Thursday, August 31, 2017

Another sign Leland St. is just a little bit more important than the rest of us (Photos)

Montgomery County elected officials continue to go overboard to satisfy their wealthy patron(s) on Leland Street, after the County's scheme to illegally close the road to traffic at Woodmont Avenue was exposed, and the road reopened. A few days ago, an electronic sign was summoned to duplicate what the existing sign at the corner already says about turn restrictions. Yesterday around 4:30 PM, a police trap was set up to catch drivers violating that 4:00-7:00 PM turn restriction.
Police cruiser awaits
Leland St. violators
around the bend
Police enforcement of laws around Bethesda is unquestionably a positive thing. No one would dispute that those breaking the law should expect to evade the penalties if caught; they are clearly in the wrong.

The larger point here is the remarkable speed at which whoever on Leland Street is driving this effort can summon taxpayer resources, compared to the rest of us. And the way the County is tripping over themselves to reiterate to Leland Street that "You are special" after the embarrassing scandal over the illegal street closure. "Look, we are doing something!" Where is that pressure to look busy coming from?

Having attended countless community meetings across the County over the years, I know how difficult it usually is to get the County to put out an electronic sign, or get a police unit to enforce whatever rule is being broken. Officers who speak at those meetings will emphasize patience, and the fact that the County has limited resources. There are only so many officers on patrol at one time, and only so many signs and trailers.

Yet here, Leland Street has obtained both within mere days, something you would usually see only after someone was killed in a traffic incident. I've heard from many readers across Bethesda about dangerous spots for pedestrians, who have asked County officials for help and action. New solution: Move to Leland Street. If you can afford it.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

So you're complaing the county is actually working quickly? Not sure what your beef is.

snoopy1982 said...

To the above poster: Consider the resources being wasted here solely in order to benefit those who paid more for their McMansions than others.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Leland Street is just a better shortcut than other streets and thus a higher priority. I didn't realize what a terrific shortcut Leland was until reading this and checking a map - someone alert WAZE!

Anonymous said...

Signs are Dyer's little friends, except when they're not.

Boyce Bowles said...

Residents in other Bethesda neighborhoods wish the Council was as attentive to their needs

Anonymous said...

These signs that stop traffic from 4 to 7PM on public roads, paid and maintained by all are undemocratic, and greatly complicate the lives of residents iliving in proximity. Going from point A to point B inside my neighborhood at certain times is like a puzzle. I even had to give up after school sports activities for my kids because suddenly I had to go through all the rush hour commuter traffic. I don't see why I should have to be greatly inconvenienced inside my own community for the benefit of a few on public roads that belong to all of us.

Robert Dyer said...

6:06: No, it's that they're working quickly for Leland Street, and not providing the same speed and level of resources to the rest of us. That's aside from the question of whether or not there should be turn restrictions at all there.

Anonymous said...

It's nice they are contributing more property taxes and hopefully income taxes and local economy contributions with spending. Helps the schools and infrastructure more than others do.

Anonymous said...

It's a start though. What if they started with your street? Would you be okay with that?

Anonymous said...

Why is no one looking at the more restrictive intersection of Strathmore and Woodmont which is just above Leland St. It is one way out to Woodmont and no turn at all onto Strathmore which connects to Bradley. Why are those lower rent apartments treated so special? Why only complain about the houses on Leland where many residents have lived for years in their smaller homes? Not all are McMansions there.

Anonymous said...

What is the long term strategy for Leland folks? We know a few of them wanted to sell their entire neighborhood to a developer (Monument) a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

County police were also out last night and this morning enforcing the sidewalk closure in front of the APEX building. Not sure if they were ticketing pedestrians walking tin the road but I hope they were.

Robert Dyer said...

7:10: I guess at this point the police are the only folks working to keep people safe there at the Apex.

Anonymous said...

The Monument offer was 10 years ago just before the economy downturn. That along with the hurdles and expense of rezoning kept Monument from moving forward. There were also some homeowners who said they would not sell.

Anonymous said...

This special treatment is ridiculous. I live on Hillandale and the traffic there is much worse and the residents just suck it up because we understand that we live on a public road in downtown Bethesda which is utilized by thousands of drivers everyday. Just backing out of our parking spot is a pain in the butt because the cars are speeding but guess what we don't BLOCK the entire road because of it.

Anonymous said...

"folks"

Dyer just outed several of his Sheepshill Sockpuppets. LOL

Waiting for Dyer to absentmindedly put a smiley face after one of his signed posts.

Robert Dyer said...

8:11: I've been using that term for many years on here, and it's not exactly rare to hear, old sport.

Anonymous said...

One day, one of the Sheepshill Sockpuppets will absentmindedly close with "old sport". LOL

Anonymous said...

I drive by this intersectiion almost daily during rush hour. Even before all the secret closures, there was a cop out there on Leland about once every 2-3 weeks.

As for the cops in front of Apex building, they were hired by the construction company (Clark I think) in off-duty to enforce the rules there.

Anonymous said...

Dyer: County council is unresponsive to the community
Dyer: County council should ignore the community and not waste taxpayer dollars on them

smh

Anonymous said...

This sign and the controlled access is no different than any other area in the county, why get your dander up of this particular neighborhood. No one seems to care about the "DO NOT ENTER 4-7 PM", controlled entry sign at the intersection of Arlington Road & Elm Street, I wonder why!!!

Scott Orkin said...

If they want a private street they should move to a gated community.

Anonymous said...

What exactly do you want to happen, Robert?

Anonymous said...

If they want a private street, they should buy the street and pay property taxes on it.

Anonymous said...

How many other roads in Bethesda have turn restrictions and are one way? Are they considered"private"? Should all these roads be opened up too? What about Strathmore which is next to Leland? Think about all the "do not enter" signs in East Bethesda along Wisconsin and in the town of Chevy Chase and the restrictions in Edgemoor. Why such negativity about this one street?

Robert Dyer said...

6:36: The only reasons there have been specific concerns about this street closure idea (and the existing restrictions) is that this once was a critical route like Bradley Lane.

Sometimes there may be legitimate safety concerns, but with sidewalks and traffic islands already in place on Leland, it's hard to claim there is a significant danger beyond that of any other street.

In regards to other closures, I'm not going to armchair quarterback and say something stupid off-hand - I would have to examine each street and what the conditions were to determine if those were legitimate closures or not. Closures in Chevy Chase certainly contribute to traffic on Bradley and East-West Highway, but on the other hand, you wouldn't want mass traffic trying to turn left out of Chevy Chase at unsignaled intersections along Connecticut.

1:52: I think restrictions should be removed from Leland, and left turns onto Woodmont restored. As one of the Hillandale residents noted, they still have to deal with cut-through traffic. Are they less special?

Scott Orkin said...

People live on Wilson Lane, should that be closed during rush hour? I'm on battery Lane and we get cut through traffic that speeds.

Anonymous said...

I think we should work to get the restriction removed altogether so that one can turn anytime of the day. The following is information on how to do this. I contacted the county council and they sent to me a document about how to get a traffic restriction removed, and the following is the pertinent information.

REASSESSMENT
Not earlier than three years after installation of traffic control devices, the Department may decide to reassess a through traffic volume access restriction plan that was installed either before or after this regulation became effective. Upon receiving:
1. a petition for removal or major alteration of access restrictions signed by at least 35% of the households (one adult signature per dwelling unit) in the Traffic Volume Management Area (see Definitions) as implemented; or
2. a petition from at least 35% of the directly impacted households as defined by the Department (one adult signature per dwelling unit) in an adjacent residential neighborhood within a distance of 3⁄4 mile from the access restrictions, explaining why traffic restrictions are no longer required due to changed conditions, or why the restrictions are causing undue burdens or significant safety problems which were not considered in the original decision to implement the plan.

The Department must hold a public hearing. After the public hearing, the Department
must decide whether to retain the plan or reassess the plan. If the Department decides to reassess, the Department must conduct a new traffic study and prepare a Community Discussion paper evaluating the alternatives and their impacts. The project development process as specified under Section IV-C, D, E must be followed.
After completion of a reassessment process, further requests for reassessment of an access restriction must not be considered until an additional three years has elapsed.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, 9:53PM. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Leland was a straight street to Wisconsin before houses were bought and torn down to build Woodmont Ave. Before Woodmont was constructed it was not a major cut-through.
I do not know why Leland was not treated like Strathmore. As a cut-through to E-W Highway one can go through the Town of Chevy Chase on Leland - but wait they have restricted hours. Restricted hours are all over Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

@Scott Doesn't Battery Lane have rush-hour restrictions on the part towards Edgemoor (other side of Old Georgetown)?

I actually do live on Wilson Lane :)

Anonymous said...

@Hillandale - you are spot on about getting more traffic there, and at higher speeds. The Leland Street residents are entitled PITAs.