March 21, 2010

'Science city' data fail Montgomery residents' calculator tests

In debates over new development, data are often the most valuable currency, cited to demonstrate a project's value, impact on neighborhoods and effect on traffic. But the Washington area's legions of sophisticated community activists are increasingly reluctant to accept data from local officials, saying the numbers are unreliable. "It's a very serious concern if you can't trust the numbers," said Montgomery County Council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville). Andrews represents the area west of Interstate 270 off Shady Grove Road where Johns Hopkins University wants to build as much as 20 million square feet of commercial, retail and residential space in what university officials describe as a world-class "science city." Andrews and other critics say the data being used to support the plan are anything but scientific.

SOURCE: Washington Post

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