Monday, February 08, 2016

Unshoveled sidewalks suggest MoCo Government isn't ready for a supersized Westbard

Blocked sidewalk at Ridgefield
and River Roads in Bethesda
Snow blockades on sidewalks in the Westbard area - more than two weeks after snow stopped falling - suggest Montgomery County Government is unable to handle tasks and enforcement of laws in that area of Bethesda now. How, then, will it perform if 5000 additional people are added to the neighborhood?

In addition to the spots I reported on yesterday, there are additional blockades on sidewalks along Westbard Avenue as of last evening: in front of the Westwood Tower apartments, near the Westbard Circle intersection with Westbard Avenue across from the Park Bethesda, and several spots alongside Montgomery County Public Schools property between Westbard Circle and Massachusetts Avenue.

These and other blocked sidewalks across the County indicate that County Councilmember Hans Riemer's sidewalk-clearing law has been a complete bust. It's not being enforced, and we're getting the same dangerous results this time as pedestrians are forced to enter the roadway into oncoming traffic.

Riemer took an unwarranted election year victory lap after passage of his law, as local media sycophants cheered him on. According to a Gazette (much missed - not!) report at the time, "the legislation seeks to ensure sidewalks are passable after storms and should improve how the county fulfills the intent of its law requiring snow removal, bill sponsor Councilman Hans Riemer said." 

"'The goal of this bill is to make our county more walkable in every season,' Riemer (D-At Large) of Takoma Park said."

I would not describe sidewalks in the Westbard area as "walkable" today. And most definitely not wheelchair-accessible.

Cost of Riemer's law, the public education component that would magically move property owners to obey it, and the County implementation of it? $6,458,000, according to the Gazette.

If the County and MCPS can't get the small things done now with regards to Westbard, what faith should anyone have in their promises for a supersized, urbanized Westbard with over 5000 more people in it?

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

So now you are celebrating the closing of the Gazette and hundreds of people losing their jobs?

Anonymous said...

How about you telling your deadbeat neighbor to get off his lazy ass and shovel that pile of snow, instead of blaming everything on the guy who defeated you twice?

Anonymous said...

Isn't the sidewalk clearing law based on call-ins? Did you call in to report hear incidences?

It's a law to clear it. Still the responsibility of the property owner.

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer is unelected mayor of unincorporated Westbard.

Anonymous said...

The sidewalk south of Westbard Circle (across from Park Bethesda) borders Westland Middle School and Library property, and Northwards it belongs primarily to the shopping center - EYA.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we have ever walked on that sidewalk. They did a good job cleaning out in front of the shops at Bethesda row, which is what matters anyway.

Robert Dyer said...

5:07: Never said "celebrating," just that its lack of investigation of corruption in our County made the Gazette very expendable. The paper was way too cozy with the Montgomery County political cartel.

5:11: You do realize the bulk of the snow is in front of MCPS and commerical properties?

5:26: Considering the Hans Riemer law cost taxpayers over $6 million, it better be more than just call-ins.

Robert Dyer said...

5:44 #1: The County DGS did a great job in front of the library; not so much on the Westbard side of the library. MCPS gets F for Westland.


5:44 #2: Yeah, shopping is way more important than schools.

Robert Dyer said...

By the way -

Here's the real kicker re: the idea of "calling it in":

The whole Montgomery County Council - including the author of the sidewalk shoveling bill himself!! - were photographed on a bus touring Westbard Avenue last week and saw all of the snow I wrote about!

And did nothing about it!!

THROW THE BUMS OUT!

Anonymous said...

Can you link to the Gazette article which says that it would cost over $6 million to enforce Hans Riemer's snow removal law? I am curious because that figure equals more than 1% of Montgomery County's operating budget for this year.

Robert Dyer said...

6:06: The quote is taken directly from the Gazette article.

Robert Dyer said...

THROW THE BUMS OUT!

Anonymous said...

@ 6:12 AM - You didn't provide a date or title for that article, let alone a link.

@ 6:15 AM - Dude has a bad Case of the Mondays. LOL

Anonymous said...

Re 5:58. Maybe I am out of the loop. Do public school kids really still walk to school? No wonder their test scores are so lackluster.

Anonymous said...

The $6 million+ figure is for ALL SNOW REMOVAL OPERATIONS IN A TYPICAL WINTER, you innumerate birdbrain.

http://conduitstreet.mdcounties.org/2014/10/31/montgomery-council-passes-county-sidewalk-snow-removal-legislation/

Anonymous said...

In the time it took you to write the two blog posts about this, you could have just shoveled it yourself.

Anonymous said...

8:08AM Amen!

Robert Dyer said...

8:08: Nope, this isn't the kind of snow you just shovel. You need to hire professionals. How can George Leventhal say, "Government that works" when his own Guy Friday is on here telling residents to "shovel it yourself"?

How do you figure the County Council saw all these sidewalks blocked on Westbard last week, in person, and took no action on it? What are we paying all these taxes for?

Robert Dyer said...

6:27: No, just a case of bad leadership by the County Council. "LOL"

Robert Dyer said...

6:47: Wrooonnnggg!! It's over $6M total, and includes more than operations - and amazingly, they have nothing to show for it!

Anonymous said...

9:00 AM - Please stop pretending that the Gazette article says something other than what it actually does say. Please stop insulting the intelligence of your readers.

@ 8:54 AM - No "professionals" needed. Just a shovel, and possibly a pick axe to break up the ice, and someone who isn't a 98-pound weakling to do the work.

G. Money said...

Are you reading the comments before you respond to them?

Anonymous said...

8:08 AM That's like saying who needs county plows, you can shovel your own street. makes no sense!

Anonymous said...

@ 9:45 AM - This discussion is about sidewalks, not streets. Please try to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

You realize you are comparing a business (Gazette, Bethesda Magazine, Washingtonian, Washigton Post, etc.) to a hobby blog?

What cost $6m?

Anonymous said...

What did you do about it?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure 10:08 understands what an analogy is.

So what is Dyer doing about it? He's complaining no one else is doing anything about it.

Anonymous said...

Dyer is reporting. That's what journalists do.

Anonymous said...

Since you're paraphrasing/quoting a defunct newspaper without access to the original, can you explain for us how that money is being used?

I thought also the law was created to enforce people shoveling their sidewalks? Wouldn't any failure to shoveler on the property owner?

Anonymous said...

Yes, low energy Reimer is full of crap (as usual). But he's still Bethesda's shadow Councilmember.

Anonymous said...

If you're turning to magazines like Washingtonian and Bethesda Magazine for Bethesda news, you need to expand your reading a bit.

The Post very rarely covers Bethesda.

The Gazette died. The Bethesda Edition had less Bethesda coverage in each issue than Dyer has in one day here. Time to turn the page.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:22 PM - The archives for the Gazette appear to be unavailable, but the relevant data from the Gazette article is quoted in the conduitstreet blog linked in @ 6:47 AM.

$6 million is the cost for all snow removal for a typical winter. The costs for the sidewalk program is $100,000. As usual, Dyer does not have the slightest idea of what he is talking about, and can never, ever, admit that he is wrong.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

So Dyer's complaint really should be focused then on property owners who don't follow the law and clear their sidewalks?

Robert Dyer said...

6:43: You really "need to do something about this serious dependency on" angel investors that you have, Girly Man. And your stalker tendencies, and felony use of threats that will bring you and your employer down when your name is exposed. You still hold the title of Coward of the County for cowering behind the skirts of the County Council at public hearings, and then posting anonymous threats and cheap shots from behind a keyboard later. You'll have plenty of time to think about it when you're behind bars.

Robert Dyer said...

6:39: Wrong again. My numbers are accurate, yours aren't, and you're saying I'm the one who doesn't know what he's talking about?

6:59: No, it's about MoCo Government not cleaning its own sidewalk on Westbard, MCPS (also a public government entity) not cleaning its sidewalk, and the County not enforcing the sidewalk law for the remaining properties. Duh! Hans Riemer's $6+ million law was touted as the magic bullet solution to all 3 - and it has completely failed.

Anonymous said...

Does MoCo own the property at Westbard where the sidewalks in question are?

MCPS was closed for a week as they cleared the record snow. Now that they are open have they still not cleared their sidewalks yet?

Is enforcement the problem and only the problem for those breaking the law?

What was the $6+m specifically for?

Can you provide the "magic bullet solution" quotes?

What was the failure?

Anonymous said...

Can you clarify what the $6m total goes towards? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Just following along Dyer's point of "expendable" newspapers since he always wants to compare. Who said anything about Bethesda coverage?

Anonymous said...

Calling some a "girly man" is not the sign of a professional journalist. If you want to be seen as a professional, you need to act like one and stay on the rails.

Robert Dyer said...

5:46: Does your advice apply to all other "professional journalists" in Bethesda?

4:09/4:10: Snow removal, a snow shoveling website, and "education" outreach about the sidewalk shoveling law.

Anonymous said...

$6 million = total cost of snow removal for a typical winter.

$100,000 = cost of sidewalk program.

Dyer simply can't acknowledge reality, even when it's staring him in the face in the article he cited.

Robert Dyer said...

6:10: The total amount is the total amount. And it's a whopper, with no results evident.

Anonymous said...

What was the money spent on? Not sure it was all sidewalk enforcement if you can help explain what you mean by your point it would be appreciated. Thanks Rpbert.

Anonymous said...

Not sure any other professional journalist had called a reader a girly man before.

So $6m was the total budget for snow operations... What's the problem here?

Anonymous said...

Yes Robert, my advice about how to act like a professional applies to all journalists, feel free to pass it along to all who might need to encouragement

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused here. Robert has consistently blasted the state and county for poor snow operations performance. Now he is blasting them for spending too much money on snow operations? Can you clarify a bit so we understand your position better?

Anonymous said...

Does Dyer have Devil Investors?

Enquiring Bethesdans want to know!

Anonymous said...

I see what you did there and I like it.