Friday, July 14, 2017

Montgomery County capitulates to developer on Apex street and sidewalk closures, will begin July 18

Pedestrians walking into oncoming
traffic during rush hour on
Wisconsin Avenue in June
It appears Montgomery County officials have capitulated to developer Carr Properties on the question of whether the firm should be allowed to entirely close the sidewalk and right lane of southbound Wisconsin Avenue indefinitely for demolition of the Apex Building. According to the County, the controversial closures will now begin again on July 18, and last for at least 6 months.

County officials were caught with their pants down when those same closures prematurely took place in mid-June, then impotent to get the busy commuter and pedestrian corridor reopened. It then was revealed that, despite being a partner in the Apex redevelopment, County officials did not know what the developer was doing, or even the project's timeline. Humiliating.

After video and photos of pedestrians walking into oncoming traffic went viral, the barricades were removed. Now they are coming back, with large amounts of public right-of-way being privatized with no due process or public comment. Wisconsin Avenue is one of the two busiest commuter corridors in the county, and the loss of a full lane will have major traffic impacts. To allow such hardship to be inflicted on residents for such a length of time is outrageous. Such a closure is unprecedented in the history of the county, and sets a dangerous precedent going forward.

County officials are also allowing this knowing full well that pedestrians will not bother to cross the street, and will instead just walk into the roadway, as they have done every time developers have been allowed to close sidewalks without providing a covered walkway. In other cities like New York, developers are required to maintain sidewalk access, and do. In Montgomery County, in contrast, the County Council is beholden to developers, and has allowed them to violate what proven to be fake laws against sidewalk closures.

With such a long closure, the odds are high that a pedestrian will be injured or killed during this unprecedented and dangerous closure. That will be on the Council and officials who allowed this to go forward, and they will be held accountable. As for the claim that "the sidewalk is part of the building," that is not true. As a lifelong resident, I walked along that block of Wisconsin Avenue before there was an Apex Building, on a sidewalk, Wisconsin Avenue is a bridge there, and it had a sidewalk, from which I looked down at trains emerging from the Georgetown Branch tunnel.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

The entire structure all the way to the curb - a bridge across the old railroad tracks - is being demolished.The only way that a temporary sidewalk could be provided, is by closing another lane of traffic.

Robert Dyer said...

5:18: Huh? The bridge being demolished would be the whole road, not just the sidewalk. Where did the sidewalk that was along there for decades before the Apex was built go?

Anonymous said...

Who would be to blame if a falling piece of concrete from the demolition killed someone on the open sidewalk? I say Robert Dyer.

Anonymous said...

Robert, you can't have people walking next to a building being demolished. You have to allow pedestrian some space in case a piece of equipment were to fall. The simplest solution is to ask pedestrians to cross the street or the alternative is to close a lane of traffic like 5:18 AM said.

Anonymous said...

This roadway is controlled by the State Highway Administration. Does the County have jurisdiction here?

Anonymous said...

"This roadway is controlled by the State Highway Administration. Does the County have jurisdiction here?"

Nope, but Dyer lives to blame everything on Hans Riemer and the county council. This blog has gone so downhill its not even funny.

Anonymous said...

"being a partner in the Apex redevelopment"

Montgomery County is not a partner in the 7272 Wisconsin redevelopment. Please do not refer to them as such.

Robert Dyer said...

6:54:Montgomery County is indeed a partner in the Purple Line project which 7272 Wisconsin is a part of. Maryland MTA is another partner.

6:22: You're just helping to emphasize how weak and impotent the Council is.

6:16: That's why there's supposed to be a covered pedestrian walkway on the existing sidewalk. The dumbest solution is to ask people to cross the street, because you and I both know they will disobey that order and enter the roadway.

Anonymous said...

"You're just helping to emphasize how weak and impotent the Council is."

So your position is that the Council should feel free to disregard any laws it doesn't care for?

Anonymous said...

Let me guess - you still haven't bothered to contact Carr, to ask them why they need to close the sidewalk and the lane of traffic?

Robert Dyer said...

8:40: They already do! Federal immigration law, their own Open Data law, 1st Amendment, 4th Amendment, etc.

Anonymous said...

Again with the manliness insults.
"You're just helping to emphasize how weak and impotent the Council is."

The one doing the accusing is the one doing the doing.

Robert Dyer said...

9:28: I actually get things done. Meanwhile the Council is impotent and ignored by developers and their state-level colleagues alike. Remember the liquor "special orders" bill? LOL.

They also weren't man enough to show up to debate me in Olney in 2014, while I was man enough to show up. Maybe they could take testosterone pills?

Anonymous said...

Does Dyer have a 9-5? This week he's been active AM, noon, and evening.

Robert Dyer said...

9:40: The Purple Line is 100% about developer greed and private profit. Just ask all the people who will lose their homes and businesses along the developer-drawn route east of Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

6:16: That's why there's supposed to be a covered pedestrian walkway on the existing sidewalk. The dumbest solution is to ask people to cross the street, because you and I both know they will disobey that order and enter the roadway.

Have you ever been to downtown Bethesda before? People aren't stupid here. You were the person who cited that this area has the highest IQ in the country (still unverified and you have not revealed your source).

Robert Dyer said...

9:40: Accidentally deleted your legitimate comment among the troll comments I had to erase. Sorry about that.

Robert Dyer said...

10:10: Is that why I had video and photos of dozens of people walking into the roadway during the previous closure? Commuters aren't necessarily Bethesda residents, but we should be putting safety first.

Anonymous said...

from article:
"video and photos of pedestrians walking into oncoming traffic went viral"

Do you know what "going viral" means. It does not mean glanced at and rejected as irrelevant by the couple hundred readers who read your blog post. I'm sure no decision maker saw your video.

Anonymous said...

If a person won't cross the street they are most likely lazy and very stupid. Let them take their chances.

RM said...

I'm glad Robert is deleting some of the comments. Some of the people on this blog are very childish, making me wonder if they have a level of jealousy about Dyer.

Anonymous said...

Agree with comment earlier: glad Dyer is deleting the troll comments :)

Off topic personal attacks from the same Anonymous man aren't adding to the community here.

Friends of Woodmont Triangle said...

9:44am
Its not normal for folks associated with local government to bully local journalists (like Dyer) covering them.

We need an independent, free press in MoCo. Dyer is providing that.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this MD state allowing it? Didn't know the county had any authority.

Roald said...

I can't believe they're replicating the disaster we had a couple of weeks ago.

They have to do something to keep folks out of that southbound lane of Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:44 AM - It's possible that Dyer has a job in the afternoon. That would explain all his unsigned comments then.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 10:09 AM - How many homes and businesses were sacrificed for the Beltway?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have a problem with this if Carr and the others were paying rent for using the space.

And it's worth noting that the lane will be closed during the next big stretch of work on the Red Line in December.

Robert Dyer said...

4:58: Very few, and far, far less than the number being destroyed by the Purple Line.

4:51: I don't post unsigned comments, old sport.

5:24: True, it's outrageous. Imagine a homeowner simply claiming half of the street in front of their home. We don't allow that, but the Council lets developers get away with literally anything at this point. Welcome to Bell, California East.

Robert Dyer said...

1:02: As an impotent Council, I guess you could say they have no authority. A strong Council would act. An uncorrupt Council would employ all the levels of power and authority they have over developers.

Anonymous said...

One lane of Wisconsin Avenue isnt "half the street". If you include the median strip, it isn't even one-sixth of the street.

Did you ever contact Carr to ask them why they needed to close both the sidewalk and one southbound lane?

Anonymous said...

"Very few, and far, far less than the number being destroyed by the Purple Line."

You are a complete utter fucking idiot, Dyer.

Anonymous said...

The Springfield Interchange expansion alone required more homes to be demolished, than the entire Purple Line.

Anonymous said...

Impotent huh. Ok I knew you would go there. So what would you do exactly within the powers of the council?

Robert Dyer said...

1:16: You do realize that the Council has approval power of all kinds that they could use as leverage against developers now or in the future?

8:55: That wasn't for the actual Beltway construction, but for an updated interchange that was a direct result of elected "leaders'" failure to run I-95 through the District.

8:33: The facts say otherwise.

8:29: Who said it was "half the street?" One lane being closed around the clock for at least 6 months is ridiculous on a major commuter corridor like MD 355. The Council and SHA seem to have lost their wits, and are falling over themselves to please their developer masters.

Anonymous said...

"Who said it was "half the street?"

You did, at 7:40 PM:

"Inagine a homeowner simply claiming half the street in front of their home."

Anonymous said...

"The facts say otherwise."

The actual facts, as opposed to your #FakeFacts, say otherwise.

Hundreds of homes were taken for the original construction of the Beltway. Thousands would need to be taken to build your fantasy freeway network that no one else wants. 56 homes were taken just for the expansion of the Springfield exit alone.

53 homes will be taken for the Purple Line.

Anonymous said...

You didn't answer the question. So as council member what would you do?

Robert Dyer said...

8:10: I was talking about the 2-3 lane roads in front of most single-family homes.

8:19: The Springfield interchange project occurred decades later, and those homes are not included in the total demolished to build the Beltway itself.

There would be zero homes demolished to build any of the master plan highways needed within the borders of Montgomery County. The rights-of-way are already there.

Robert Dyer said...

9:08: I would not only drop the hammer on the state, but - as I clearly said twice now - I would also use the authority the Council has over projects and master plans now and in the future as leverage. If I had been on the Council, we wouldn't even be in this mess, because there would have been a provision in the minor master plan forbidding this type and length of closure. That's why we need smart people on the Council.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 9:13 AM - The people of Montgomery County voted to not have you represent on the County Council or the General Assembly, three times.

Time to stop these contrary-to-fact fantasies about "what I would have done if I were on the Council" and move on with your life.

Robert Dyer said...

9:27: We now have evidence of massive voter fraud in Montgomery County. More names registered than actual eligible voters in the county, allowing the cemetery precincts to come in strong for Hans Riemer. Also, it's notable that no Republican won during the period of the touchscreen voting machines, which displayed significant anomalies in the Council At-Large race. Then there were the illegal mailers sent out by Riemer's personal operative.

When we have a fair election, then you can claim I was rejected by the voters.

Anonymous said...

"We now have evidence of massive voter fraud in Montgomery County."

No, we don't.

"More names registered than actual eligible voters in the county, allowing the cemetery precincts to come in strong for Hans Riemer."

This is not unusual. People relocate and people die. Just because a name is on the rolls doesn't mean the person voted (or someone voted for them).

"Also, it's notable that no Republican won during the period of the touchscreen voting machines"

Montgomery County is heavily Democratic and politics are more polarized now than any time in recent decades. The fact that no Repibublicans were elected is hardly surprising. Republicans can't win in the District, either.

"which displayed significant anomalies in the Council At-Large race."

I'd be interested to read a report on this from the Post or a similar publication.

"Then there were the illegal mailers sent out by Riemer's personal operative."

Which mailers? What made them illegal?

Robert Dyer said...

10:14: Everything I stated is a piece of evidence of voter fraud. Republicans have a 3-1 disadvantage versus Democrats in MoCo, yet Republicans win in New York City, where the ratio has been 5-1 and now 6-1 in favor of Democrats - how do explain that? Again, we also mysteriously stopped electing any GOP candidates while using the touchscreen machines.

I expect you will see a report in the Post after I compile and release the precinct results I noted in 2010 that were very suspicious. Now, with the new revelations, those anomalies take on real significance.

We only know about one illegal mailer by Riemer's operative, illegal for using civic association funds to promote a candidate over another, in Randolph Hills. Were there others? FBI investigation needed.

Maryland is facing a lawsuit from Judicial Watch, as those thousands and thousands of dead and moved-away voter names are utilized by illegal voters to cast illegal ballots, likely explaining those anomalies (unless the voting machines were hacked).

Anonymous said...

"We mysteriously stopped electing Republicans"

What on Earth does this mean?

Anonymous said...

"We only know about one illegal mailer by Riemer's operative, illegal for using civic association funds to promote a candidate over another, in Randolph Hills."

What law was broken? Please cite.

"Were there others? FBI investigation needed."

Did you ever contact the FBI with your concerns? If not, why not? You don't need to be an elected official to do that.

Anonymous said...

"I expect you will see a report in the Post after I compile and release the precinct results I noted in 2010 that were very suspicious."

2010 was 7 years ago. How much longer will it take you to finish your analysis of the precinct results. {drumming fingers}

Anonymous said...

We DO NOT have evidence of voter fraud.

Until you find individual acts of documented voting fraud, what you have is only conditions that could or could not lead to a voting irregularity. If just being registered in more than one jurisdiction makes you guilty of fraud, then there's a few folks in the White House that are guilty: Spicer, Bannon and more.

Anonymous said...

We're going for truth here, not conspiracy theory opinion.

If there was anything to it, Dyer would be a national name in investigative journalism and the "criminals" would be tried, convicted and jailed.

Anonymous said...

"Maryland is facing a lawsuit from Judicial Watch, as those thousands and thousands of dead and moved-away voter names are utilized by illegal voters to cast illegal ballots"

Judicial Watch should sue you for slander.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @10:23 AM - "Again, we also mysteriously stopped electing any GOP candidates while using the touchscreen machines."

Has anyone told Republican Governor Hogan that he was not elected?

I suspect he will be shocked by Dyer's claim.

Robert Dyer said...

6:07: Hogan won't be shocked at all to learn that he lost the vote in Montgomery County in 2014. How dumb do you think people are?

12:45: Judicial Watch has threatened a lawsuit, as reported by multiple news outlets including me and the Post. Facts.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 8:40 PM - Juducial Watch never said "thousands and thousands of dead and moved-away voter names are utilized by illegal voters to cast illegal ballots". You are putting words in their mouth.

Robert Dyer said...

9:40: Huh? Their lawsuit is about the thousands and thousands of dead and moved=away voters still on the rolls in Montgomery County. Facts. What I said was, those names are the major source of voter fraud when they are used by illegal voters, which Judicial Watch wouldn't deny - in fact, that's -duh - why they're trying to clean up the rolls, old sport.

Anonymous said...

Do they know how many of those dead and moved away voters actually voted and who they voted for?

Anonymous said...

Several people tried to post comments challenging these crazy voter fraud numbers.
All were deleted.
If all you want is one man's opinion being offered as fact, then this is your blog to follow.

Robert Dyer said...

5:32: No comment deleted had any factual evidence refuting the clear evidence of voter fraud in Montgomery County. Just troll comments, old sport.

Poll watchers can be part of the solution in 2018!

Anonymous said...

There is no clear evidence of voter fraud in Montgomery County.
Therefore, he deletes everything.
Propaganda blog.

Robert Dyer said...

6:46: The evidence is so clear that a lawsuit is pending if MoCo doesn't clean up its dirty voter rolls, which are weighted down with names of the deceased and moved-away.

Those names are frequently used by illegal voters to cast illegal votes. #Facts

I think we'll find less illegal voters showing up when they know poll watchers will be looking for them in 2018.

Anonymous said...

Poll watchers in Maryland will guarantee that no one is hindered from voting. The state worries that intimidation tactics will be used, therefore the poll watchers will be watched also. Ask Frosh and/or Cardin.

Robert Dyer said...

9:53: In 2018, legitimate poll watchers will watch the cartel's crooked poll watchers, and the polls.

Anonymous said...

Instead of coming up with these wackier and wackier scenarios, why don't you accept the verdict of the voters of Montgomery County, who chose the other candidates instead of you, by margins of 2 to 1 or greater?

Apparently they have no confidence in you because of your positions, as well as your lack of relevant experience or even any documented employment.

Robert Dyer said...

6:03: Because I know the previous elections were decided by a media blackout and voter fraud. That's the house of cards the MoCo political cartel has built its "power" on, and it can easily be brought tumbling down by eliminating those two illegal factors.

My resume is the same or even bigger than George Leventhal's when he won in 2002. If you can genuflect to him, you should have no problem with me.

Anonymous said...

You sound like the Hillary-ites. You lost. Move on.