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Letís really open the roads in Montgomery County
The Washington Post ^ | December 8, 2017 | Jason Neuringer

Posted on 03/23/2018 11:06:45 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

They say there are two constants in life: death and taxes. However, if you live in Montgomery County, there’s a third: traffic congestion .

Unfortunately, some Montgomery County politicians seem almost to scoff at any real solution to that last constant.

Take Montgomery County Council candidate Ben Shnider’s recent critique of Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) proposal for Interstate 270. Shnider, a Democrat, is correct to point out that Hogan’s proposal does not go far enough. But Shnider argues for policies that would, ironically, make traffic only worse. Meanwhile, his Democratic primary opponent, incumbent council member Sidney Katz (Gaithersburg-Rockville), has shown little interest in solving traffic issues in Montgomery County, particularly along the busy I-270, Route 355 and Routes 28 and 97 corridors near his council district. Katz’s inaction speaks far louder than his words.

Shnider argues that there needs to be a “more holistic approach” to traffic at intersections such as those at Routes 355 and 586 (Veirs Mill Road) and Route 355 and Wootton Parkway. He says adding lanes to I-270 would not address this. But traffic along the Route 355 corridor is a byproduct of congestion on I-270, meaning people take Route 355 because I-270 is so clogged. Additionally, Metro’s Red Line already runs parallel to Route 355 from Metro’s Shady Grove station all the way into the District. There also are viable driving alternatives along the Route 355 corridor, but traffic remains terrible.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: congestion; construction; countycouncil; democrats; elections; i270; icc; infrastructure; maryland; md200; md355; montgomerycounty; potomaccrossing; sidneykatz; tolls; traffic; transportation
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1 posted on 03/23/2018 11:06:45 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: 100American; Abundy; Albion Wilde; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; bayliving; BFM; Bigg Red; ...

Maryland “Freak State” PING!


2 posted on 03/23/2018 11:08:10 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (The US Constitution ....... Invented by geniuses and God .... Administered by morons ......)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

You’re taking me down memory lane.

Very familiar with Viers Mill, Rte. 28, Rockville Pike, etc.

Quite congested. ‘Pod.


3 posted on 03/24/2018 4:16:29 AM PDT by sauropod (I am His and He is mine.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Shnider also suggests that bus rapid transit (BRT) is a good alternative. However, studies of bus rapid transit from other parts of the country show that numbers both for dollars and riders make little sense and will not solve traffic woes. Considering the number of actual riders of a proposed BRT system, it would mean removing a travel lane to accommodate a fraction of that road’s traffic. Think about it: How would taking away a travel lane somehow improve traffic? Only in Montgomery County does this make any sense.

Oh no; it does in Marion county as well! (Indianapolis)

Either that or even BETTER: Light Rail!!!

This boondoggle WILL occur; because certain people want it.

4 posted on 03/24/2018 4:17:38 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Eight happy little bikes!

If we all would just get off of our fat asses and rode one, just THINK of the space in would free up on our roads!!


5 posted on 03/24/2018 4:48:12 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
DC area freepers know the background, but for the out-of-towners who still think it's Marion Barry's Washington and who like to snark at all things DC:

Montgomery County doesn't want to be completely paved over and turned into a massive, gridlocked stretch of suburban sprawl. The only way to do that is to establish and enforce zoning that sets real limits. I'm with the limits to growth people on this one. YMMV. I only wish that other of our suburban counties had been more successful in similar efforts in past years. The developers, of course, are intent on busting open Montgomery. This article is typical of that campaign.

For purposes of transportation planning, one has to look to the larger scale of the combined metropolitan statistical area. From Professor Wikipedia:

Officially, the area is designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Washington–Baltimore–Arlington, DC–MD–VA–WV–PA Combined Statistical Area. It is composed primarily of two major metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV MSA and the Baltimore–Columbia–Towson, MD MSA.

In addition, six other smaller urban areas not contiguous to the main urban area but having strong commuting ties with the main area are also included in the metropolitan area.[3] These are: the Hagerstown–Martinsburg, MD–WV MSA, the Chambersburg–Waynesboro, PA MSA, the Winchester, VA–WV MSA, the California–Lexington Park, MD MSA, the Easton, MD micropolitan statistical area (µSA), and the Cambridge, MD µSA.

Some counties such as Caroline and King George County, Virginia are not officially designated by the OMB as members of this metropolitan area, but still consider themselves members anyway.[4][5][6][7][8] This is mostly due to their proximity to the area, the size of their commuter population, and by the influence of local broadcasting stations.

The population of the entire Washington-Baltimore Combined Statistical Area as of the Census Bureau's 2012 Population Estimates is 9,331,587.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] The most populous city is Washington, DC, with a population of 681,170.[16] The most populous county is Fairfax County, Virginia, with a population exceeding 1.1 million.

For emphasis: the population of this region is 9.3 million. It is the fourth largest metro area in the country, behind New York, LA and Chicago and ahead of San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia and Houston. Note that DC itself comprises less than 10 percent of the population of the metro area associated with it, which an important reason that discussions about the area's urban issues often take on a bizarre tone, as many out-of-towners don't understand the complexion of the area.

The fact is, we are already choking on traffic. We are big enough that simply building more highways to extend the metroplex further into the countryside will merely expand the gridlock. The author of the WaPo article is focused on Montgomery County, and his "solution" is to break the county's limits to growth, build another Potomac River bridge, and expand the endless suburb all the way to Hagerstown.

To take an example that may resonate with some: since Virginia worships asphalt, we are already turning Chancellorsville, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania into urban parks. We will do the same to Antietam and Gettysburg if we're not careful. That's not a hypothetical. I have worked with people who commute into DC from north of Gettysburg, Hagerstown, and Winchester. Most ride a train, but some drive, and probably think they are entitled to a personal interstate highway to speed them along.

Enough. No more highways into DC. We don't have room for the cars we already have. The short term solution is redevelopment of rundown areas nearer the core. This is already happening in DC, where gentrification is on steroids. Intellectually, DC seems to be over the hump. People in the center understand we can't handle more cars. We have no interest in degrading our neighborhoods to accommodate suburban commuters, who should be riding a train or bus (or moving closer in). And we're gentrifying long-distressed areas and shifting the poor to the suburbs, so the NIMBY class warriors in the 'burbs had better start planning for the influx. DC was used for generations as the region's dumping ground, but that era is over.

The politics are still primitive in the outer ring suburbs. These were built as automobile suburbs to begin with, and people are joined umbilically to their cars. Many of them are still trapped mentally in the past, and their first response to every problem is to pour more concrete. But they have now reached a size and density that more roadbuilding is a fool's game. It's not going to work.

From a broader perspective, does anyone here really think it would be a good thing for cities like New York, LA, Chicago, DC (the metro area), etc. to get even bigger? We are insanely big now. The growth should be flowing to smaller cities, and of course, much of it is. I'm not in favor of heavy handed central planning, but when strategic decisions are being made, we should bear this in mind and let it inform incremental decisions along the way. I.e., no new arterial roads into DC. There is simply no way to outbuild the developers, who will put up housing developments faster than anyone can build roads to service them. If you want to live in Hagerstown and commute into DC, ride the blankety-blank train; don't demand that western Montgomery County be paved over so that you can traverse another 40 miles of suburban sprawl on a new expressway.

If you live in upcounty Montgomery and are tired of fighting I-270, move. Washington's affordable housing right now is in far northeast and close-in PG County, both of which are starting to gentrify but which are still relatively affordable. Swap your 2-3 hour, 40 miles commute for a five mile commute (bikeable, btw) or a metro ride, and reclaim your life. Yeah, you might have to put your kids in private school, but the first tuition is probably less than what you're spending on gas and an extra car right now. And when enough of the suburban cowboys move back in, we'll reclaim the schools as well.

6 posted on 03/24/2018 6:18:16 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: Elsie

I think expanding MARC service could help with congestion. Unfortunately to expand service enough to even pretend to have an impact would cost billions and be a traffic impediment while it is being constructed. Close to tripling the number of trains on the Brunswick line would likely require at a minimum placing sidings for most of the busier stations if not triple tracking the entire main line between Union station and Point of Rocks.

There are several choke points in Montgomery county that road improvements might help, however, very few of them have the potential to be panaceas, and all of them would only either be temporary in their congestion relief or cause the congestion producing bottle neck to simply be shifted to the next choke point.

As for light rail, I am not sure of the point of the Purple line, as I do not think it actually brings enough people from where they are to where they want to go. Most of the heavy congestion in the DC area is people using the radial arteries to travel in or out of DC and the inner suburbs, the Purple line will parallel the Beltway which is used to travel between one radial and the other.


7 posted on 03/24/2018 6:24:48 AM PDT by Fraxinus (My opinion, worth what you paid.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Or could reduce the traffic on the existing roads by moving some federal offices to Jamestown, ND or Salina, KS, etc.


8 posted on 03/24/2018 6:27:33 AM PDT by Glenmore
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To: Fraxinus
I agree with you about expanding MARC service. The hours should be expanded as well. In my younger days, I've slept on the floor in Penn Station in NYC and on a bench in 30th Street Station in Philly. (A police officer woke me up in Philly and told me to move to a safer area of the station.) I have been a great believer ever since in a late train to handle those inevitable complications. Of course the frequency of service can be reduced in off hours, but in a major metro area, there should probably be a train at least every two hours or so. You might not need more than one or two cars. It's basically an insurance policy for people who get caught late in the city, and it takes away the argument that, "I need my car because I never know when I might have to work late." This argument is used by all commuters, including clock watchers who invariably leave the office at 5:00 sharp. People like the feeling of being in control, and you are not in control if you are relying on a system that shuts down in the early evening hours.

We live in a crazy world in which the authorities find it politically easier to spend a bazillion dollars adding a lane to I-270, which will merely create a wider parking lot during rush hour, than to add a late train to the Brunswick line.

9 posted on 03/24/2018 7:13:04 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: sphinx

Hey now,

What about my rights to take Poolesville farmland and build a bunch of giant mansions with 15-foot high ceilings and big vinyl front doors the size of the ones to enter Moria and framed with Chinese 1.5 x 3.5 studs on 18-inch centers? How am I going to drive my SUV through those 1” snowdrifts to get my kids to soccer practice if you don’t enlarge the roads?

(posting from Starbucks)

/s (I agree completely with you, FRiend)


10 posted on 03/24/2018 8:04:11 AM PDT by PlateOfShrimp
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To: sphinx

“From a broader perspective, does anyone here really think it would be a good thing for cities like New York, LA, Chicago, DC (the metro area), etc. to get even bigger? We are insanely big now. The growth should be flowing to smaller cities, and of course, much of it is. “

Yes. However, the problem is, and likely will always be, that it will be near impossible to decentralize DC as everyone wants to be close to the center of money and power. There’s no reason why, for example, the Depts of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, etc, can’t be somewhere other than downtown DC. Government contractors and lobbyists also want to be near the feeding troughs, so moving them to satellite cities also will be rejected. Because of this, there will be no solution to this problem that will be acceptable to those who control the money.


11 posted on 03/24/2018 8:35:08 AM PDT by VanShuyten ("...that all the donkeys were dead. I know nothing as to the fate of the less valuable animals.")
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To: PlateOfShrimp
The Gates of Moria -- great image.

The reality check I suggest to the carheads is to go up to Frederick and drive back during rush hour -- not on 270, which we all know is gridlocked, and God save us if someone has a fender bender -- but on 355/Rockville Pike. This is the universal bailout route. Look at what is already built, what is under construction, and the remaining open space that will be turned into strip development in the next ten years.

Anyone who thinks adding a lane to 270 can accommodate this growth is delusional. Commuters are addicted to their cars and don't want to hear it, so the politicians pander, but roadbuilding won't solve the problem. 355 is already gridlocked from Urbana south, and it gets hopeless as you approach the beltway. Building more roads to flush more cars into the black hole in the center is akin to "rescuers" pumping water into the Titanic.

It would make sense to take a lane from 270 or 355 and use it for a new rail line. Do the same on 97 and 29 to serve central Montgomery and Howard Counties. Use the existing right of way to slash costs, and tell those who insist on driving that they can make do with whatever is left.

12 posted on 03/24/2018 11:05:18 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: sauropod

Is this Montgomery County in DC, MD, PA, DE or VA? Gee whiz, it is hard to tell as all those road numbers are confusing.

The article would make more sense to those of us, who have no idea where it is? There are several Montgomery Counties in Northeast.


13 posted on 03/24/2018 11:13:49 AM PDT by Ambrosia (Southern born... NC, and have lived in PA, NY,WV,SC, NM, FL, NC....Love USA!)
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To: sphinx
We live in a crazy world in which the authorities find it politically easier to spend a bazillion dollars adding a lane to I-270, which will merely create a wider parking lot during rush hour, than to add a late train to the Brunswick line.My proposal would of a necessity cause there to be something like a midnight train to Martinsburg WV. I also would like two or more outbound trains during morning rush and matching inbound trains during evening rush on the Brunswick line. As for the cost, I know that adding the rails to not restrict the freight capacity of the line would require things like moving stations, and replacing major bridges (e.g. Connecticut Ave over the tracks). Also more freight on the rails instead of the road makes a major impact on the congestion (intermodal yard inside DC?)
14 posted on 03/24/2018 11:22:06 AM PDT by Fraxinus (My opinion, worth what you paid.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Build a second Potomac River crossing, this one to connect Montgomery and Loudoun counties and to link up with the Intercounty Connector.

Greatly needed, not just for commuters, but also for people hoping to drive into Virginia or points south through Monkey Canny.

15 posted on 03/24/2018 2:59:43 PM PDT by Albion Wilde (We're even doing the right thing for them. They just don't know it yet. --Donald Trump, CPAC '18)
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To: sphinx
The fact is, we are already choking on traffic. We are big enough that simply building more highways to extend the metroplex further into the countryside will merely expand the gridlock.

Start over.

Ever hear of Brazilia?

16 posted on 03/24/2018 5:21:01 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Glenmore

Bingo!


17 posted on 03/24/2018 5:21:46 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Ambrosia
Montgomery County, MD, which borders DC on the north. The WaPo link and the reference to Gov. Hogan are the giveaways.

Montgomery Co. borders DC on the north and northwest. Its county seat is Rockville and it also has communities such as Silver Spring, Wheaton, Chevy Chase, Bethesda (all close in suburbs), and in the northern reaches, Gaithersburg, Poolesville, Germantown, and Damascus.

The new Walter Reed hospital and the NIH are in Bethesda, and looming over the Beltway between the GA Ave. and CT Ave. interchanges is the LDS Temple.

ff

18 posted on 03/24/2018 6:01:58 PM PDT by foreverfree
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To: foreverfree

Thank you for that info. I had to abandon the thread, and had no time to research through it. Now I realize it was familiar, as I was in that area years ago visiting DC, but not enough to identify specifics.

A few years later I was through VA & MD heading to PA, during the time of the snipers...scary.

Decades ago, I lived in Montgomery County, PA, but none of Hwy numbers were right. Hope that helps you see my curiosity about it.

Sadly, I am not up to date on the Gov’s in Northeast. News outlets have become so liberal, I avoid most of them. I live in Southeast, a return to my childhood roots. :)

My time on FR keeps me posted on politics, and with little time to keep updated...it is better than Fake News.

I appreciate your time to enlighten me...blessings.


19 posted on 03/24/2018 6:42:29 PM PDT by Ambrosia (Southern born... NC, and have lived in PA, NY,WV,SC, NM, FL, NC....Love USA!)
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To: Ambrosia

You’re welcome. Blessings to you too.


20 posted on 03/24/2018 7:56:33 PM PDT by foreverfree
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