Greater Greater Washington

Montgomery may cut Wisconsin Ave BRT line off from DC

Tomorrow, it's likely that the Montgomery County Council's transportation committee will approve a Bus Rapid Transit line along the high-density Route 355 corridor. But Council staff is recommending it end at Bethesda instead of at the District line in Friendship Heights.


Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. Photo by dan reed! on Flickr.

The county's BRT plan has progressed through the committee over the last few weeks. Committee members have voted to approve BRT lines on Georgia Avenue, Veirs Mill Road, University Boulevard, and New Hampshire Avenue. They also voted to keep a line along Route 29, which has high ridership but faces neighborhood opposition.

Tomorrow, the committee will discuss the 355 corridor between Friendship Heights and Clarksburg, arguably the most promising route for high-quality, center-running BRT given its existing high population density and coming development at places like White Flint. The Planning Department estimates that BRT could have 44,000 daily riders in 2040, the highest of all 10 proposed corridors.

But we learned today that Council staff is calling for the 355 line to end at Bradley Boulevard in downtown Bethesda instead. Neighbors along this section of Wisconsin Avenue oppose this segment due to concerns about BRT threatening pedestrian safety and impacts to the median and right-of-way. The plan proposes wider sidewalks and an improved pedestrian environment, while recommending no changes to the median or street width.


BRT along Route 355. Montgomery County may eliminate the section in blue. Image from the Montgomery County Planning Department.

Cutting short this key route will sever an important transit connection between Montgomery County and DC, which will put more cars on the road and make both Bethesda and Friendship Heights less competitive locations for business. That's why a variety of supporters of the plan from the Friendship Heights area want the line to extend south and bring more transit options for their area, including Chevy Chase Land Company and JBG, both property owners in Friendship Heights, the Friendship Heights Transportation Management District Advisory Committee, and Ward 3 Vision in DC.

While admittedly a long way off, someday there could be a Rapid Transit line from Georgetown all the way up Wisconsin to Friendship Heights and beyond, connecting a high density corridor not currently served by Metro. But that's only possible if Montgomery County is willing to continue BRT to the DC line.

So far the Council's transportation committee has voted to extend dedicated lanes for BRT to the DC line on other key corridors, including New Hampshire Avenue, Georgia Avenue, 16th Street, and Colesville Road. This will help thousands of commuters on packed DC-Maryland Metrobus lines like the S, K and 70.

This is a positive precedent that reflects the interconnectedness of our region, and allows for good transit options between jurisdictions. To that end, it's important that Montgomery County keeps BRT on 355 between Bethesda and Friendship Heights. You can let the County Council know how significant this connection is by sending them an email using this form.

Kelly Blynn is the Campaign Manager for the Coalition for Smarter Growth's Next Generation of Transit Campaign, and a member of the pedestrian advocacy organization All Walks DC. She is a former international campaigner at the climate change group 350.org, and is now passionate about organizing locally with communities for sustainable and equitable transportation in the Washington, DC region. 

Comments

Add a comment »

This is amazingly poor judgement by Montgomery County. The largest intermodal bus and rail facility at the southern end of the BRT corridor, is not in Bethesda, but rather Friendship Heights. The WMATA Metro Red Line, WMATA Western Bus Yard for all WMATA Bus services into DC down Wisconsin Ave and Connecticut Ave, and Montgomery County Ride-On buses, are in yards and bus depots in a one block radius of Friendship Heights Metro stop, the very stop being cut off in the article.

If the BRT went to Friendship, it would serve drastically more people with mass transit options and fall backs.

Instead, all BRT riders will be forced onto Metro Red Line at Bethesda, creating an unneeded bottleneck.

by Nathaniel Pendleton on Oct 31, 2013 3:30 pm • linkreport

Short sighted indeed. May as well scrap the 355 line if it doesn't terminate at Friendship Heights. That is probably the thinking.

by William on Oct 31, 2013 3:41 pm • linkreport

As a side not, the BRT should be extended greatly to Downtown DC, but not with the route you specify. The Montgomery County BRT Bus line, should not be extended all the way to Georgetown, because the road gets too narrow and congested. The three alternate logical routes, are 1) Wisconcin Ave (stop at Tenleytown Red line and bus depot) to Massachusetts Ave, to Dupont Circle (Red line), to DC Union Station; 2) Friendship Heights, Military Road, Connecticut Ave, (Van Ness Red line) (Dupont Red Line) (Faragut Red/Orange/Blue/Silver lines); 3) Wisconsin Ave, (Tenleytown Red line), Nebraska Ave, Foxhall Road, (through the utter catastrophe of Georgetown Key Bridge traffic, similarly bad as lower Wisconsin Ave from Mass Ave to M Street), M Street, Pennsylvania Ave, (Foggy Bottom Metro Orange/Blue lines to Federal Offices, and the future rebuilt streetcar service down K Street.)

There is logic for all 3 of these routes, greater than butting the BRT route through lower Wisconsin Ave, (Mass Ave to M Street).

by Nathaniel Pendleton on Oct 31, 2013 3:43 pm • linkreport

@Nathaniel Pendleton Thanks for your comments, I know anecdotally that there are a ton of bus lines serving Friendship Heights, but thanks for backing it up. I frequently take the Red Line from meetings in Bethesda or Rockville and transfer at Friendship Heights to get on the E4.

Your points re: connecting south make sense, Wisconsin does get very constrained. Even though its sort of crazy, I think the last route would be great to serve Georgetown and connect to the K Street streetcar.

by Kelly Blynn on Oct 31, 2013 4:13 pm • linkreport

Nathaniel Pendleton is absolutely correct. The 30s buses, the L2, and the E2 all link to Friendship Heights. There are basically no buses that connect Bethesda to DC. Just the 34 RideOn bus, which goes to...Friendship Heights.

by renegade09 on Oct 31, 2013 4:29 pm • linkreport

This doesn't make me want to trust Maryland with the terminus of our GA Ave streetcar.

by Tom Veil on Oct 31, 2013 4:31 pm • linkreport

@Tom Veil Well, they have approved dedicated lanes on Georgia from the District Line to the Transit Center in Silver Spring - which is more than DC can say at this point! But it does speak to a very important need: we all need to push elected officials in Montgomery and DC to actually coordinate with one another on this.

by Kelly Blynn on Oct 31, 2013 4:56 pm • linkreport

How 'bout this: Maryland builds BRT to Friendship Heights, and DC builds streetcar to Silver Spring. Everyone's happy!

by ImThat1Guy on Oct 31, 2013 5:07 pm • linkreport

I particularly love this comment from the article RE Chevy Chase opposition:

“We’re such a unique area. We are already in a very congested area and we depend on our roads for biking, for walking, for driving, for buses[.]”

Roads are for bikes, pedestrians, cars, and buses, so we shouldn't have more buses, wider sidewalks, and a bike trail. Also, no one else is like us. We are special: our senior citizens need 10 to 15 minutes just to get out of their vehicles. Seniors practically jump out of their vehicles in the District, where the locals only depend on their roads for parades, dignitary convoys, and as pillow fight staging areas.

Blerg. We should just christen our buses, bikes and LRVs as places of worship; then we'd get to take up as much of the street as we need/want. Everybody loves churches.

by Steven H on Oct 31, 2013 5:28 pm • linkreport

The funny thing is that there is minimal pedestrian and bicycle traffic between Bradley Blvd. and Western Ave. on Wisconsin Ave. all the times I am on that stretch, including while on bike or while walking.

I am accustomed to DC being short-sighted wrt these kinds of decisions (the proposal to extend overnight bus service to National Airport from DC being an exception). It's unfortunate to see MoCo considering making the same kinds of short sighted decisions.

by Richard Layman on Oct 31, 2013 6:52 pm • linkreport

Very logical to extend a BRT to the DC line and further into the District. It's an odd feeling to be on a sidewalk on Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Heightswith all the new urban development of a Rodeo Drive and have to wait on suburban-level (infrequent) bus service to get to the booming Bethesda CBD just a mile away.
How about an interim BRT service from Friendship Hts to Grosvenor Metro while WMATA replaces the escalators at the Bethesda Station and relines the leaky tunnel in this section?

by Richard Hoye on Oct 31, 2013 8:59 pm • linkreport

@renegade09: One minor point, the L2 bus on Connecticut Avenue terminates at Chevy Chase Circle and does not connect to Friendship Heights.

by Michael_G on Oct 31, 2013 9:25 pm • linkreport

The lack of coordination or even discussion between DC and Montgomery County is mind boggling.

I recently attended a presentation by someone from MCDOT about BRT and they have never spoken with anyone from DDOT about any coordination across Western Avenue.

And the points above about the lack of bus connections across the line are all good points.

Why none of the Wisconsin Avenue bus routes continue north into Montgomery County from DC is baffling and stupid. Yes there are some ride-on routes from Friendship Heights that go to various places in Montgomery County but not a single one of these routes just runs up Wisconsin Avenue.

But what compounds that stupidity is why when MCDOT is talking about spending all of this money they would not start with the low fruit on the tree and extend some or all of those DC WMATA bus routes up the pike to at least NIH/Medical Center.

WMATA even added the 37 express route a couple of years ago and no one thought geez maybe it would make sense for this route to cross the line like much of the commuter traffic that causes all of the traffic issues.

Having said all of that I'm not sure this is the end of the world. Wisconsin Avenue mostly flows pretty smoothly between Bradley and Western except for the last couple of blocks in Friendship Heights where traffic gets bogged down by illegal parking in front of the medical buildings as well as too long left turn signals to accommodate turn movements in and out of the retail parking lots. Fix the light timing and crack down on illegal parking and the buses would mostly be fine and you could also potentially make the right lane for buses and right turns only.

But the positions of the insular and mostly clueless folks representing places like Somerset & Chevy Chase Village really are against the greater interests of Montgomery County and the region and having sat in meetings with these folks most of their concerns don't even make sense as their communities are largely walled off from the world and will be minimally impacted by any changes but someone made the excellent point in the comments of a different post about these same communities that because they so severely cut off their own street grids to minimize cut through traffic these folks can't use their own streets for local travel and have no choice to use arterials like Wisconsin instead which is why they are taking these positions - but it is really shortsighted for the county to allow communities who have created their own problems with selfish planning to then make claims on a major roadway that impact folks in the entire region.

But going back again to coordination between DC & Montgomery County with the K Street Transitway being built for streetcars it is inexcusable that Wisconsin Avenue now not be a top priority for a street car route - and any such route would logically extend into Montgomery County and at least connect to the Purple Line.

by TomQ on Nov 1, 2013 12:03 am • linkreport

If the concern is that a pair of dedicated BRT / HOV / HOT lanes through Bethesda is a deal breaker, because it reduces parking, or takes up too much capacity, the solution is to share lanes with regular traffic through downtown Bethesda only, and then establish BRT lanes from Bradley Ln/Blvd covering the BRT gap between Bethesda and DC side of Friendship Heights, and downtown Friendship Heights. This would be the logical solution.

Of my side "note" about BRT routes into downtown DC, I would connect any route to Orange/Blue/Silver Metro lines, Green Metro Line, and DC Union Station MARC commuter rail, and Amtrak, and VRE commuter rail, to assure a powerful backup for all of these networks, and connect all of these.

BRT is a back up for Red line, and not replacement. The Red line is best for the long term, but can not force efficient mode switching from BRT to Metro Red line of most passengers. Although the BRT is not as predictable, nor efficient as Metro Red line, the BRT can potentially, if designed really well, such as timed lights and dedicated lanes, go faster than Red line on some portions of the distance. A super express bus system is extremely difficult to roll out, but these buses should run from Freindship to Downtown, perhaps best done with at least one Metro stop in between.

Although the Foxhall Route might be fastest for BRT to downtown without building dedicated BRT lanes, removing all stops between Van Ness and Foggy Bottom, sharing slightly faster roads through DC, skipping many stop lights compared with the other possible BRT routes, until Georgetown, but DC would never help build this BRT route, because of how few DC people it would serve.

The best route for BRT into downtown DC is likely using Connecticut Ave, a straight and level route into downtown, with rush hour flex lanes creating 4 lanes in the peak commuter flow, and 2 lanes in the counter commute, making the best location for BRT buses. Also Connecticut is lower altitude than any of the other routes, permitting tall buildings on Connecticut Ave of the significant height of Ft. Reno Water tower, in Tenleytown. That potential increase in density, would make sharing the investment in BRT lanes on Connecticut Ave, even if only during rush hour, in one direction, the peak flow direction, would sharply speed up the BRT, and help maximize the value of the downtown DC labor market as a powerful place to meet people from eastern Montgomery County (east branch Red Line), Prince Georges County, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and numerous other housing markets, seeking the best expert labor market in the region.

by Nathaniel Pendleton on Nov 1, 2013 12:04 am • linkreport

This sounds like the Georgia Avenue Street car line discussion in reverse. This is one region, and the transportation network should be designed how it actually works, not on 200 year old political boundaries.

I agree it needs to go into DC too. My vote would be for Wisconsin Ave. There's so much underdeveloped land close in and from TenleyTown in, there's no dedicated transit to begin with.

by Thayer-D on Nov 1, 2013 6:25 am • linkreport

I hate to burst your collective balloons, but we are not approving dedicated, repurposed, curb or median lanes for transit ANYWHERE. We are only identifying where additional right of way may be necessary to accommodate a fully designed and engineered transit program.

by Nancy Floreen on Nov 1, 2013 7:29 am • linkreport

it really pays to click through the link sometimes

"However, in the future, should the District of Columbia consider establishing a true BRT service on Wisconsin Avenue to, say, the Cathedral area and Georgetown — where Metrorail does not now go — then the Council should reconsider BR T service in this segment."

Thats MoCo staff. Without BRT in DC, they only add one non-metro served station by not going south of bethesda, at Bradley, and thats not far from metro. But they explicitly say they should reconsider if and when DC establishes BRT. So, sounds like they are much more eager to cooperate with DC than commentors here seem to think.

And Ms Floreen, you might want to clarify with Bethesda Now as well. While it does discuss the staff report, it certainly leaves the impression that the County is further along than just looking at buying ROW.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 1, 2013 7:55 am • linkreport

There should be streetcar service connecting the K St EW Route up Wisconsin (or side streets to accommodate grade) to connect Glover Park, Cathedral Heights, Tenley, Friendship and the Purple Line. Such a line could terminate in Rosslyn and really help the west side of the city.

A Connecticut Avenue line connecting Dupont Circle to Forest Hills, Chevy Chase, Chevy Chase Lake and the Purple Line would also take a huge number of cars off the road.

I know the streetcar system us initially an economic development program, but eventually, it will need to be a robust transportation system. Now is the time to get these potential lines into the hopper and start the dialogue with Montgomery County (as well as RI Ave, GA Ave and a Takoma connection).

by Andrew on Nov 1, 2013 8:41 am • linkreport

Ms. Floreen, I really am confused. If all that the council is doing is approving additional right of ways in certain areas, then doesn't that mean that in the other areas, additional right of way won't be necessary? Which means that the transit will run in existing roadways? And if the transit runs in existing roadways, but not in repurposed, curb, median, or dedicated lanes, then the only alternative is for the transit to run in regular traffic -- isn't it? Will the fully designed and engineered transit system run in regular traffic? What am I missing?

by Miriam on Nov 1, 2013 9:05 am • linkreport

I hate to burst your collective balloons, but we are not approving dedicated, repurposed, curb or median lanes for transit ANYWHERE.

Why not?

by Alex B. on Nov 1, 2013 9:08 am • linkreport

LOL, I hope that isn't the real Nancy Floreen.

by MLD on Nov 1, 2013 9:23 am • linkreport

IME, to combination of Ride-On and Red Line works pretty well for servicing 355. I take the Metro to the closest stop and if my destination is too far away to walk, I take the bus the rest of the way. Presumably as MoCo adds bike-share, that'll be another "last mile" option for some of these trips (i.e. the ones where there's an alternative to cycling along 355 itself.) Then again, I live within walking distance of a Metro station. The bus to Metro to bus scenario would be unappealing.

So I can see BRT serving people who live beyond the Metro (Clarksburg)or at an awkward distance between stops but primarily to get them to the Metro or destinations along the Pike that are also between Metro stations. Certainly if the ultimate destination is in DC, you'd get off the bus and on the Metro as soon as possible if you cared about travel times. And you can do that in Bethesda as well as Friendship Heights.

This strikes me as a reasonable decision. And it's clearly not irreversible if experience indicates that an extension would be worthwhile or if destinations/available transit connections change.

by BTDT on Nov 1, 2013 9:30 am • linkreport

MLD,
I was thinking the same thing. What savy politician would go out on a limb and opine so definatively? Plus it make no sense as others have pointed out.

by Thayer-D on Nov 1, 2013 9:50 am • linkreport

@William
"Short sighted indeed. May as well scrap the 355 line if it doesn't terminate at Friendship Heights"

Whoa, do I sense a touch of selfishness? You do realize that the route will be serving larger areas than Friendship Heights? (Rockville, Bethesda, White Flint) While I agree that the line should go to the DC line (although I also understand the logic behind the recommendation), the line shouldn't be scrapped altogether because it's shortened 2 miles/1 station.

As for the line going into DC, there a quite a few problems with this:

- DC has no interest in BRT
- the rabid NIMBY's in the communities lining Wisconsin (especially Tenleytown and Georgetown)
- where exactly is their room for BRT on Wisconsin in Georgetown?

by King Terrapin on Nov 1, 2013 10:34 am • linkreport

All details - updated ridership projections, how lanes might be used, the extent to which existing pavement needs to be extended, the location of stations etc will be determined at what's called "project planning." That always includes a holistic analysis of how everything works together, and a no-build element as well

by Nancy Floreen on Nov 1, 2013 10:49 am • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity: Preemptively cutting off the WMATA Metro buses at Friendship Heights, and the major MoCo population of Freindship Heights Village, is not a unilateral move toward cooperating with DC, just the opposite, it looks like sour grapes by MoCo.

Friendship Heights Village is the most densely populated place in Montgomery County, and the "the highest population density of any census-designated place in the UNITED STATES" (emphasis added), according to Wikipedia and the US Census. Shorting the BRT bus line to not reach the tax payers of MoCo at the extension, and not reach WMATA Metro bus services there denying connection to WMATA buses, is poisonous.

If MoCo wanted to build up the regional expert labor markets, to maximize opportunity and wages for its people, best focused in downtown DC, to connect to Prince Georges County expert labor, DC expert labor, and Virginia's Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax, expert labor, then MoCo would build the BRT to Friendship Heights Metro stop, to strongly encourage DC to to extend the BRT corridor and that would strongly enhance MoCos BRT investment, both for commuting downtown, on DC's future BRT routes, and even counter commuters, from DC to Montgomery County employment centers.

Given that MoCo is not disenfranchised, the extension would help MoCo get the walkable mass transit feed back loop, which encourages taller sky scrappers and apartment towers (banned by the disenfranchising US Congress in DC unlike the 50 states which retained their voting rights since 25 years after US Independence when Congress disenfranchised DC), drastically increasing county use and dependence and investment into Metro and BRT, spurring yet more walkable transit oriented towers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_population_density

by Nathaniel Pendleton on Nov 1, 2013 12:03 pm • linkreport

er NP. they get most of that with a line to Bethesda. Most folks wont use BRT to get from FH to places located at metro stops in MoCo. The main advantage of going to FH would be for folks from FH to go to non metro served stops on the 355 BRT, and for the MoCo folks who are willing to use BRT and then a transfer to a bus going through DC in mixed traffic, rather than drive.

Thats a positive benefit, but not infinite. And more miles of ROW for BRT is not free.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 1, 2013 12:15 pm • linkreport

Who are you?!? The most densely populated place of MoCo tax payers, Friendship Village, and the larger Friendship Heights, should be denied BRT by your illogic? Why would you suggest such a destructive strategy, unless you oppose walkable mass transit solutions in the first place? How many WMATA buses per day are cut off with this BRT quarantine of FH? And what is the current ridership of these WMATA Metro Buses to/from FH? What is the population of MoCo and DC which might want to commute by BRT that you are cutting off?

What is the ridership of the Metro Red line that need a fall back service, in the event of single tracking or complete disruption? How would these Red line passengers by mass transit get travel between Bethesda and DC if the Red line was stopped during any rush hour? The indemnification alone of the Red line is the biggest BRT selling point, but it can't indemnify the Red line if it can't reach the major WMATA bus capacity at Friendship Heights.

I am glad you agree with me that counter commuters is a market for BRT, but you should also agree that getting to the highest wages and opportunity of downtown DC, is the best way to fund all of Montgomery County, and that is best achieved by interconnecting the BRT with current WMATA bus offerings to downtown, and strongly encourage DC to BRT a route to downtown, making the Montgomery County investment even more valuable and successful. These interconnections and extensions can't be done from Bethesda, only Friendship Heights.

by Nathaniel Pendleton on Nov 1, 2013 12:38 pm • linkreport

"The most densely populated place of MoCo tax payers, Friendship Village, and the larger Friendship Heights, should be denied BRT by your illogic? Why would you suggest such a destructive strategy, unless you oppose walkable mass transit solutions in the first place? "

Er, Im just someone who recognizes that MoCo faces multiple budget needs, including other potential BRT corridors that will compete with this for funds. Resources are never unlimited.

Im not sure if BRT all the way to FH makes sense in this phase or not - but I just think MoCos belief that it does not, makes it fair to charecterize them like this. It seems they very much do want to cooperate with DC.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 1, 2013 12:49 pm • linkreport

TomQ -- the points you make about bus route extensions across the DC-MD line are good ones. Someone mentioned this at the ACT meeting in Silver Spring a couple months ago when Jim Hamre of WMATA spoke on the WMATA night time bus study and I meant to write about this, but I think I forgot. It's a big issue on Wisc. Ave., as she mentioned also.

2. In the old days there was a bus that went from FH to CCC and then up CT Ave. I saw a bus schedule for it once (but I didn't buy it).

Technically this is a WMATA issue, but DC and MoCo ought to be concerned, because better articulation serves residents better and creates more opportunities to reduce automobile traffic.

3. WRT the point about lack of coordination, I am a bit surprised, because my understanding was that the NH Ave. BRT line has been discussed in terms of emanating from the Fort Totten Metro.

The biggest issue is Wisc. and CT. Aves., but I am sure that there are some others. And RideOn operates on the border (Western Ave.; routes to Takoma Station) so it does serve some DC residents as it is. (It's less an issue on Georgia Ave. because the 70s buses terminate at Silver Spring Station in MoCo.)

4. Interestingly, this touches on some of my big reservations with how DC has structured thinking about the "Master" transportation plan planning process (MoveDC), which then shapes the scope and recommendations in narrow ways.

When I write about the process in the next week or so, this will have to be an example, along with GA Ave. and streetcar, although the Wisc. and CT. Ave. issues are not new either.

I wrote about it a bit here, but didn't address the north of the border issue.

http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2013/03/tactical-thinking-about-dc-bus_6.html

by Richard Layman on Nov 1, 2013 2:43 pm • linkreport

So you support throwing money away on transit projects that does not connect people to where they need to go? Don't play the "budget" card if you admit that this BRT line should have started where it can do the most good and earn the most revenue, Friendship Heights, and extended into the lower density, lower Metro Rail/Bus ridership, lower farebox, further from downtown DC, Maryland suburbs, such as Bethesda and Rockville. Connecting Friendship Heights and Bethesda is where the value for money is in this mass transit project, the core of the business model and service value.

Cutting off the most valuable segment and stop on the possible MoCo BRT line, with highest Metro rail ridership in MoCo (both stop and segment), with existing major WMATA bus services, makes no sense, neither short term nor long term. "Budgets"... really?!? Value for money is issue here for this investment, that not connecting the most valuable potential BRT segment and stop, Friendship Heights, is somehow justifiable to you, and you try to hedge and say it is a "budget" issue?

More people ride Metro rail to/from Friendship Heights, than Bethesda, each day.

More than 18,000 people ride the WMATA Metro Bus 30 line corridor each day, (one of several services from Friendship Heihgts,) bus lines serving Friendship Heights but not Bethesda, or more than 13.6% of the passengers of the entire Montgomery County Maryland Red line ridership. If we could get data on just Bethesda to Friendship Heights Metro ridership, the 30 Bus line would move drastically greater % of people compared with MoCo Red line Metro ridership. Connecting to Bus capacity is essential. I don't have Connecticut Ave L line ridership, but that is another major bus service of similar scale, that is based out of the Western Bus Depot in Friendship Heights. Adding that bus line to the math would greatly improve the market size for the MoCo BRT as well.

The easiest way to pressure BRT extension into DC, is to serve MoCo citizens in Friendship Heights well, and let WMATA bus depot at Friendship Heights riders see the value and make transfers to the BRT. Serving Friendship Heights with BRT creates the possibility for only one government to act, DC's government, to build a BRT route extension, instead of waiting for MoCo to change its mind and complete the segment, and delay completion of the BRT to Friendship, and extension into Downtown DC.

What is your agenda here? If you really want the BRT to fail, and your are not eventually claiming to be just bad at math, business, economics, and Metro rail disaster planning, so you can later reverse yourself, you should say so. Please explain yours motives.

by Nathaniel Pendleton on Nov 1, 2013 2:58 pm • linkreport

This is dumb. So they are going to stop it at Bradley Boulevard? At that point they mind as well just stop it at the Bethesda Metro Station. There's no point in extending it one mile to Bradley Boulevard. Or perhaps, if they must end it in Bethesda, it could do a downtown loop. But they should extend it to Friendship Heights, where people can connect to buses going into DC or the subway.

by Rain17 on Nov 2, 2013 1:53 am • linkreport

@Richard Layman

The L-8 Metrobus still goes from Friendship Heights along Western, through the Chevy Chase traffic circle and then up Connecticut Avenue to Aspen Hill. The Ride-on 34 also goes from FH to Aspen Hill but by way of Bethesda, Medical Center, and Wheaton metro stations.

@Nathan Pendleton

Bethesda and Friendship Heights are already connected -- by Metrorail, most obviously -- but also by bus. And the 30s bus lines in DC have been subdivided because they're so long that they get hopelessly behind schedule, having been mired in traffic at various points.

I can't imagine someone taking BRT from Clarksburg to Georgetown (or vice versa). You'd be on the bus all day. Even BRT from Rockville to FH then a 30s bus from FH to Glover Park would be a real time-suck. BRT to Metro makes sense but, again, Bethesda serves that purpose as well (or better) than FH.

by BTDT on Nov 2, 2013 1:14 pm • linkreport

@BTDT, you ignored every single point I made. You ignore the many minute delay from transferring bus/mode twice. You can't imagine the Red Line metro ever having delays, maintenance, single tracking, accident, incident, or any other reason to have smooth transfer from BRT to WMATA buses? What exactly do you imagine?

by Nathaniel Pendleton on Nov 2, 2013 2:30 pm • linkreport

BRT is an absurd waste of money and the most vastly expensive, poorest planned piece of garbage in a long time.
All of you - you aren't going to be served by BRT. Bus service is supposed to be a community service, but this looks more like meant to be "dedicated" "repurposing" of the "mixed use" away, expensively not for the community, with as few stops near people's current homes as possible in the interest of making an elite brand new lane and bus service for the elite, on the public's dime and taking their streets bypassing the general public bus ridership and serving only those could buy the brand new condos developers want to put in.
Riders don't care about "stations" they care about stops. they want it to go where they go, where they live, and hopefully have a bench and a shelter. That's "service" - the primary goal of BRT is shaving off a few minutes for elite riders at the cost of billions, while piling on minutes to vehicular traffic and to those who then have to walk or drive to get to use the bus now.
pro-BRT nutters don't just want to prevent mixed use, they want to prevent mixed company.
Plus, anything with a turnstile is detrimental or embarrassing to percentage of current ridership who have a disability. Planners bring out that dated technology in your design, should frankly be slapped for rudeness.

by asffa on Nov 2, 2013 3:17 pm • linkreport

Update: On Friday, the committee was split on whether to keep in the segment between Bradley Boulevard and Friendship Heights. Here is our statement regarding additional support from the business community and residents: http://www.nextgentransit.org/blog/friendship-heights/

by Kelly Blynn on Nov 4, 2013 11:11 am • linkreport

BRT along major roadways in MoCo is a waste of Maryland tax dollars and should be better invested in Subway expansion in the maryland/dc suburbs....

by Rick on Nov 4, 2013 4:35 pm • linkreport

Typically BRT and light rail operate on a proof of payment method where you get your ticket validated at the time of purchase and board the vehicle. I don't think turnstiles are involved.

by BTA on Nov 4, 2013 4:47 pm • linkreport

@ asffa, Very well stated. 100%

by Rick on Nov 4, 2013 5:14 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.

or