The Letter of the Week from Albert Feldstein of LaVale, “If they ever do it, do it here,” was selected by the Times-News editorial board as the best letter of those that appeared during the week of May 26-June 1. It was published May 29.
Note: Selection of the letter of the week is based on writing competence and the ability of the writer to get his or her point across. It is not based on whether the editorial board agrees with the writer.
Feldstein and our other Letter of the Week writers receive canvas tote bags embossed with the Letter of the Week logo. Here is an edited-for-length version of his letter.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned the “Cumberland Road” on national television as one of this country’s early major infrastructure projects.
If and when “they” should ever agree on an Infrastructure bill, I propose that a “bipartisan” bill signing ceremony take place here, in Cumberland, where construction of the National Road, also known as the Cumberland Road, began in 1811.
This could take place where construction of this historic road actually started, at the foot of Greene Street where the National Road Dedication Memorial is located.
The National Road was America’s first federally funded, designed and constructed road project, basically what we would call today an interstate highway.
The Maryland State Roads Commission historical marker in LaVale even states the National Road was “the first of the internal improvements undertaken by the United States government.”
If wonder how in the world House Speaker Pelosi of California knew to mention Cumberland, she has strong Maryland and Baltimore roots.
Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., and her brother Thomas D’Alesandro III were both mayors of Baltimore and even visited the Cumberland Fairgrounds and horse races.
The politics and hurdles on every level that exist that make this highly unlikely, if not impossible.
If nothing else, this letter should remind the reader of the importance of the National Road and how, even over 200 years later, of its relevance to national public policy.
But it is my hope that for at least one brief shining moment the country can have a brief respite from the bickering, have all sides work out the details, reach an agreement, come together and do something actually worthwhile on behalf of America and sign an infrastructure bill. It would be good for the country, good for Cumberland and perhaps, even good for the president and speaker.
Historically, there is no better place than Cumberland to have as the focal point for this.