Wednesday, February 08, 2017

MoCo traffic jams worsening, new study shows (Photos)

Typical morning rush
conditions on southbound
I-270 this morning: RED
You know traffic is getting worse when even a Montgomery County government report admits it is. While traffic and intersection tests utilized by Montgomery County planners are notoriously and laughably skewed to make things appear better than they are, the latest one finds drivers are crawling even more slowly than they were six years ago. The Montgomery County Planning Department's 2017 Mobility Assessment Staff Report shows you are moving, on average, 4 MPH slower around the county than you were in 2011. "Unexpected delays and peak congestion are increasing," the report says.

These results - and remember, the real conditions are even worse than they can appear under the lax tests applied for this study, and traffic has slowed much more than 4 MPH on many routes; 4 MPH is the average reduction in speed countywide - clearly indicate that our elected officials' current transit-only strategy has been a failure.

In fact, the study found that Ride On bus ridership has declined 7% since 2010, and Metro ridership within Montgomery County declined 3% over that same period. Metrobus is the lone bright spot. Ridership of Metrobus has increased "just under eleven percent" since 2010. That may be partially because of people fleeing Metro along the major corridors where Metrobus dominates, but certainly positive news in an otherwise bleak period for transit.
What happens when the
Montgomery County Council
approves massive development
in Clarksburg and Damascus,
but doesn't build the
M-83 Highway and
Damascus Bypass
Interestingly, just as planning commissioners and County Councilmembers are saying jamming the maximum development downcounty as possible (and we're not talking about transit-oriented smart growth, but transit deserts like Westbard) is a great idea, the report found that traffic jams have increased the most...downcounty. Oops.

So, let's get this straight: Transit use is clearly trending downward. Cars are moving slower than they were before "smart growth." We were promised exactly the opposite would happen by these same county officials. It didn't.

Amazingly, the Planning Board and County Council just approved the addition of over 3000 people to the Westbard sector plan area along River Road. Yet this latest study shows that the intersection of River Road and Western Avenue is number 3 on the top 10 bottlenecks in Montgomery County! And they've said they have no plans to increase capacity on River Road. This is planning malpractice of the highest order. Criminally, the report does not give a congestion map for River Road between the Beltway and Western - was that because it would show a red line? You betcha.
The County Council has
designated this completely
jammed segment of
Connecticut Avenue as a place
where...thousands more
automobile commuters should
be added!

Check out the red-lined severe congestion during the evening rush on Connecticut Avenue through Chevy Chase Lake - where the County Council recently approved thousands of new housing units. This is unbelievable. What are these people smoking?
Will it be better in
the morning? Uh, no
The Level 5 [traffic]storm
known as MD 355
northbound in

Are we ready for
thousands more cars
in downtown Bethesda
in the morning? Nope

"Kill me now"
- George Costanza

Considering how much growth is coming to the MD 355 (Rockville Pike/Wisconsin Avenue corridor) in the next decade, it should be a red flag that four of the top ten bottlenecks in the county are along that corridor. The others are New Hampshire Avenue, Connecticut Avenue and Georgia Avenue. We can now see the impact of never completing the Northwest Freeway, North Central Freeway and Northern Parkway, as those were supposed to take through-traffic off of those north-south commuter routes.
Aspen Hill is moving
much more slowly;
the top purple number is 2017 speed,
the bottom green is 2011

What happens when you don't
build the Rockville Freeway, Part I

What happens when you don't
build the Rockville Freeway, Part II
(and delay Montrose Parkway East)

Heavy traffic jams shown on Randolph Road and Norbeck Road, as well as sizable decreases in travel speed since 2011 along those east-west corridors, show the impact of failing to build the Rockville Freeway and Montrose Parkway East along the Rockville Facility right-of-way.

In short, we are being led by very stupid people.

None of this is to say we cannot have growth and greater density near Metro stations in our urban areas. What it is saying is that our elected officials have failed to provide the infrastructure necessary to handle that growth. And it is forcing us, as voters, to ask ourselves how much longer we'll allow these clowns to get away with it.


Anonymous said...

When was the last time you commuted to and from a job, Dyer?

Anonymous said...

Since average speeds are down, can't the County start removing the speed camera$?

Anonymous said...

6:10am hating on small businesses?

Anonymous said...

The joke is on us for thinking that the Metro would improve commutes; here's a quote from Miles & Stockbridge development advisors written on Tuesday: "The Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan amendment focuses on transit oriented development around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail Station and Strathmore Music Center, including, without limitation, the WMATA surface parking lot and excess land."
So there goes the parking lot. How many will now drive all the way to DC since there's no parking at Metro? Residential developments all seem to be "luxury" around the stations and unaffordable for most folks. Just another opportunity for developers to get richer and commuters to get screwed.

Anonymous said...

If MoCo is so bad why don't you get the f out Robert?

Friends of Woodmont Triangle said...

6:35 AM MoCo is great, but could greater.
Dyer is very involved in the community and trying to improve things. Not a bad goal, right?

Anonymous said...

How does traffic in NoVa compare, for the same period?

Jason said...

Hi 6:27, for what it's worth, at the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board meeting this past Monday, Ron Kaplan from Fivesquares Development stated that they would be required to replace every surface lot parking space which they are planning to do with an addition to the existing garage.

Anonymous said...

6:27 AM WMATA seems to be actively trying to dissuade folks from using Metro at this point. That's the only logical reason why they'd be implementing so many terrible policies. Wait until the new residents at Pike & Rose realize Metro won't be servicing the White Flint station much in the future :/

Anonymous said...

"Business: A usually commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood."

How can an activity which produces zero revenue fit that description?

Anonymous said...

6:38 = #UnsignedDyer

Robert Dyer said...

6:35: I chose to stay and fight.

6:42: They are. The less trains they run, the lower their costs. That's what the failed "surge" was all about. Saving money by closing stations.

6:40: Better.

Anonymous said...

@Jason, thanks for the info. Hope the addition replaces what's lost and more.

Skippy said...

6:45 AM, Borderstan, etc. were losing money (no net revenue) and were shut down. So if Dyer is at $1 revenue, he's doing better I guess. Being an independent local news site isn't easy.

What do you know about Dyer's revenue or his business plan anyway? Why are you so unhappy and care so much about Dyer's business?

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

7:22 AM Your pain runs deep.

Anonymous said...

"The less [sic] trains they run, the lower their costs. That's what the failed 'surge' was all about. Saving money by closing stations.

Just one problem with your little scenario - revenue is also reduced, not only at the closed stations, but all along the lines affected, and the rest of the system, as well.

And there is also the cost of the maintenance done during the Surges. Workers have to get paid, you know.

You really are an insane, innumerate birdbrain.

Anonymous said...

7:26 - Your codependency is deep. Maybe if you got out of Dyer's Mom's basement once in a while, you'd learn to think for yourself amd realize what a loser he is.

Anonymous said...

7:50AM & 8:13AM Share your pain, it runs deep.
Was there some incident that sparked your obsession with Dyer? A run in at a public meeting perhaps? You're constantly measuring yourself compared to Dyer. Share your pain with us so you can move forward.

Anonymous said...

"They were losing money...So if Dyer is at $1 revenue, he's doing better, I guess."

You don't understand the difference between "revenue" and profit/loss. If Dyer has even $1.01 in expenses, then he's losing money.

You may go back to the Basement with your fellow innumerate birdbrain.

Anonymous said...

Robert, do you have any supporting evidence or data to your claim of "better" in regards to NoVa traffic vs MoCo traffic? Would love to see a comparison, thanks!

Anonymous said...

8:54 AM Why are you so obsessed with Dyer's business and comparing his news sites to other sites? You always avoid answering what your core pain/problem with Robert Dyer is.

Anonymous said...

8:54 AM, could very well be David from GGW or one of several Virginia Trolls that are long time commentators from GGW.

Anonymous said...

9:38 & 9:00 could very well be #UnsignedDyer.

Anonymous said...

9:42 AM What is your obsession with Robert Dyer? What do you want from him? Why not answer the question?

Anonymous said...

9:42 AM I am very sure that it is one of them Virginia trolls that have a long deep rooted history of hostile hatred towards the Maryland suburbs.... I can spot a Maryland hating Good Ol Boy Southerner several miles away....

Anonymous said...

9:38 AM I'm sure David has better things to do than compare Dyer's business to Bethesda Magazine every day on here, count minutes between replies and generally obsess about Robert Dyer.

Anonymous said...

10:00 AM lol...nice try. Dyer's stalker is firmly obsessed with Bethesda, not a Virginia resident.

Anonymous said...

On the content of Dyer's article: it is clear that Montgomery County has failed to plan sensibly for the future. The Planning Department, the Planning Board and the County Council have been complicit. The "develop without better infrastructure" approach is enriching developers, but reducing the quality of life.

Anonymous said...

Ride On bus ridership has declined 7% since 2010,

It is a lot more than that dig deeper dyer dig deeper

Anonymous said...

I tune into your blog from time to time to see what's up and I find it helpful, but I have a suggestion for improvement:
Why don't you screen out all the obviously offensive posts, particularly the ad hominem attacks and sarcastic non sequiturs. These kinds of posts add absolutely nothing to the discussion, sully the blog, and encourage retaliatory responses in the same vein. It's all a distraction, which I'm sure is the intent, and the blog would be much better without all the trash cluttering it up. I doubt anyone, except the boorish posters, would object. I wouldn't: Your blog, your rules.

Anonymous said...

@5:27 - I agree totally! The trolls really bring down the blog. I am all for censorship of non-constructive criticism.

Anonymous said...

Other folks have started their own Bethesda blogs (Bethesda Now & Bethesda Mag) and for some reason go on a jihad against Robert Dyer and his blog.

Part of their strategy is to disrupt here with crazy comments and insults.

Anonymous said...

Oh, There is no way that ALL the troll comments are from those other Bethesda blogs.

Some are regular people calling Dyer out on his obvious lies, exaggerations and misrepresentations.

He's good on neighborhood issues. But he's thin-skinned and vindictive. And never apologizes. Hmm. Reminds me of someone...

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling a lot of the hate comments are from the developers and the dirty Montgomery County politicians who take their bribes. I live in Bethesda and traffic here is HORRIFIC. Our public schools are EXTREMELY overcrowded as it stands. And the corrupt board keeps approving MORE AND MORE AND MORE outrageously big developments, destroying what little green space we have left and clogging our roads.