Thursday, December 15, 2016

Road diet project for Bethesda Capital Crescent Trail crossing set to begin next week

The recently-proposed "road diet" for Little Falls Parkway where it meets the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda will begin next week, according to Alex Girr-Borrayo of the Montgomery County Parks Department. When completed, the project will shrink down the parkway to one lane in each direction between Hillandale Road and Arlington Road.

New signage will be installed, and the speed limit will be lowered to 25 MPH. The proposed changes have angered some, who argue that the fatal accident that spurred the changes was caused by the cyclist who died after being struck by a car there in October. That argument gained credibility this week, after Montgomery County detectives decided not to charge the driver in the incident, concluding that the cyclist had failed to stop at the trail's stop sign.

Pedestrian and trail advocates, on the other hand, have said the changes are long overdue for the dangerous crossing of the popular trail. I do think it's notable that, especially in light of the debate, there was no public process for this project. A number of alternatives have been floated by people on both sides of the issue, and it seems inappropriate to proceed with a "we know best" solution, without a community conversation first.

Where, too, do the funds for this project come from? There are many, many dangerous intersections and pedestrian hazards around Bethesda. Instead of proactively tackling them, the County seems to act hastily only after an injury, or a life has been lost.

Finally, what is the engineering solution the County will implement to avoid numerous fender benders or worse, when heavy traffic from two left-turn lanes on Arlington Road is suddenly forced to merge into one lane within a few yards of making the turn? Isn't this what public meetings are for? Why wasn't one held?

There are more questions than answers right now.

Image courtesy Montgomery Parks

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good luck with all of that. Drivers around here are not compliant with anything.

Anonymous said...

Um, say what now? As a resident in the area, I recognize there are some dangers with the trail crossing, but this plan...again, say what now?

Who can we contact to complain?

Anonymous said...

Adding a bottle-neck to the only connecting road between Bethesda and Westbard is illogical progressive thinking at its finest..what next a ban on cars in favor of Tesla's?

Now we'll have backups to Dorset at Kenwood and more agitated, angry cut through traffic in Somerset and Kenwood. Who hires these people? Someone needs to be held accountable here. Who single-handedly approved this expensive project? How much is this going to cost? Why can't we get our badly deteriorated roads repaved after years of neglect?

As Robert often says, "100% dumb-ass" all the way !

Anonymous said...

No $500M tunnel or bridge?

Anonymous said...

Road diet? WTF does that even mean birdbrain?

Anonymous said...

Completely correct

Anonymous said...

6:55 - you're an angry elf, aren't you? Does Santa know you left the North Pole?

Anonymous said...

@ 8:35 = Elf stalker

#HideYoKids

Anonymous said...

This is a poor solution. You have two lanes from Arlington Road making a left turn, just to be merged into one a few feet after the turn.

Why not just route the trail to the crossing at the light at Hillandale and back again? There's room to do it.

Anonymous said...

Get rid the street. Why would we want to go to Westbard or let that kind into Bethesda?

zipzipzippy said...

A couple of years ago, a little girl on a bike was hit by a car on Tuckerman Lane, where the Trolley Trail crosses the street. In one day, the County (I assume) added user-activated warning lights and new signage warning drivers that pedestrian and bicycles cross Tuckerman at the spot. The signage isn't great, as it inconsistently depicts bicycle riders will be present, and doesn't give drivers (especially those coming from the curve on westbound Tuckerman) a lot of warning. (Speed limit is 40, drivers usually pick some number above that.) I called Roger Berliner's office to complain, as well as suggest that the Trail really needs a Stop Sign, as bikers regularly fly across Tuckerman as they come down the little hill on the southbound Trail. Furthermore, I noted that weekend bikers on their little trsinung missions along Tuckerman regularly flout the requirement to stop for Pedestrians in the crosswalk. (I once yelled at a couple who biked through the crosswalk as I was crossing with the flashing warning lights. The female gave me the middle finger and told me to Go to Hell. The male seemed marginally embarrassed by his companion.) Anyhoo, after multiple conversations and emails with Berliner's staffer, I gave up. He told me I should log my complaints with Ken Hartman, MoCo's Service Center Director for BCC. The Berliner's staffer said I'd get best results by showing up at Hartman's monthly office hour chat, 2nd Friday from 9a to noon. I can never seem to break away work to visit, but one of these days I might.

Anonymous said...

8:47 - Meet me after school by the candy cane, I'm gonna kick your elf ass. Honestly though, you're a seriously sad excuse for a troll.

Anonymous said...

Road Diet = Backed up pissed off Bethesda drivers bordering on road rage

Anonymous said...

10:31 - The Nutcracker is coming to crack yo nutz

Anonymous said...

We don't need a public meeting every time a road changes. This is why we pay taxes and hire professionals who actually do this sort of thing for a living. If you want more input, go get a civil engineering degree and apply for a job.

I don't drive that way at rush hour much, so I'm willing to admit I may be wrong, but the traffic there is fairly light at other times. The times I have driven it at rush hour though, that was one of the least congested parts of the entire trip.

Let's try it, then complain if it doesn't work well.

Anonymous said...

Build a padestrian bridge & get over it !!! It will save lives & cost less.
Requiring less traffic studies.

Robert Dyer said...

5:30: That kind of attitude from government is why Trump won. One of the reasons that stretch is less congested is that the fewer people who go straight at Arlington have a through lane, and the light is essentially green all the time for those turning right, thanks to a right turn arrow.

It doesn't take an engineering degree to know that merges create choke points, and that having a merge immediately after a left turn will lead to accidents.

I've spoken to actual engineers from MCDOT, and their professional expertise is often being put aside in favor of political and ideological concerns. We don't pay taxes to have the professionals overruled by armchair anti-car-zealots-who-hypocritically-drive-everywhere-in-their-cars like Hans "I can't drive 25" Riemer, et al.

Let's have a community meeting, so we first can be told WTF is going on, and second, get public feedback on it. This project may well be illegal, with funds being spent without oversight or approval. The parks spokesperson won't reply to questions I submitted about it. Nice.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 3 AM - Trump, the guy who replaced press conferences with tweets? Surely you can come up with a better example of the open communication that you seek.

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't you know? Lying is ok now. Lying, exaggeration, bullying. all ok.

Anonymous said...

"armchair anti-car-zealots-who-hypocritically-drive-everywhere-in-their-cars like Hans "I can't drive 25" Riemer, et al."

LOLwut?

Anonymous said...

But if we like our roads, can we keep our roads?

If we like our gas guzzling Chevy Suburbans can we keep them?

If we like our late night bar stops, will there be any open?