Monday, January 25, 2016

S'no bus service to Westbard again shows lack of infrastructure for growth


Had the currently-proposed development outlined in the draft Westbard Sector Plan already been built, thousands of additional cars would be pouring onto River Road and Massachusetts Avenue this morning. That's because WMATA and Montgomery County managed to make the poor transit infrastructure of the "Westbard" area even worse this morning, by making it nonexistent altogether.

Ride On, which operates the Route 23 and Route 29 buses to Friendship Heights that serve the two corridors within the sector plan area, isn't running today. And WMATA has termed the River Road corridor non-essential. The T2, a major connector bus route linking Friendship Heights and Rockville, isn't among the few Metrobus lines operating today in the region.

If you want to get to work or anyplace else today from Kenwood, Burning Tree or Potomac Village, just to name a few, you have to drive or stay home. You have zero transit options.

What will Montgomery County do to address this, should the County Council approve 3000 new housing units for the two-city-block area known as "Westbard"? Force WMATA, over which it has no control whatsoever, to run the T2 on a day like this? Or put thousands of cars on the road not only every day, but during poor driving conditions such as we have out there this morning?

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those bus lines are extremely important as they are used by the domestics of many people from those neighborhoods. Thankfully, we have had our domestic stay in a guest room all through the storm. A clean house is even more important when you and your entire family must spend all day and night in it.

Anonymous said...

Metrobus and Ride-On aren't operating in almost all of MoCo, so does that mean all the existing apartments throughout all of MoCo should be demolished? They're not able to get to work by public transport either.

Robert Dyer said...

5:54: It seems that WMATA and Montgomery County leadership both need replacement. FAST. They can't even deliver basic services like snow plowing or keeping bus service running on all major corridors during snowstorms. How many days notice did they have? Probably the most ever. Hire the number of plow crews you need to service a 1 million resident jurisdiction, or retire if you can't do the job.

G. Money said...

WMATA and MoCo leadership fail because they can't control reality with their minds. That's why we need Dyer in control! He'd simply wish more plows into existence, and POOF! Our streets would be clear!

Really Dyer, do you think there are a bunch of unused plows sitting idle somewhere around here? There was near-record snowfall across the whole mid-Atlantic. Plows are out, the major roads where I'm at have been cleared, but these things take time.

Anonymous said...

The "major corridors" are state roads. Take it up with the Guvnah.

Anonymous said...

This isn't even 20/20 hindsight. This is 20/800 hindsight. LOL

Anonymous said...

I note that Willard Avenue was plowed by the County before 9 am Sunday. If there was any problem getting to the Friendship Heights Metro station, it would have been due to conditions on River Road, for which the state is responsible for plowing.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing that we don't live in Virginia, where the local governments have far less control over the roads within their borders.

Bersy said...

It's a top 5 snowstorm. They are doing a pretty good job.

What would you suggest be done differently and at what cost and consequence and to what better results? What would have been acceptable not just to you but to all of the Montgomery Countt residents?

Anonymous said...
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Robert Dyer said...

7:07: I thought Montgomery County was the best! Past disastrous experience should have made the need to hire more plows.

One of the main reasons service doesn't improve in Montgomery County, is that leaders are so coddled by the media and their own yes men. If there are no consequences to behavior, there's little incentive to change that behavior.

A lot of mayors and governors have lost their jobs after a performance like this. Not in Montgomery County. It's a very unhealthy political system.

Robert Dyer said...

G. Money - The storm ended 39 hours ago.

G. Money said...

What's your point?

Where are there plows around here that haven't been hired?

Anonymous said...

It certainly helps to have a cheerleading local media and best friends of council members "covering" them.
I'm guessing they're so compliant since they're afraid to lose access to councilmembers.

Anonymous said...

It would be inept if MoCo DID have the resources to clear all of this snow in 24 hours. It's a top 5 all time snow event for the area. We got more snow in 24 hours than we normally get all winter. If they had extra resources sitting around to be ready for such an event, they'd be of no use the other 90 or more percent of the years we have a regular snow fall. Then I can practically guarantee that you'd be writing a blog post about how Hans Reimer is wasting all of our money by paying for snow resources we aren't using that year.

Robert Dyer said...

G. Money, Plows aren't just sitting "around here" like Ubers. You have to sign contracts in advance of the storm to get a fair rate.

Anonymous said...

So, by what date should these contracts have been signed?

Robert Dyer said...

8:23: Actually, lacking enough plows reduces revenue to the County when businesses can't open, and residents can't get out and shop.

Anonymous said...

Purple Line expansion to River Road!

Anonymous said...

Watch out, Kirk Cousins. The Redskins are gonna hire Dyer as their new starting Monday morning quarterback.

Anonymous said...

I'm thankful for the MCDOT storm operations map, but it's so slow to load info. I think some folks are exiting before the status colors appear.

Anonymous said...

Purple Line extension all the way to McLean, giving a two-seat ride from Bethesda to Dulles.

And a nice new station to serve the 20,000 new residents of the beautiful new smart-growth Westbard.

Robert Dyer said...

9:24: The new Purple Line/trail behemoth can't fit through the right-of-way past the industrial area. It literally won't fit, unless they make it a subway or single track.

Anonymous said...

No report on the opening of the Red Line to Glenmont, the Orange Line to New Carrollton and the Green Line to Branch Avenue?

Anonymous said...

"Behemoth"?

LOL, more ridiculous exaggeration.

Friends of Woodmont Triangle said...

I have to say that Robert Dyer served the Bethesda community superbly with his blizzard coverage.

Anonymous said...

One problem of not plowing immediately and waiting 48 hours: The snow is now hard ice, so plows alone won't do the job. We need chemicals down as well.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:30 AM - I guess this is the only blog you've read during the past four days.

Anonymous said...

@11:52 Temps are above freezing. I was out shoveling my sidewalk and it wasn't taht bad (well, not ice.. still a boatload of snow though).

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the only blog? Other blogs are censored out of existence here.

Anonymous said...

Is this true of MD and VA leadership as well for this storm handling situation as they pretty much did the same thing?

Anonymous said...

The storm ended Saturday night right? Plows were out immediately and have been working round the clock ever since. Seems to be a pretty good response.

Anonymous said...

Plows here and anywhere near here are all pretty much being deployed with no spare resources. Not sure where more would come from - Dyer do you know of where more are available?

Anonymous said...

48 hours after the storm and some folks are asking where are the plows?
Not everyone lives on a state highway.

Anonymous said...

Why is the MoCo media so compliant compared to larger cities like DC, NY or even Baltimore?

Dyer raises some valid points and there's a rush to defend here.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Still waiting for Dyer to tell everyone the date that he thinks that the snowplow contracts should have been made.

Robert Dyer said...

12:35: Are you talking about the site where, at the end of the storm, one of their 3 regular commenters suggested that they format their coverage more like Robert Dyer's storm coverage next time?

Hardly a strong line of attack for you to employ.

Robert Dyer said...

2:34: If you're fiscally responsible, you would establish those contractual relationships long before winter. Failing that, you line up additional personnel and equipment during the week's notice you had for Winter Storm Jonas, and end up overpaying but at least executing your duties as an elected official.

Anonymous said...

Good point. Would be nice to not have to worry about financial matters of operating a blog / business. It's great you can devote so much time and resources here to your blog. Keep up the good work. We appreciate it!'

Anonymous said...

Do you know if additional personnel were available? I read at the post that people and equipment were pulled in from far and away at great expense all across the storm front and resources were pretty much exhausted.

Anonymous said...

Dyer seems to think that the exact date of and amount of snowfall in his Stromberg, could have been known "long before winter".

Anonymous said...

Ha... Stupid autocorrect. S/b "this storm", not "his Stromberg".

Robert Dyer said...

12:13: Thank you. I agree, my competitors have unlimited capital and angel investors. Indeed, it must be nice to not have to worry about financial matters.

Robert Dyer said...

12:14: Additional personnel are always available for a price. Ironically, MoCo not that long ago was ripping Pepco for not calling in backup before a major weather event. It seems they have that problem themselves.

Robert Dyer said...

3:08: You don't need to know the exact date and amount of snow. You just need to be prepared "long before winter" when you're in charge of providing basic services like snow removal.

Betsy said...

At what price do you think the county should spend? Do you know if they did an economic analysis of reaching out and doing more versus what they did do? Do you know how much more it would have cost and from where they would have gotten more resources? Do you know what the budget impact would have been? Not sure you have really thought through beyond just saying the county should have done more. There's a lot more to it and just calling for more action is easier said than done.

Betsy said...

Both of you seem to have abundant resources. Bethesda Magazine looks to get their funding from advertisement, so I get your comments about them having to play nice which can be unfortunate if indeed true. Your not having advertisement and self-funding and putting in all this free time really does liberate yourself to allow you to write any opinion any which way, which is great in that you aren't held back.

Betsy said...

If we are still talking about Wednesday's fiasco, I think every county and state and district government admitted to dropping the ball.

This weekend snow was handled extremely well by everyone. Not being shoveled out a day or a even a few days after one of the highest snowfalls on record is quite expected and reasonable.

Robert Dyer said...

5:10: I don't recall making a statement about them "having to play nice."

5:13: I don't think it's reasonable to wait 60+ hours for a plow, when this storm had none of the collateral damage like power outages. Maryland and WMATA have to take full blame for not running T2, as well. It's embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Why would a power outage affect snowplowing operations? MoCo doesn't use Tesla plowing trucks.

Robert Dyer said...

5:50: No, but they do use the roads to get around the county. There are no extenuating circumstances with this storm, just snow and ice, and they gotta move it. MoCo either hired enough trucks or they didn't. No excuses. Super low energy County Council.

Anonymous said...

Did Dyer move any snow and ice this week?

Robert Dyer said...

6:05: Uh, because I'm not on the County payroll. Did Hans Riemer move any? Probably not - he's too low-energy. Super low energy.

Anonymous said...

So what exactly do you do with this abundance of energy that you claim to have?

Anonymous said...

Another MoCo fiasco - Arlington groceries still out of key items 60 hours after storm ends:

https://www.arlnow.com/2016/01/25/some-stores-still-awaiting-shipments-of-fresh-food-following-blizzard-buy/

Robert Dyer said...

6:13: You're reading just one of them right now, stalker.

Robert Dyer said...

6:16: I didn't know Arlington County Government was in the grocery business. Unlike grocery stores, government is actually responsible for clearing public roadways after a storm.

Wrol said...

MoCo and MD are doing an excellent job of it too! The day after one of the biggest storms in the region and major roads are cleared. A few days after the storm and they are getting through the neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

6:16 AM
Wow, an arlnow link.
Remember when that loser tried to start a Bethesda blog (bethesdanow)?
Guy went back to his arlington condo with his tail between his legs.

Anonymous said...

Angry much?

Betsy said...

What would be reasonable to you? And how would you accomplish it?

Anonymous said...

Why so much anger in your life?

Bet you're fun to be around. :)

Anonymous said...
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Robert Dyer said...

5:08: And you're a stalker headed for prison time. Hard to believe the MoCo political machine thinks you're an asset. More of a liability when you're exposed.

Anonymous said...

And you're a self-published Internet-law attorney. LOL

Anonymous said...

Funny how what he considers libelous is fine for him to throw at others but against himself it's libelous.