Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Saqib Ali's Statement on Gaithersburg West

Delegate Saqib Ali (D-39) released the following statement on the Gaithersburg West Master Plan.


Lately, many people have asked me whether or not I support the plan to build the Life Sciences Center in Gaithersburg/Rockville area. This is an issue which is very important to me since I live very close to the site of this proposed facility.

Montgomery County residents are in dire need of good, advanced technology jobs right here in our backyard. I would welcome being able to take a 10-minute bike ride to work instead of the current 50-minute drive I have to make daily to Reston, VA because that's where all the good information technology jobs are. So I support the plan to build the Life Sciences Center in Gaithersburg/Rockville.

However very serious concerns about whether sufficient traffic infrastructure exists have been raised by the Maryland Department of Transportation, Gaithersburg City Government and Rockville City Government. These concerns can no longer be dismissed out-of-hand as the rantings of a few disgruntled NIMBYs. The Gaithersburg West Master-Plan should be adjusted to provide the needed infrastructure and ensure our streets aren't overwhelmed due to inadequate planning.

As a state-level elected official, I have witnessed first-hand political adversaries amazingly reach compromise on contentious issues where no middle ground seemed to exist such as legalization of slot machines and abolition of the death penalty. The issue of the Gaithersburg West is not nearly such an intractable issue. To me there seems ample room for both sides to easily make compromises on how to build the Life Sciences Center. I think this should be a win-win for everyone involved.