subin (D-At Large) restates the council's opposition to the bridge and support for the preservation of the agricultural reserve.

Floreen introduced the resolution in response to recent press reports discussing development pressure on the agricultural reserve. While previous County Councils have expressed unanimous opposition to the techway and a second crossing, "This council has not taken a position on this," she said.

She pointed out that it has long been the council's position that any new crossing should go at Point of Rocks, in Frederick County, and that the Frederick County Commissioners have also expressed support for such a bridge.

Councilmember Marilyn Praisner(D-4) thought that the wording of the resolution did not go far enough. She noted that it expresses opposition to a techway through the agricultural reserve, but that some might construe that as a weakening of opposition to it in other parts of the county.

Others agreed. "I think it is very important that we not leave a false impression," said Councilmember Howard Denis (R-1). He said the resolution should be reworded, "to be sure that before we vote on this we be sure that we're not taking any step backwards or sideways."

Councilmember Tom Perez (D-5) concurred. He also questioned a clause in the resolution stating that support for the bridge is growing. He noted that entities which have historically supported the bridge, such as the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the editorial board of The Washington Post, continue to do so, but that is not growth.

"I'd like to see the evidence [that support is growing]," Perez said.

The resolution is scheduled to come before the council for a vote on June 22.