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BRT planners meet skeptical public at first open house

Montgomery County planners are making the case for a countywide Bus Rapid Transit network, saying it will reduce commute times and help absorb population growth. At an open house last night in Silver Spring, residents weren't opposed to improving transit, but hadn't yet been convinced of the merits of BRT and whether it justified giving up car lanes.


Transportation planner Larry Cole gives a presentation on his BRT proposal. All photos by the author.

Last week, Planning Department staff released their recommendations for a 10-line, 92-mile network of rapid bus routes across the county. The system, which may not be finished until 2040, would feature substantial stations with waiting areas and fare machines, stops spaced between ½-mile and a mile apart, and have frequent service all day.

Planners focused on what they saw as the most successful places for transit, namely congested roads in the downcounty and along the developing I-270 corridor. They also emphasized giving buses their own dedicated lanes, whether in the median of a road or on the curb.

Not only did they find that this would reduce travel times, but that it could help the county absorb the 200,000 additional residents who will live here in 30 years.

Ongoing development in places like White Flint and proposed development like the White Oak Science Gateway is designed to encourage transit use, and without more transit, they will be a greater burden on the road network.


Map of proposed BRT network. Blue lines represent 2 dedicated on-street bus lanes, purple segments are buses running in mixed traffic, and median busways appear in burgundy. Click for interactive version.

There wasn't any outright opposition to the plans, but residents clearly weren't convinced of the merits of BRT. Some struggled to understand what made BRT different from Metrobus or Ride On. "BRT is like a starry-eyed concept ... but I keep looking for a purpose," said Harold McDougall, a law professor who lives in Four Corners. "Once you come through a community like this, you have to have answers."

Much of the discussion revolved around Route 29, which backs up for miles at rush hour with drivers heading towards the Beltway and the District. North of New Hampshire Avenue, Route 29 has a wide median where buses could run, but south of New Hampshire, the road is hemmed in by houses and shopping centers with no room to expand. Residents asked why it was necessary to take away lanes from cars on an already congested road, and questioned why improvements to existing service, like more frequent buses and safer waiting areas, wouldn't suffice.

Cole noted that their traffic models showed that a bus lane could carry far more people. "We will have more bus riders than cars we can move," he noted.

A few residents felt that the plan was a step in the right direction. "You can't assume that the current model of everyone driving is sustainable" as the county grows, said one resident who refused to be quoted by name.

Route 29 Sideview
Traffic on Route 29 already backs up for several miles during rush hour.

It's not surprising that people are skeptical. There are very few examples of BRT in North America, and many people in Montgomery County aren't familiar with it. They want to know how the service will look in their neighborhoods, including where stops would go and how bus lanes would interact with cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. And they're frustrated that four years since County Councilmember Marc Elrich first introduced the idea of a countywide BRT system, those details aren't yet available.

As a result, the burden is on the Planning Department, the Department of Transportation and other related agencies to make a case for BRT. While they aren't yet studying the system at the level of detail many residents want, it's important to make this concept as clear and compelling as possible.

For starters, county planners need to show how BRT can help neighborhoods like Four Corners where residents already take the bus. Jim Zepp, Four Corners resident and member of the Montgomery County Civic Federation, argued that the BRT system would benefit long-distance commuters from "Howard County and Burtonsville" while buses passed over closer-in neighborhoods south of New Hampshire Avenue.

However, those communities still benefit if residents living further out choose to take BRT instead of driving through their neighborhood. And even if stop locations won't be finalized for a long time, planners should stress that BRT will serve closer-in neighborhoods as well. After all, whether your bus trip is 10 miles or 3 miles long, having faster bus service means a shorter trip for everyone.

Bus Approaching, Reseda Station
A BRT station in Los Angeles.

Either way, bus rapid transit may not come to Montgomery County for a long time, especially with recent comments from County Executive Ike Leggett that there's no money for new transit. Cole noted that individual features of the system, like more frequent buses or limited-stop routes, could give commuters some of the benefits of BRT right away, hopefully making them more receptive to future changes.

In fact, Montgomery County will see its first experiment with BRT later this year. At the meeting, Gary Erenrich of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation announced that WMATA will introduce a frequent, limited-stop bus route along New Hampshire Avenue, the MetroExtra K9, at the end of December.

Cole stressed that not doing anything wasn't a solution for congestion or projected population growth. "The traffic is going to be bad anyway," he said. "The question is whether there will be improved service."

There will be two additional open houses this week, tonight at the Shady Grove Training Facility in Rockville and tomorrow at the Wheaton Library. Both meetings will start at 6:30 pm with a brief presentation at 7.

Planners will take comments at each open house and incorporate them into a draft of the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan, which will set aside space for future transit lines. If the Planning Board votes to approve the plan in January, it will then go for a vote at the County Council later next year.

A planner and architect by training, Dan Reed also writes his own blog, Just Up the Pike, and serves as the Land Use Chair for the Action Committee for Transit. He lives in downtown Silver Spring. 

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One thing planners can do is explain how the orange line in Va. runs in the median and carries more people than 66. Sure the train has a lot more capacity but its a start to explain that by taking a lane from cars you're opening up the possibility of moving more people.

by drumz on Nov 14, 2012 2:59 pm • linkreport

To add, planners should be constantly hammer that the BRT is focused on moving people. Over and over again, of course people will bring up countless examples of how they'll need a car for some sort of errand but that should again be followed up by the fact that the focus is on moving people overall rather than speeding up individual car trips. It'll be tougher because its relatively untested like Dan said but at least we're in a region where we are familiar with metro and we can already lean on those examples.

by drumz on Nov 14, 2012 3:03 pm • linkreport

How hard would it be in places where the BRT busses are to share the lanes to put in place a single reversible BRT lane? I am not really that familiar with the traffic patterns of suburban MD but I imagine that peak times are more problematic inbound in the mornings and outbound in the evenings and the reverse routes could run with traffic fairly easily in those stretches.

by NikolasM on Nov 14, 2012 3:21 pm • linkreport

Dan, it's not clear to me why they want to put BRT on Rockville Pike. There's a Metro line there - though most folks probably don't know that because the drab Metro signage is lost in the colorful panoply of advertising.

Route 29, however, is a natural place for it.

by Capt. Hilts on Nov 14, 2012 3:59 pm • linkreport

I'm getting tired of Ike Legget talking down public transit. I know things are tight, but this is a matter of long term economic viability. I hope some of the money Obama plans to save from our wars will be redirected towards building up infrastructure that will allow us to grow in the next 100 years.

by Thayer-D on Nov 14, 2012 4:05 pm • linkreport

@Capt. Hilts: Not only is Rockville Pike a great place for BRT, one could make an argument that Rockville Pike is Montgomery County's best place for BRT. For one, Metro ends at Shady Grove, when most of the Rockville Pike (more technically, the MD 355) corridor extends up to Germantown and Clarksburg. Even where Metro parallels the Pike, there are so many destinations, like MC-Rockville, and White Flint Mall, to name two, that are not near a Metro stop.

Metro is good for what Metro is good for, which is to quickly get people from the suburbs and into the city. Think of Metro in that corridor as an express service. BRT would constitute more of a limited service, where all of the important destinations are served, but the less important (I don't want to say unimportant, but that's what I actually mean) destinations are bypassed, saving lots of time). That's why BRT for the Pike makes sense.

by Justin..... on Nov 14, 2012 4:13 pm • linkreport

I call some marginal BS on the Metro moves more people than 66. Methinks this is one of those things that was said once, out of context and now is repeated as gospel.

When, at what point in the day?

Is this per hour, or for the entire day?
Over what section of the road, Inside the beltway, outside?

I drive 66 twice a day, have done it for years, and vehicular traffic backs up the same place, every day.

Inbound at night, traffic backs up for 2.5 miles between the Toll Rd interchange and Patrick Henry Drive (before Ballston Exit)

Outbound in the morning it is from North Glebe to Rt 29, again, ~2.5 miles. Every place else (until you get out to Rt 123 where Metro doesn't operate), traffic flow is full speed.

RT 66 inside the beltway carries 100,000 VPD, of course since it is HOV-2 in one direction morning and night, there are multiple people in those vehicles, including all those commutter buses from the 'burbs. Rt 66 must carry what, half a million people a day M-F.

Adding up daily boardings on the Orange Line from Rosslyn to Vienna is what...40K people a day.

So yes, Metro, for an hour in the morning and one hour at night, moves more people across a 2.5 mile section of road, than the road does, but that doesn't mean Metro moves more people than RT 66 does.

by Metro on Nov 14, 2012 4:34 pm • linkreport

Whether "However, those communities still benefit if residents living further out choose to take BRT instead of driving through their neighborhood. And even if stop locations won't be finalized for a long time, planners should stress that BRT will serve closer-in neighborhoods as well. After all, whether your bus trip is 10 miles or 3 miles long, having faster bus service means a shorter trip for everyone. " is true depends totally on two things: 1) Whether the reduction in traffic due to the mode shift to transit is greater than the reduction in mixed use lane capacity due to the lane repurposing plus the added right and left turn restrictions; and 2) the location of the BRT Stations and the concommittant changes in local bus service. It is very possible that the result will be worse traffic congestion, reduced local transit service, and reduced local mobility for these areas. That is what they are concerned about.

by Jim Bunch on Nov 14, 2012 5:51 pm • linkreport

Again after reviewing the proposal from the soo-called Montgomery County Planners it is hard to understand how a removing travel lanes for Rapid Bus will attract existing auto-car drivers to ride a Rapid Bus when everyone in the DC area is used to High Standard tansit of the Metro Rail Subway.

There is no way to make any sense of removing travel lanes for Rapid Bus will reduce auto-car traffic on Major Roads in Montgomery County when the Orange Line that runs in the middle of I-66 but Traffic still backs up on the Interstate Highway and now Virginia is going to add more lanes to I-66.

This still goes back to the main reason these soo-called Montgomery County Planners are shoving this proposal down the Montgomery County/Suburban Maryland tax payers throats is due to the hidden agenda to decrease Business and population due to bottleneck traffic.

by steve on Nov 14, 2012 9:20 pm • linkreport

Steve,
I think the best way to understand how a rapid bus will reduce car traffic is to look at it another way. If some people are hungry while others are eating steak, do you think those hungry people would turn away a hamgurger? No, so why would people turn away a BRT if it meant that they would have another hour with their family a day, or make more affordable housing with-in reach of employment?

Take your I-66 example. It's acknowledged that NOVA is one of the economic bright spots in the country, and has been that way for decades now. If NOVA hadn't built the Orange line, do you think they could have grown if the roads couldn't handle more capacity? Of course not, the metro didn't take cars off the road, rather it allowed many more to live and work there becasue there was an alternative to driving. That's why thier soo called planners are pushing street cars and the silver line, and that's why Buisnesses are footing some of the bill, becasue they deal in facts.

As for your conspiracy theory that planners are shoving this down peoples throats to decrease Business, I can't help you there becasue the evidence dosen't support your contention.

by Thayer-D on Nov 15, 2012 8:01 am • linkreport

Most of the people who were at the meeting described in this article were mass transit users opposed to a BRT boondoggle, not people concerned about preserving car lanes. We are about preserving our community, not preserving cars. It makes no sense to drive the short distance from where we live to Silver Spring.

I’m astounded to read that “there wasn't any outright opposition to the plans.” And I didn’t see people “struggling to understand what made BRT different from Metrobus or Ride On.” They were very clear about the distinction and that they do not want BRT, which will jeopardize our homes, our businesses, and our schoolchildren.

Professor McDougall did not say he was “looking for a purpose.” He said that’s what BRT advocates are doing. He said they have become so enamored of their own concept and their own rhetoric, that they keep looking for a justification for using it.

First, it was to relieve commuter congestion from further North. Then they sought to justify it because so many people ride busses on US 29 already. The professor said, and I quote, “BRT is like a hammer, and to its advocates everything looks like a nail.”

Why is it so important to make the case for BRT “compelling?” Can BRT advocates consider that it may not be a good idea at all, or at least not for this community?

The last paragraph is the kicker: “However, those communities still benefit if residents living further out choose to take BRT instead of driving through their neighborhood.” Not if it roars through an intersection where thousands of Blair HS kids cross, for example. The congestion actually slows traffic down, making it easier for the kids to cross.

Reed says, “And even if stop locations won't be finalized for a long time, planners should stress that BRT will serve closer-in neighborhoods as well.” Really? The odd-numbered metro busses that come from the north no longer stop in Four Corners (US 29 & University Blvd). Instead, they float through our neighborhood with a handful of passengers, while we, the local bus-riding public, stuff ourselves into the few local busses left for us to take.

And “after all, whether your bus trip is 10 miles or 3 miles long, having faster bus service means a shorter trip for everyone.”

Not true. We can get from 4 Corners to Silver Spring station in 10-15 minutes, even in heavy traffic right now. It’s having to wait for the few busses now serving us, and squeeze into them, that we don’t like. As we wait, we see low-ridership busses float on by—like the Z11,Z9, and Z29. Let’s not make it the BRT as well.

by profplanner on Nov 15, 2012 2:31 pm • linkreport

@profplanner

Since you were at the open house, I don't know if you heard the gentleman at the end who complained that Four Corners residents had "hijacked the meeting."

It's easy for people to focus on their local needs and concerns, which are valid. But those who spoke up at the meeting should remember that they live at the intersection of three major roads (Route 29, University Boulevard and the Beltway) in a county of nearly a million people. The needs of the larger community must be considered as well.

I do think the county could do a better of promoting BRT, if only because I live north of Four Corners and I'd prefer not to have to drive through your neighborhood on my way to downtown Silver Spring. I'm sure there are many people who feel the same way, and they deserve to be heard as well.

by dan reed! on Nov 15, 2012 3:16 pm • linkreport

@ Dan Reed
I don't know if we were at the same meeting based on your comments. I was at the meeting and did not hear anyone complain that Four Corners "hijacked the meeting". In fact, there was plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Some people asked questions more than once, everyone was acknowledged and the Staff gave a reply to each. If they had a question they could have raised their hand like everyone else. If there were a lot of 4 Corners questions maybe it had something to do with 2 routes being proposed through the middle of it.

"I live north of Four Corners and I'd prefer not to have to drive through your neighborhood on my way to downtown Silver Spring" You don't have to drive --Hopefully if you were there you heard the staff say there are 43 buses per hour traveling Rt.29. The problem for 4 Corners residents is most of them don't stop in 4 Corners even though many are half empty. As someone at the meeting mentioned, they even took the bus away that takes residents to the closer Forest Glen metro station. Over 30% of 4 Corners residents take transit which is twice the rate of residents Countywide. The highest ridership on 29 is South of New Hampshire Ave.

There were a lot of excellent questions asked at the meeting that you have neglected to report. Most of them were from people who already take transit. As people suggested there's a lot that can be done to improve existing service without adding an entirely new system that would save less than 5 minutes over the current one.
Don't let your apparent bias against 4 Corners get in the way of the facts of what transpired.

by Silver Springer on Nov 15, 2012 4:21 pm • linkreport

I think the fact that Four Corners remains basically unchanged for the past 20+ years shows that local interests have prevailed at a LOT of meetings.

The residents there are in a tough spot, but in what way does having snarled traffic help them when transit could alleviate much of the problem - especially at rush hour?

by Capt. Hilts on Nov 15, 2012 4:25 pm • linkreport

What bias? I'm just saying that the concerns of Four Corners residents aren't any more important than those of other neighborhoods or of the county as a whole, and that the needs of other people and other communities should be considered as well.

by dan reed! on Nov 15, 2012 4:30 pm • linkreport

Why is this a battle over BRT. The county recommendations basically throw out the conceputal BRT system put forth by the Rapid Transit Task Force. Heck, 58 miles (63%)of the 92 miles of the recommended Premium Transit system are in repurposed or mixed flow lanes. Portions of the remainder, especially in the Corridor Cities Transitway may approach true BRT but only if the other elements of BRT are put in place (see the ITDP report or the FTA Characteristics of BRT report).

Transit Planners learned in the 80s/90s that implementing a system that harms one area or group unduly so that others can benefit, or based on ideology never works out in the long run. That is why FTA requires a winners and losers analysis along with an environmental justice evaluation for every major system. BRT is a great concept to implement when the conditions are right, but it is not a philosophy.

What is ground breaking in the MNCPPC report is a shift in policies, priorities, and priniciples for transportation infrastructure in the county to one of TRANSIT FIRST. This has huge impacts on which modes are given highest priority in design of corridors and how costs are allocated. It is MAJOR.

I would argue that it should be extended to planning the appropriate transit service to meet the mobility needs and priorities of the communities along each corridor while also serving the overall travel markets of the region. No community should be left out or made to bear the brunt of the negative impacts so others can have a premium ride.

So let's drop this false pro/con BRT argument and focus on meeting the needs of all travel markets and neighborhoods by putting Transit First. Also, please focus the debate on the attributes of the service provided and its potential impacts and benefits, and not on labels such as BRT or assumptions that everything BRT leads to a more sustainable future.

JAB

by Jim Bunch on Nov 15, 2012 5:06 pm • linkreport

"Residents asked why it was necessary to take away lanes from cars on an already congested road, and questioned why improvements to existing service, like more frequent buses and safer waiting areas, wouldn't suffice. "

"Not if it roars through an intersection where thousands of Blair HS kids cross, for example. The congestion actually slows traffic down, making it easier for the kids to cross."

pardon, but am i the only one who sees a contradiction here? BRT (btw, a street car would have similar issues) is bad because it would slow traffic down, but also bad if it reduces congestion? Huh?

I think its clear that shifting people from SOV to transit leads to a more sustainable future, unless ridership is so low that it cant match the operating and capital resources - which does not appear to be the case here. Sounds like it would reduce congestion and VMT. The pedestrian impacts of reduced congestion could be addressed by a complete streets strategy, crossing timing to serve peds, etc.

I also dont see why other improvements means this should not be done.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 15, 2012 5:29 pm • linkreport

@Jim Bunch
Good analysis. Sounds like you know what you're talking about.

@Capt. Hilts
"I think the fact that Four Corners remains basically unchanged for the past 20+ years shows that local interests have prevailed at a LOT of meetings."

What meetings? You must have missed that the area went through a major change 15 years ago that included adding the largest school in the state, the reconstruction of the entire intersection and taking of residential, commercial and institutional properties.

Not aware of any meetings since then.

by SS on Nov 15, 2012 6:18 pm • linkreport

SS, the basic structure of the street and light at Four Corners has not changed since the mid '90s when I began driving it despite the addition of Blair High a bit further south.

by Capt. Hilts on Nov 15, 2012 6:33 pm • linkreport

I think the fact that Four Corners remains basically unchanged for the past 20+ years shows that local interests have prevailed at a LOT of meetings.

Aside from the modifications at the intersection of U.S. 29 (Colesville Road) and Md. 193 (University Boulevard) and the construction of "new" Blair High School, Four Corners has changed remarkably little since I moved there as a child - in 1960. Most of the Four Corners section of the Capital Beltway was opened in 1962, and Fire Station 16 moved from its former building (now a pizza place next to present-day McDonald's) to University Boulevard East at Williamsburg Drive in the late 1960's.

Discussions of severe congestion at the main intersection in Four Corners also date back to the 1960's (talk of a grade separation there were first discussed then).

by C. P. Zilliacus on Nov 15, 2012 7:58 pm • linkreport

If BRT does nothing else but ease the bus trip between Rockville and Silver Spring, it will be worth it. I lived along that corridor when they cut the frequency of service, and after that the Q lines were just a ship of misery all day and night, jam-packed with bodies, dipping and swaying through Aspen Hill.

by Flora on Nov 15, 2012 9:09 pm • linkreport

Dan Reed says, "I'd prefer not to have to drive through your neighborhood on my way to downtown Silver Spring. I'm sure there are many people who feel the same way, and they deserve to be heard as well."

The problem here is that BRT advocates and advocates of easier and faster car commuting through our neighborhood have something in common: they are all willing to sacrifice someone else's neighborhood (ours) for their own convenience. Then they tell us we should be good sports about it.

Wow.

by profplanner on Nov 17, 2012 12:28 pm • linkreport

Profplanner, not everyone can live at the end of the line, traveling only through other people's neighborhoods. A lot of people have that as a goal, bless them, but it's never going to be the case for any one neighborhood for very long. There are two ways traffic can come through: a river of single-occupancy congestion or something more efficient like BRT. It's one or the other.

by Flora on Nov 17, 2012 1:35 pm • linkreport

Thayer-D,

The analogy regarding the people eating steak and the hungry people wanting to eat a hamburger is not valid argument due to the Fact that the people that are hungry are not able to eat the Hamburger because the Hamburger is a health risk relating to obesity.

So in subject of your rebuttal the BRT is not going to get people to mobile faster then they are now with driving because of the FACT that the Majority of the people that Pay Taxes in Eastern Montgomery County and the I-270 Corridor do not work/spend retail money in Montgomery County in which the Majority of them are heading to Virginia due to the lack of High paying Business/Job Growth in Suburban Maryland compared to Northern Virginia.

BTW- They are not planning any Bizarre Conversions of Car Lanes into BRT Lanes on Major Roads/Highways in Northern Virginia so it is very strange that they are trying to shove this Mind Boggling BRT Mess down the throats of Suburban Maryland Tax Payers.

Also, your argument about the Orange Line/I-66 still doesn't take away from the FACT that Northern Virginia are in plans of adding a third lane on to I-66 inside the Beltway.

Your word of Conspiracy Theory is a roundabout way of saying that you can't deny the Fact that reducing Road Lanes and not expending New Highways is damaging to Business Growth and reduces middle class/upper class population. Takoma Park sets the Fine Example of Anti-Business in which I don't recall of any Major Fortune 500 Businesses/HQ's being located in Takoma Park but there are Fortune 500 Businesses in places like Falls Church/Vienna/Tysons Corner, Roswell/Sandy Springs/Dunwoody, GA; Northern Suburbs of Houston, TX; Silicon Valley,CA; North/West Suburbs of Boston which has great transit options and reliable multi-lane roads and highways unlike Takoma Park that is a sleepy junction-like stuck in medieval times with 2 lane roads and no Major high paying Employment Centers but yeah they got their buses squeezing through those narrow streets and now with the BRT Bizarre it Expand the Takoma Park atmosphere throughout Montgomery County and that is definitely not a positive picture for Montgomery County's future.

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 3:57 pm • linkreport

profplanner,

Uh yes it was about preserving car lanes because in common sense, most of the people that use the major roads are traveling from other places far off then it will not atttract them to ride BRT if they are already not attracted to use the Metro Rail Subway. Also narrowing busy streets will create traffic Bottlenecks which is why most Major Cities/Suburbs in America are not doing what the soo-called Montgomery County planners are trying to push into the County in which this further makes one believe that there is hidden intension of discouraging Population and Business Growth in Montgomery County.

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 4:04 pm • linkreport

dan reed!,

If it is just that easy for you and other people that don't live near the corridor to somewhat dictate unreasonable transit option(s) then it will be just as easy for people in other parts of the region to support/dictate Multiple 20 lane Expressways and NYC like skyscrapers throughout your part of Montgomery county in which I believe you once said Burtonsville or Briggs Chaney.

My point is that just because you don't like to drive does not make any more sense to inconvenience other people that have to use their cars and it is very very very strange that these soo-called Montgomery County Planners not supporting a high speed Metro rail along US 29 and even more mind boggling that they are pushing for a BRT along MD Highway 355 that already have a Very Good running/reliable subway line.

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 4:21 pm • linkreport

Capt. Hilts,

Again your comment about transit(BRT) alleviating snarled traffic raises the question why these soo-called Montgomery County planners do not support a high speed Metro rail subway along US Highway 29 instead of Purposely inconveniencing car drivers with the BRT Bizarre....

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 4:28 pm • linkreport

Jim Bunch,

If this is really about "Transit First" then why not push for extending High Speed Metro rail and make it run 24/7(instead of running only during the day and early evenings) instead of pushing for BRT that is already proving to be supported by those that purposely want to inconvenience suburban Maryland Tax Payers that have to drive their cars.....

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 4:34 pm • linkreport

Steve, subway isn't part of the conversation here.

by Capt. Hilts on Nov 17, 2012 4:34 pm • linkreport

AWalkerInTheCity,

Once again the traffic on the exist 6 lane roads in Montgomery County are already congested and adding BRT to replace existing lanes will make traffic bottlenecks worse. And again if this was such a great idea then why are they not pushing to convert car lanes into BRT Lanes on VA 7, VA 123, VA 120, VA 234, VA 236, VA 28, VA US Highway 29, VA US Highway 1, VA US Highway 50, Van Dorn Street, Telagraph Road, Eisenhower Avenue, Franconia-Springfield Road, Reston Parkway, Seminary Road, Braddock Road, Gallows Road, Wilson Boulevard, and Fairfax County Parkway?

The BRT proposal does not make any reasonable sense no matter how it is trying to be persuaded.

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 4:50 pm • linkreport

Capt. Hilts,

Its Mass Transit, isn't it...

And speaking of "isn't part of the conversation here" plenty of times when the subject of Highways/Office Density/New Large Retail Malls being proposed in the Maryland Suburbs its always somebody quick to make a Mass Transit/Smart Growth Reference.

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 4:59 pm • linkreport

Flora,

Sorry but BRT is not the answer just from the way the so-called Montgomery County planners are proposing because it will do nothing more but create more traffic bottlenecks and will definitely not attract existing car owners to ride BRT if they are not already convince to use the Metro rail and/or MARC services for their commuting purposes.

I attended one of the meetings and I am not surprised that most of the attendees were not car owners but existing transit riders that also find the BRT proposal strangely bizarre.

by steve on Nov 17, 2012 5:09 pm • linkreport

And again if this was such a great idea then why are they not pushing to convert car lanes into BRT Lanes on VA 7,

being contemplated from Tysons to Falls Church.

VA 123,

Will almost certainly happen from Tysons to Mclean. From Tysons to Vienna maybe.

VA 120, VA 234,

I dont know 120. 234 is in PWC, not sufficient density I imagine.

VA 236,

city of Alex wants it on parallel Eisenhower. Its possible for FFX in annandale,as part of the annandale transport plan,esp when the beauregard BRT is done.

VA 28,

Definitely being considered.

VA US Highway 29

Its being considered in City of FFX, I think.

, VA US Highway 1

its one option being discussed.

, VA US Highway 50,

its being discussed in context of the I66 study

Van Dorn Street,

City of alex is considering it for the beauregard BRT, to connect to metro

Telagraph Road,

no plans I know if

Eisenhower Avenue,

Its almost certainly going to happen

Franconia-Springfield Road,
dont know

Reston Parkway,

No plans I know of

Seminary Road,
Braddock Road,

not sure

Gallows Road,

Certainly being discussed

Wilson Boulevard,

too close to the orange line to get priority

and Fairfax County Parkway?

Im not sure.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 17, 2012 6:14 pm • linkreport

AWalkerInTheCity,

And once again none of what you are listed that are being considered for BRT are requiring stealing car travel lanes like the soo-called Montgomery County planners are trying to force into Montgomery County.

Annnndd,

That little Wilson Boulevard comment is the Red Flag Raiser because the soo-called Montgomery County Planners included MD Highway 355(Wilson Boulevard Similarity relating to Metro rail subway accessibility) into the BRT Car Lane Stealing hustle which further proves the point that there is a hidden agenda for supporting the Bizarre BRT routes in Montgomery County...

by steve on Nov 18, 2012 2:08 pm • linkreport

@steve

You are simply incorrect. While none of these is yet at the stage where a final decision on widening vs taking away a regular lane has been made, taking away a lane is definitely on the table in several. Alexandria is leaning that way, I think,for Beauregard street (and presumably the extension on Van Dorn) and even more strongly for Eisenhower, I am pretty sure. FFX hasnt gone as far as Alexandria in even preliminary discussions (FFX transit money and attenion has been heavily focused on the Silver Line) but I think taking away lanes will make much sense in many parts of FFX.

also that you say "Stel" is odd, the streets belong to the county, for use by all, they do not belong to auto drivers alone.

by NotAffluentJew on Nov 18, 2012 8:43 pm • linkreport

NotAffluentJew,

What you are stating is not concrete and yes if and when they will ever build a BRT in Northern Virginia, it will not inconvenience car travel by removing existing lanes away from busy roadways in Northern Virginia like the soo-called Montgomery County planners are trying to do in Montgomery County.

And,

If you are referring to the major streets in Montgomery County then yes they belong to the county and its not just for cars but also trucks, vans, and buses and should not be interrupted by a bizarre BRT interrupting traffic flow in the Maryland Suburbs.

by steve on Nov 18, 2012 10:24 pm • linkreport

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