Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Little Falls Parkway "road diet" project will use funds set aside to rehabilitate 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.