Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Little Falls Parkway "road diet" project will use funds set aside to rehabilitate trails

Montgomery County Parks has, for the first time, identified where it will obtain the funds to pay for a road diet for Little Falls Parkway, where it meets the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda. Melissa Chotiner, Media Relations Manager for the parks department, said Monday that the money will be taken out of a fund that is used to rehabilitate county trails.

Chotiner said the changes, which will reduce the four lanes down to one in each direction between Arlington and Hillandale Roads, reduce the speed limit to 25 on that stretch, and add signage, are an interim solution. In response to my questions regarding the lack of interaction with the public ahead of this controversial decision, Chotiner said that public input will be taken in the future on a permanent safety solution for the crossing. The choice to move forward quickly on the interim plan was for safety concerns, she said.

There are over 100 miles of park trails in Montgomery County. Users of those trails can tell you there are any number of fixes or improvements needed, including on the CCT. It appears political pressure is turning the rehabilitation fund for those trails into a slush fund, that can be used for a road project with no oversight or transparency, for the political gain of the County Council. Don't forget, taxpayers paid to build 4 lanes on the parkway, and are now being told they can only use two. Nuts.

The fact is, the changes being implemented in the coming days represent the input of a handful of County officials and their political allies. Many people, including cycling supporters, have suggested alternative solutions that would have less impact on both road and trail users. Not yet addressed, is a serious safety flaw in the "road diet" plan - namely, how will the merge of two lanes turning left from Arlington into one in a short distance not result in many accidents? None of this input has been considered by the parks department, because, well, it never held a public meeting on the issue.

"We know best" is never the best move when you are using other people's money.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

This will be Dyer's last column. After a nearly 70% decline in readership in five months, Dyer will be shutting down his blog and firing himself, just five days before Christmas, and three days before Borderstan's closure.

Anonymous said...

Taking the money from the trails funds makes sense. If cyclists and runners can't follow postage signage and are calling for action might as well take the money from them.
Although the road diet is stupid to begin with. A better course of action would be putting the fellow's picture up with a warning about not following signage near all the intersections.

Anonymous said...

I am a cyclist and car enthusiast. I have lived in Bethesda my whole life. This move to go from two lanes to one on each side is a disgrace.

Richard Moss said...

Robert Dyer's blog is an invaluable resource for Bethesda residents. Without it, we would learn about many important developments late or not at all. It must be a huge amount of work. We are all in his debt. One suggestion: Require people to give their name if they wish to comment.

Anonymous said...

^hear, hear

Pretty sure there is just one loser out there who spends his days trolling this blog. Maybe Dyer stole his girlfriend or something

Robert Dyer said...

5:37: On behalf of all readers, shut up. I just had my most-read-ever post this month, knucklehead.

Anonymous said...

Which one, and how many readers?

G. Money said...

Although the road diet seems like a pretty ridiculous solution, there's a reason we have elected officials to make these decisions. Not every move the county makes needs to be preceded by public forums (which also cost taxpayer money). Please note that this is not a permanent solution and therefore allows time for public input.

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

I agree with the posting about the childish troll who posts comments. I'm guessing he or she is 12 years old, given that adults are too busy to harass and insult a guy delivering a free local news blog.

Robert, maybe you could move your dialog to the reddit platform. This would allow us to down-vote the idiot's comments.

Anonymous said...

Still think the term "road diet" is fucking retarted

Anonymous said...

As is your spelling, @12:36PM.

D. Trump said...

Reducing the size of our roads yet approving one massive building after another in Bethesda is hardly a solution. Whoever is responsible for this will be creating a problem (we didn't have here) of more backups, longer trips, more accidents, etc ...

Although, this is kind of a dicey area to cross it has been like this for a decade or longer I believe with no fatalities. A total knee-jerk clueless reaction by government.

The logical solution if the community is in majority agreement to do anything -

Move the Bike crossing to Hillandale Road with a pedestrian/bicycle activated signal only to cross. Have a bicycle cop issue tickets to violators of the light. Word will get out quickly to wait or risk the fine.

Anonymous said...

If Dyer moved his blog to Reddit, he wouldn't be able to comment anonymously.

And both his articles and comments would be downvoted out of existence.

Robert Dyer said...

2:53: The public already downvoted the Gazette, Bethesda Now and Bethesda Patch out of existence. I'm still here because I'm providing coverage of what's really going on, not just rewriting press releases from Ike, Roger and Hans.

By the way, your projection issues tripped you up again - you're the cowardly idiot who is too chicken to put your name to your mind-of-a-child troll comments. And then you project that onto someone who puts his name on every comment. If you can spare the time when not dumpster diving, please get the help you need, hobo.

Anonymous said...

The last hobo to be popularized in in American Pop-Culture was Christopher McCandless, who was an American vagabond in the 1970's and the subject of the movie 'Into the Wild'.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work Robert, I often read your blog and it is a great source of information. The road diet is a terrible solution. There have been several recent road "fixes" that make traffic worse, e.g. turn lane at Connecticut ave and Jones bridge.

Robert Dyer said...

6:25: Thanks. Yeah, the BRAC traffic projects were a complete bust when finished, complete waste of taxpayer money. Council was too impotent to force Walter Reed to use ramp into their own campus from Beltway.