Thursday, May 04, 2006

Here’s a legitimate scoop…

By virtue of nothing other than employment, I have the privilege of telling the world -- er, whoever reads this -- that MD 175 between Interstate 95 and U.S. 29 will be (has already been?) renamed the Jim and Patty Rouse Parkway. The announcement came during a celebration for Patty Rouse’s 80th birthday, which is today (it’s also the birthday of another prominent Howard Countian, I believe).

In case you don’t know, Patty still works almost everyday at Enterprise Community Partners – the non-profit organization she and Jim founded over 20 years ago. Her dedication to the organization, to the principles she shared with her late-husband, and to ending poverty through fit, affordable housing and comprehensive community revitalization is a source of inspiration to us all. As CEO Bart Harvey said, Patty provides the “conscience” and “vision” for Enterprise, a constant reminder of why she and Jim created our organization and what we work everyday to accomplish.

A key distinction was made by Trent Kittleman, head of the Maryland Transportation Authority, when announcing the renaming of MD 175: most times roads are dedicated to individuals, whereas in this instance the official name of the road is changing – meaning all of the signs for this stretch Rt. 175 will be replaced in the coming months with new ones bearing the Rouse name. In short, it’s a pretty big deal – and the surprise and happiness on Patty’s face, as well as the reaction of those present, is testament to that.

A special thanks to my former (and to some extent kinda still) boss for making this happen (and for giving me the scoop a half hour before everyone else heard!).

And, as a long-time Columbian suggested to me at the party, maybe it’s time to consider extending the Jim and Patty Rouse Parkway name all the way to the road’s end (Yes, I know: technically it doesn’t end – but you know what I mean).


Anonymous said...

I thought they only named highways and roads after dead people.
If Patty Rouse is still alive that’s a bit unusual don’t you think?

HoCo Exile said...

Long overdue--great news and a good scope hayduke. I definitely think they should extend it into downtown. I wonder if the former owner of the farm which is bisected by 175 and now becoming a park is rolling over in her grave as I believe she fought and never sold to the Rouses and I believe never cashed the checks for the 175 right of way through her property, a road now named for Jim and Patty.

Anonymous said...

They may have stopped the renaming at Route 29 for logistical reasons. West of 29, there are many businesses and residential areas that use Little Patuxent parkway as an official address. That means, if the name was changed, it would cause a ripple effect in that businesses and residents would have to update everything that use LPP as an address to Rouse (business cards, mailing lists, magazine subscriptions, etc...). This can be very costly, especially for businesses.

Between Route 29 and I-95, there really isn't any business or residential areas that use Rte. 175 as an official address that I can think of. All these buildings are off the side streets from 175, so changing the name of this section of the road would not have an impact in that respect, other than the road signs of course.

Just a thought as to why they might have stopped at 29.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt Elizabeth Smith is rolling in her grave over the road's name change. To the contrary, she succeeded in ensuring her family's 300-acre farm would not be developed and will instead be preserved as a park.