Gateway Circle Is Good for Chesapeake Country

But in the way of beautification, there's still more to be done

We know something of cultural gateways, having watched the arms of the St. Louis arch join, improbably, in a perfect bow some 30 years ago. That was long ago and far away, in a city ambitious for recognition as the Gateway to the West, in a time when we still believed, as a nation, that our will was the way. Who can imagine, today, spending billions on a shiny decoration?

Now with Gateway Circle -- and the remodeling of Main Street before it -- Annapolis has beautified its image with some smart thinking, thinking that befits its stature as capital city of Maryland and of Chesapeake Country. It's spent our money wisely, buying both utility and beauty. On the side of utility, both projects will have rebuilt crumbling infrastructures, improving service to the surrounding communities. From both projects, the wider community stands to benefit from better roads and vastly improved traffic flow.

With Main Street, all who visit - every day or once in a lifetime - experienc and carry away a positive image of historic Annapolis.

When Gateway Circle is completed on the eve of the millennium, we expect it will work just as well and look just as good.

City fathers and mothers, take note. We mean it when we say expect. Beautiful vistas don't just happen; they're planned. We learn that lesson every time we round Anne Arundel County's other new traffic circle, in Lothian. There a splendid country setting and an efficient design have been spoiled. Signs surround the circle as if it were an interstate intersection. The wonderful circle center has been let go to pot - despite the many good ideas for filling it submitted by New Bay Times' readers. What a waste.

Be on notice that better is expected of Gateway Circle. Come to think of it, Mayor Johnson, shouldn't you be holding a competition right now to open the doors to good ideas for our new circle's center?

While beauty is the subject, we need relief on two other scores.

Ours is the kingdom of redundant signs. Anne Arundel County plants them as eagerly as it ought to be planting flowers. By doing so, Executive Gary, you're destroying the beauty and integrity of our byways.

Here in Chesapeake Country, we also live in the kingdom of litter. How citizens of such a beautiful land can throw couches and refrigerators away as indiscriminately as fast-food wrappers, beer cans and cigarette butts, we don't know. If we can't stop that bad habit, we're going to have to resign ourselves to living ugly or cleaning up after our careless cousins. Here at NBT, putting our effort where our mouth is, we just got out the broom and dustpan. We encourage you to do the same.

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VolumeVI Number 35
September 3-9, 1998
New Bay Times

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