Greater Greater Washington

Move forward and be smart about Montgomery BRT

Rockville Pike is the best place to first launch a "gold standard" Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, says a recent report. The report is less certain about other potential routes, but that shouldn't stop the county from investing in top-quality BRT on key corridors, and being smart about how to phase in BRT and other bus improvements elsewhere.


Rockville Pike, the best spot for BRT. Photo by tracktwentynine on Flickr.

Our region must invest in the next generation of transit to provide alternatives to sitting in traffic, to grow more sustainably, and to remain economically competitive. The demand to live in walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods has never been greater and will continue to grow. These are the motivations behind Montgomery County's bold proposal for a network of BRT lines.

Linked with investment in the Purple Line, improvements to Metro service, and walkable, transit-oriented communities, the "RTV Network" proposed by the county's Transit Task Force will be critically important as the county absorbs at least another 200,000 residents in the next two decades.

Yes, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP)'s report, which Ben Ross wrote about Friday, takes a much more cautious approach for implementing BRT than did the Transit Task Force. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't move forward.

Instead, it pushes the county to be smart about BRT. It's best to methodically phase in each new transit route, adjusting each one as necessary to work in the neighborhoods it passes through while seeking to maximize high-quality, frequent service.

Start with gold-standard BRT on Rockville Pike

Some areas and corridors in the county have the potential right now for high quality BRT, and the county needs to move forward before it's too latebefore congestion drives away jobs and investment. As the ITDP report notes, the rapidly urbanizing Rockville Pike has the most immediate potential for what they have defined as "gold" standard BRTwith its own dedicated right-of-way, very frequent service, rapid boarding, and real-time information, among other features.

The county and the City of Rockville have recognized that the best way to absorb growth, to protect suburban neighborhoods and the Agricultural Reserve, to manage traffic, and to meet the demand for transit-neighborhoods is to reinvent Rockville Pike as a mixed-use, walkable transit corridor tied both to the Red Line Metro Stations and a new BRT line.

"Gold standard BRT" in this corridor, combined with new local street networks, is essential to make the new residential and commercial development succeed and to maximize transportation performance and livability. Montgomery County has the opportunity here to build what could be the nation's best new BRT line.

The ITDP report underestimates BRT's potential

The ITDP report took a unreasonably cautious approach toward BRT, recommending the county narrow down its BRT to just the Rockville Pike corridor. Much of this turns on the definitions: the task force advocated for "gold standard" BRT on all routes, and ITDP suggests gold standard is not appropriate for many of these. However, not every route has to truly meet the gold standard to make a substantial difference.

ITDP relies on current bus ridership numbers in Montgomery County, comparing them to other countries with far higher numbers of bus riders. But frequent, dedicated-lane service can indeed attract new riders and connect the county's growing urban neighborhoods. Comparing Montgomery County to a metropolis of 7 million like Bogotá, as the ITDP report does, and comparing its multiple "gold" standard BRT routes to Montgomery County's current, traditional bus ridership, simply isn't apt.

Montgomery County is growing quickly, and something needs to be done. The Maryland Department of Planning estimates that the county will add over 200,000 new residents and 130,000 jobs between now and 2040. That will make it the only Maryland jurisdiction with more than a million people.

The county faces the challenge of how to grow without repeating past mistakes of simply building and widening more roads, which inevitably leads to more spread-out development and even more traffic.

These population projections might even be conservative, and may also assume far too many workers commuting long distances into the county. Study after study shows that more and more Americans want to live in walkable, transit-accessible communities and closer to jobs.

Transit ridership continues to increase, and it's becoming clear that the younger generation will be much less tied to their cars and much more likely to take public transportation than before. Recognizing this, WMATA is expecting Metro ridership to double between 2001 and 2025.

So let's be smart about implementing much-needed new transit in Montgomery. Fund Metro's rehabilitation and service improvements, build the light rail Purple Line to connect the high-demand transit market between Montgomery and Prince George's counties, and phase-in BRT routes. Start with the "gold" standard BRT for Rockville Pike. Then implement some of the Task Force's Phase 1 routes that have the best potential, tailoring the design and service to the particular conditions and potential of each of those corridors.

How could BRT realistically work elsewhere in the county?

The Transit Task Force report included the following routes as part of its Phase 1 proposal:

  • Rockville Pike (MD-355) from Montgomery Village Avenue to the Bethesda Metro Station: 12.1 miles
  • Viers Mille Road (MD-586) from Rockville Metro and the county office buildings to Wheaton Metro and Georgia Ave: 6.7 miles
  • Colesville Road (US-29) from Burtonsville/MD-198 to Silver Spring Metro: 10.7 miles
  • Georgia Avenue (MD-97) from Olney to Viers Mill Road: 9.8 miles
  • ICC (MD-200) from I-270 to Colesville Road: 22.9 miles
  • Randolph Road from Rockville Pike to FDA Boulevard: 12.5 miles

Proposed BRT phase 1.

Viers Mill Road is served today by the Metrobus Q line, which has the highest ridership of any WMATA line in Maryland. Approximately 10,000 riders took the Q on the average weekday in 2009. With slightly lower ridership than Viers Mill Road, the Georgia Avenue corridor also has some of the highest ridership levels in Maryland, according to WMATA.

WMATA's report also notes that the Q line route suffers from overcrowding and "frequent delays caused by traffic and other factors." Traffic, lack of dedicated lanes, lack of bus priority at traffic signals, substandard bus stops, and other hurdles discourage "choice" riders (those who have the option of driving) from taking the bus. This is where BRT can make a real difference, even if it's not 100 percent "gold" standard.

The Task Force recognized the importance of physically separating the transit vehicles from general traffic to the maximum extent possible. But the Task Force also noted that there are several different ways to do this and that any one route could potentially have multiple configurations, such as the preferred center running dedicated lanes, reversible lanes depending on the commute flows, curbside lanes, or, as a last resort, running in mixed traffic on occasion.

Even non-"gold standard" BRT can attract choice riders while significantly improving service for transit-dependent riders. Modern BRT vehicles, signal priority, quick boarding, and robust route and arrival information and on-board wireless can provide faster and better service.

The alternative to BRT would be the fruitless, business-as-usual approach of widening roads and intersections just for cars, disrupting neighborhoods with controversial and wasteful new arterials like M-83, and still sitting in traffic without a viable option. BRT offers that viable option with the advantage of adding more vehicles and more frequent service year after year.

Frequent, high capacity bus and BRT service between Montgomery County's growing mixed-use residential and employment centers and interconnecting the Purple Line and Red Line will allow Montgomery County to grow in an environmentally sustainable way, vastly expand transportation options, and compete for the next generation of workers and high-tech businesses.

Neighboring Fairfax County has reached this same conclusion. They are building the Silver Line, and planning for the Columbia Pike Streetcar and other dedicated lane bus or rail transit corridors like Route 1. Montgomery County should move forward with a bold transit vision while being smart about the implementation and committing to funding all three legs of the "three-legged transit stool:" Metro, the Purple Line and the BRT network.

Alex Posorske is the Managing Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Before joining CSG, he managed two top tier Congressional races, organized key constituencies in the 2008 presidential primaries, built grassroots operations in numerous regions throughout the country. Alex has a B.A. in Journalism from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. 
Stewart Schwartz is Executive Director and a founder of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, which he built into the leading smart growth organization in the Washington, DC region, addressing the interconnected issues of land use, transportation, urban design, housing, and energy. A retired Navy Captain with 24 years of active and reserve service, he earned a BA and JD from the University of Virginia and an MA from Georgetown University. 

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OK, I'm going to try to set aside my cynicism that this BRT project is ever going to happen and try to make one constructive suggestion...

...If you have to start somewhere and resources are scarce, maybe start with a route that isn't redundant with the red line???

by renegade09 on Oct 23, 2012 12:38 pm • linkreport

interesting Phase II project would be a MoCo-to-Dulles BRT line, with a simple two-lane transit-only Potomac crossing. Creates new connection, where transit has significant time savings, stokes demand for intra-County feeder lines, helps declaw screams for Outer Beltway

by darren on Oct 23, 2012 12:41 pm • linkreport

Hopefully, if Obama wins, he'll see the economic argument of public transit and not be invested in keeping the sprawl status quo. Battleships take a long time to turn around, even if Romney hathinks their esential to our navy.

by Thayer-D on Oct 23, 2012 12:51 pm • linkreport

Let's not forget about Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (Route 29). The Metrobus Z line has the highest ridership in the county along with the Q and Y lines. Not only that, but rapid transit (first light rail, later BRT) has been planned along the 29 corridor for thirty years, and development occurred in anticipation of a line that was never built. Some of the densest Census tracts in MoCo are along 29 in Briggs Chaney and White Oak; those neighborhoods have a large amount of low-income, transit-dependent residents as well.

On top of that, the county's planning the White Oak Science Gateway, which would bring much-desired jobs and amenities to East County, helping with the regional jobs-housing balance. It needs rapid transit if it's going to succeed.

I'm excited about the redevelopment of Rockville Pike and the potential for BRT along that corridor, but let's not forget about East County as well. Route 29, Georgia Avenue and Veirs Mill Road have had BRT proposed for years, and if we have to scale back the BRT vision, those corridors must remain.

by dan reed! on Oct 23, 2012 1:15 pm • linkreport

Personally I have always had a difficult time seeing Rockville Pike as a "walkable" mixed-use corridor. The road is so wide that even with "good" development on both sides I don't see it ever becoming that hospitable to pedestrians unless lanes are taken away to create pedestrian islands, bike lanes, etc. BRT is a great idea for Rockville Pike, but given the potential backlash from, ahem, connected constituents, I don't see the county/SHA taking away current driving lanes for BRT, which means the road would be even wider if BRT were added.

I hate to be cynical about this, as I would love to see the county's vision for Rockville Pike come to fruition. But to really make Rockville Pike a great place, the road needs to be narrowed and I just don't see county and state officials having the political balls to make it happen.

by Rebecca on Oct 23, 2012 1:17 pm • linkreport

BRT has not been "planned for 30 years" on Route 29 as previous poster suggested. In fact, it was rejected twice in the last 30 years because it was found that it would not work along that corridor.

Lots of high density residential development occurred in the 90s because the decision makers suspended the rules for determining whether there were adequate facilities. A great example of what happens when development moves forward without infrastructure.

by Route 29er on Oct 23, 2012 1:36 pm • linkreport

I agree with Rebecca. I live in DC but have to go out to Rockville Pike for work and the sheer width of the Pike is a hurdle in making the area more pedestrian friendly. Walking along the Pike on those narrow sidewalks with cars whizzing by is not by any means pleasant. It will get you from place-to-place, which is good, but it's not pleasant...it's traffic, parking lots, and more traffic :( And don't get me started on the unpleasantness of crossing the Pike.

by dc denizen on Oct 23, 2012 1:40 pm • linkreport

Viers Mill Road needs to be rezoned for higher density (4-5 story buildings adjacent to the road. The single family homes with a viers mill road address should be removed. New development will support the construction of the Gold Standard BRT line between Rockville and Wheaton.

by mcs on Oct 23, 2012 1:47 pm • linkreport

I don't see the point of 'gold standard' BRT along the 29 corridor,especially north of White Oak that northern section of road is already partially an expressway. Buses would be exiting and entering the road at each 'station'. I think that corridor just needs to expand the shoulder use areas as much as possible, and just offer more express buses that start in Silver Spring, don't stop again until White oak, then again until Briggs Chaney and finally Burtonsville.

The redundancy of offering BRT with the red line is probably to acknowledge the gap between red line station that exists, and that it'll simply be easier to catch a high quality bus along that corridor than the Metro for shorter in-county trips. The Red Line will get busier as the area grows by default of more people needing/wanting to go in and out of the City.

I still think express buses/some standard of BRT is very important on Randolph Road from 355 to 29, sort of a purple line north. I'd also make it more of an express bus with just 5 or 6 stops, maybe at each point it crosses the Viers Mill, Georgia Ave and New Hampshire Ave bus lines, and one or two other places between to connect with neighborhood serving Ride-on service. Each of these nodes could be rezoned with a limited master plan amendment for 1/4 to 1/2 mile TOD principals.

by Gull on Oct 23, 2012 2:31 pm • linkreport

@darren

[quote]interesting Phase II project would be a MoCo-to-Dulles BRT line, with a simple two-lane transit-only Potomac crossing. Creates new connection, where transit has significant time savings, stokes demand for intra-County feeder lines, helps declaw screams for Outer Beltway[/quote]

You sir are a genius. I've been saying the same thing for a while. Just a limited access bridge with Transit crossing from Dulles to Shady Grove.

by Cyclone on Oct 23, 2012 3:24 pm • linkreport

@ darren and Cyclone

Do you have any idea how expensive a new bridge crossing just for a BRT line would be? I'd fancy the entire cost of the Corridor Cities Transitway is less. I think if we want to really propose transit over the river, and don't want to extend the purple line to do it, then there should be some comprehensive regional planning about replacing the American Legion Bridge (similar to the Wilson Bridge), with general use lanes, lanes for HOV, and a transit lane. That bridge is ageing and will need to be replaced anyway, and a location at the Beltway would be useful for buses coming from Rockville or Bethesda, going to Tysons or Reston and vice verse.

by Gull on Oct 23, 2012 3:40 pm • linkreport

interesting Phase II project would be a MoCo-to-Dulles BRT line, with a simple two-lane transit-only Potomac crossing. Creates new connection, where transit has significant time savings, stokes demand for intra-County feeder lines, helps declaw screams for Outer Beltway

Interesting idea, but it would serve places that are not well served by circulator transit and do not have dense, walkable, multidestination build patterns. So I'm not sure why that many people would choose to ride it.

There are many more valuable transit projects that could be built - like the Purple Line extended to connect with Tysons/Silver Line.

by MLD on Oct 23, 2012 3:41 pm • linkreport

@darren @Cyclone
Pigs will fly across the Potomac before buses cross a new, transit-only bridge linking MoCo and Greater Tysons. There'll be a new bridge soon enough, and it will be an excellent transit route, but it will be shared with [lots of] cars.

by renegade09 on Oct 23, 2012 3:42 pm • linkreport

@renegade09

BRT along Rockville Pike would not be redundant with the Red Line because it would serve a different function - in fact, it would be a useful complement.

Think of the Red Line as a regional transit highway (or principal arterial) - you take it when you're trying to go a long way. The BRT is more like a transit arterial, and would have tighter stop spacing, stop directly in front of apartments, stores, businesses, and all-in-all be more useful for travel other than the long-distance, primarily job-related trips the Red Line serves. You could use the BRT to meet daily errands, which you would rarely use the Red Line for.

by jnb on Oct 23, 2012 3:50 pm • linkreport

@jnb
I'm skeptical that BRT complements the red line along Rockville Pike. Any more stops than the red line and it's not BRT any more.

I think the presence of the red line makes Rockville Pike probably the *worst* place to initiate county-wide BRT. It would make more sense to start BRT running east-west. That's where the demand is. Bethesda - Silver Spring - College Park.

by renegade09 on Oct 23, 2012 4:14 pm • linkreport

Rockville Pike is not "pleasant", but as dc denizen pointed out it is functional unless you have to cross the street. It's also pretty dysfunctional for drivers with obstacle course layouts for parking lot entry & exit. The proposed boulevard layout would accomodate BRT. the traffic already crawls much of the time, so there shouldn't be too much griping about it getting worse. Some through traffic could be accomdated on the roughly parallel routes to the E & W of the Pike that exist in some places.

The BRT probably should go all the way to Friendship Heights as there is a surprisng lack of redundancy with Metro, which poses a problem when Medical center or Bethesda stations are closed by some mishap.

by Rich on Oct 23, 2012 4:20 pm • linkreport

Unfortunately, I don't think there's enough political will for Gold Standard to happen, but BRT is already happening in Montgomery Co and I hope there is more like this soon.

by renegade09 on Oct 23, 2012 4:29 pm • linkreport

"I don't see the point of 'gold standard' BRT along the 29 corridor,especially north of White Oak that northern section of road is already partially an expressway. Buses would be exiting and entering the road at each 'station'. I think that corridor just needs to expand the shoulder use areas as much as possible, and just offer more express buses that start in Silver Spring, don't stop again until White oak, then again until Briggs Chaney and finally Burtonsville."

I lived in Burtonsville and rode the metro bus from the commuter lot much of that time. While the bus can ride on the shoulder in the NON-CONGESTED part of the road north of White Oak, the bus is forced into the congested road south of White Oak. Why? Last time I went out to that area I saw that they had completed the expensive flyovers by Briggs Chaney. Why? That light took 45 seconds max. What good is it to cut off that time without addressing the congestion down near downtown silver spring?

by Brian White on Oct 23, 2012 5:17 pm • linkreport

Dan Reed says regarding Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (Route 29) that "the Metrobus Z line has the highest ridership in the county." However, the ridership is generated in the downcounty area. The Z busses that originate upcounty (Z11, Z29)cruise through downcounty neighborhoods with only a handful of passengers. Similarly, the BRT will not make stops in the downcounty area, so you can't use downcounty high density bus ridership to justify the BRT.

As Reed says, "some of the densest Census tracts in MoCo are along 29 in Briggs Chaney and White Oak; those neighborhoods have a large amount of low-income, transit-dependent residents as well." But the BRT will not serve these neighborhoods; they will make no stops there. The BRT proposed for US 29 is designed to serve upcounty and Howard county residents who presently drive through to 495 or the District. (There is already a Dillon's charter bus from Colombia; charter a stop in upcounty and you will not need a BRT at all)

If this is to facilitate the White Oak Science Gateway, the BRT could stop at the proposed station there. It does not need to proceed to the Silver Spring metro station and disrupt the neighborhoods and businesses on 29 south of Lockwood Drive. Let the Z11 and Z29 busses stop there and take any who wish to go to the SS metro.

The "BRT vision" is a boondoggle advanced by developers and the politicians who serve them

by profplanner on Oct 23, 2012 6:34 pm • linkreport

@profplanner

Do you know where the stops on the BRT network will be? Because the Transit Task Force, which wrote the report on BRT, doesn't. Presumably there would be stops in Briggs Chaney and White Oak, considering that's where a lot of transit riders already live.

Several of the Z line routes (Z9, Z29, Z11 and Z13) do not make stops south of White Oak with the exception of University Boulevard. They exclusively serve people living further north. In fact, the Z11 and Z13 end in Briggs Chaney/Greencastle, which are the only neighborhoods where those lines make stops.

I'm not sure how neighborhoods further south on Route 29 would be "disrupted" by BRT, which would bring more customers to local businesses and give residents a faster way to downtown Silver Spring. Even with the reversible lanes on Route 29, the trip downtown is often congested and unreliable. Dedicated lanes for buses may (god forbid!) take lanes away from drivers, but it would provide the a guaranteed and reliable fast trip to downtown Silver Spring for everyone.

by dan reed! on Oct 23, 2012 11:17 pm • linkreport

In answer to dan reed!

"Do you know where the stops on the BRT network will be? Because the Transit Task Force, which wrote the report on BRT, doesn't."

--- I have spoken to them, and county planners, and read the report. I know (and you should, too) that the "rapid" in BRT means few stops, and especially few in those locations where most US 29 riders actually board busses.

"Several of the Z line routes (Z9, Z29, Z11 and Z13) do not make stops south of White Oak with the exception of University Boulevard."

---- They no longer stop at University Boulevard

“They exclusively serve people living further north. In fact, the Z11 and Z13 end in Briggs Chaney/Greencastle, which are the only neighborhoods where those lines make stops.”

--- In other words, there is no justification for a BRT north of Briggs Chaney/Greencastle?

“I'm not sure how neighborhoods further south on Route 29 would be "disrupted" by BRT, which would bring more customers to local businesses and give residents a faster way to downtown Silver Spring”---

(1) The congestion on US 29 exists only during rush hour. At other times of day, State Highway “traffic facilitation” measures encourage drivers to speed through our neighborhoods, sometimes in excess of 60 mph.
(2) Customers are not heading for local businesses during rush hour. The BRT is for commuters, not shoppers.
(3) Residents get to downtown Silver Spring quite quickly now, using local busses. That’s why they are so filled. In any event, the BRT will not make local stops (it’s “rapid,” remember?) so local residents will not be served unless they want to walk a mile or two for the privilege of boarding a BRT bus, squandering any time saving they might realize by riding the BRT in the first place.

“Dedicated lanes for buses may (god forbid!) take lanes away from drivers, but it would provide a guaranteed and reliable fast trip to downtown Silver Spring for everyone.”

--The view from 30,000 feet must be pretty spectacular. We’re not talking about drivers here. We’re talking about those of us who actually ride busses, not people who fantasize about what it's like. The extra layer of BRT busses will not stop in our neighborhoods and will interfere with the busses we already take.

This makes it even more ironic that our ridership is being used to justify this billion-dollar boondoggle.

And did I mention, we’re supposed to pay for it, also? A special assessment levied on all residents within ½ mile of the BRT right of way will fall disproportionately upon Downcounty residents who do not need the BRT, do not want it, and will be unable to use it. (That last part makes such a tax illegal and unconstitutional. Just saying…)

by profplanner on Oct 24, 2012 8:02 am • linkreport

Strange no one is talking about Cleveland's experience with BRT. There was all kinds of hype & hubbub about how great it would be. The reality???

by George B. on Oct 24, 2012 8:25 am • linkreport

@George B. - in so many ways both pos and neg, Cleveland =/= MoCo

by darren on Oct 24, 2012 8:28 am • linkreport

For a "true" BRT, buses must have dedicated lanes for the entire route. To accomplish this, you either need to widen the road (impossible in many locations) or use current lanes. Wealthy residents in places like Columbia and Potomac, faced with the possibility of having precious driving lanes into DC replaced with bus-only lanes, would create such an uproar that county officials would nix this plan immediately. The result would be a BRT-in-name-only that would not function much differently than our current bus system.

Instead of dedicating massive amounts of time, energy, and money into the BRT dream, there are three much easier things Montgomery County can do to manage its growth better:

1) Focus on improving the current bus system, whether it is with increased frequency, more comfortable vehicles, better stops/signage, or all of the above.

2) Remove the required parking minimums for new developments in Metro-accessible areas like Silver Spring, Bethesda, White Flint, Wheaton, and Glenmont. There is massive market demand for housing in walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods. In downtown Silver Spring alone there are several high-density residential projects under construction, yet they all include large amounts of parking even though there are numerous county garages in close proximity, and the Metro station is within walking distance. Removing the minimum parking requirement for each individual development would allow developers to include more units with each project, thereby further increasing the supply of housing units to meet unmet demand, and making the most efficient use of valuable land.

3) Mandate that new housing developments in transit-accessible areas include some percentage of 3-bedroom or more units. Very few high- or medium-density residential buildings have anything larger than 2-bedroom units, making living in walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods far too expensive for most families. A lot of families don't want to live in the sprawling suburbs, but those are the only places where they can find housing that suits their family's needs.

by Rebecca on Oct 24, 2012 10:02 am • linkreport

Re the Montgomery to Fairfax transit connection: we believe it should be in the American Legion Bridge corridor given the benefits of connecting Tysons to the Red Line corridor (via Rock Spring/Montgomery Mall and probably to White Flint). The Beltway/Am Legion Bridge has the highest travel demand and need for an alternative. The counties are looking at a bus on shoulder option and (I think) an option for a dedicated bus/HOV lane next to the center barriers.

Re Rockville Pike: we believe that Rockville Pike can be redesigned in conjunction with transformation of White Flint, Twinbrook and Rockville (and ultimately Shady Grove)and will be an effective BRT corridor. We highly respect transportation planner Ian Lockwood of AECOM who analyzed the effectiveness of converting the Pike into a more pedestrian-friendly boulevard with center running BRT and an interconnected grid of local streets. The combination of the street grid to handle local trips, the BRT, and the mix of uses (residential, office, retail) should allow for significant reduction in per capita vehicle trips and a high percentage of transit, walking and biking trips.

by Stewart Schwartz on Oct 24, 2012 10:21 am • linkreport

Strange no one is talking about Cleveland's experience with BRT. There was all kinds of hype & hubbub about how great it would be. The reality???

42% travel time savings:
http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Planning_(new_site_map_walk-through)/Level_3_-_General/LPA_REPORT_FINAL_090809_Chapter03.pdf
Page 3-12

by MLD on Oct 24, 2012 11:07 am • linkreport

Someone explain the logic of putting a BRT line right on top of an existing subway line?

I know the highway dept. does not want drivers to know there's a subway running parallel to Rockville Pike - it's impossible to see the plain brown signs among the panoply of commercial advertising - but that doesn't change that there is a subway line there.

It's just a dream for those signs to specify which station is nearby.

by Tracey Johnstone on Oct 24, 2012 3:56 pm • linkreport

Distance between Red line stations is like 1-2+ miles. BRT has much less frequent stops than local bus service, but it could stop every 1/2 mile or so and provide useful connecting service between Metro stations. I think it makes perfect sense to do so.

by Alan B on Oct 24, 2012 9:45 pm • linkreport

I agree with other commenters who see BRT on Rockville Pike as a top priority. At least until you get to Shady Grove, there is the Red Line and local buses. On Veirs Mill and Colesville there are local buses and...? Adding further redundancy to Rockville Pike transit doesn't seem like a better use of resources than raising Veirs Mill and Colesville to something not quite what Rockville Pike has. But, it is downcounty, so local buses only are just fine, I guess...

I still can't wrap my head around a walkable, pedestrian-friendly Rokville Pike. There are people who seem afraid of crossing Georgia Ave in Silver Spring; put them on Rockville Pike and they'd probably crumble to dust! And too much of the area is too car-centric for me to imagine making it not car-centric. But, I do admit I don't go "west of the Park" that often, so my impressions of the possibilities of that area may be off-base.

by EMD on Oct 24, 2012 11:55 pm • linkreport

BRT might make sense running down Georgia Avenue to Glenmont Station on the east side, and down 355 to Shady Grove Station on the West. Run a BRT along the ICC (which no one uses) so commuters can make local connections. Anything else is just boondoggle, and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

by profplanner on Oct 25, 2012 10:20 am • linkreport

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