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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cruising down Route 1 "ain't" what it used to be

    I realized just how quickly construction can change the face of an area when I traveled up Route 1 from Columbia to Elkridge last Saturday.  Suddenly new housing seems to have quickly gone up.

      The pictures above just show some of the new housing going up along Route 1.  This new construction has been also taking place South toward Laurel with the new HoCo Fire Station in Savage

    And the new housing/retail development farther down Route 1 in North Laurel

    This development along Route 1 was extensively discussed in the last General Plan for Howard County in 2010 as is shown in the legend below showing the zoning along the corridor that includes multifamily housing, commercial development and transit oriented development.

   We are just seeing the construction occurring as the housing market is starting to come back from the recent housing slump.  With easy access to Route 32 and NSA and APL, Route 95 and DC and Baltimore and BWI you can easily see why this newly developed housing would be in an attractive location.  With the development of Columbia nearly complete (except Town Center) and the zoning of western HoCo restricted to large lots for single family homes, the Route 1 corridor is going to be where much of HoCo's housing growth occurs over the next 10 to 20 years.
      The changes we are seeing are the final piece in the changing face of Route 1 from when it was a national highway for traveling up and down the East Coast.  It has long since been replaced by Interstate 95.  This new construction caused me to think about what Route 1 looked like when I first moved to the area. Remember the trailer parks that were the housing of choice on Route 1?

   Remember the 2 elderly ladies who sold lawn furniture and chenille bedspreads, like the one pictured below, at the intersection of Guilford Rd and Route 1 where there is now a McDonalds?  One of my memories of growing up in 1950's in Pennsylvania was the vendors who sold these bedspreads along heavily traveled roads like Route 1.  

    Route 1 had many motels for the travelers along the road.  Many were of questionable quality like the Tip Top.  What types of plans would the "red heart shaped jacuzzis" attract?  Must be 1950's idea of luxury!

   The junkyards along Route 1 were a good place to find that missing part for your car or

where you might be able to find a replacement for the hubcap you may have lost along the road

  Unfortunately I have probably waited too long for my bucket list idea of driving Route 1 from Maine to Key West.  What may have once been a trip down 1950's nostalgia is probably gone now. 

  You can follow many of the local non profit organizations on Twitter.  This link will show you which ones have a twitter account.  For any non profit interested in starting a blog this site will give you useful tips.


1 comment:

Joe said...

I recently drove from College Park, north through Laurel and beyond on my way home to Aberdeen. What I thought was striking is pictured here- all of these new buildings look exactly alike. How boring and disgusting.