Friday, September 15, 2017

A new Leland St. perk at taxpayer expense: deceptive Do Not Enter signs

Montgomery County government continues, for dark and mysterious reasons, to bend over backwards to please its wealthy patron(s) on Leland Street in Bethesda. Take these two new signs with false messages, for example. When making the right turn from Woodmont Avenue onto Leland, a driver is now confronted with two signs stating, "Do Not Enter." In much smaller type, the hours during which turns are prohibited are detailed, but that information is overshadowed by the universally-familiar "Do Not Enter" symbol and words. This is a violation of signage best practices, and could potentially cause an accident.

I watched several drivers making the turn slam on their brakes upon seeing the Do Not Enter signs. Even I instinctively braked for a second the first time I encountered them. The signs give you the impression that you are going the wrong way, sure to create confusion. In truth, you are going the right way, on a public street whose residents and the County would like to make private - at taxpayer expense. It appears that the County is trying to yet again unofficially close the street by fooling a percentage of drivers into thinking they are going into a one-way street.
The resulting confusion could cause accidents. In fact, the first car I observed encountering the signs immediately braked, and ultimately backed up and turned back onto Woodmont - even though he was making the turn during the legal hours! This is an abuse of the system and taxpayer money for political and patronage reasons. It is not a Do Not Enter at all; it is a restricted turn, and a Do Not Enter symbol should not be used for another purpose.

According to the United States Sign Council Best Practices Manual, a sign of this type requires 4-5 seconds of reaction time on a driver's part. During that time, he or she might be distracted from a pedestrian trying to cross here, for example.

Once again, the rules are being bent by the County, in order to honor an apparently-secret agreement between County politicians and one or more residents of Leland Street. The scandal began when it was exposed that the County had closed the street without the required public notice and public meeting. Caught in a firestorm of backlash from taxpaying drivers, road-closure advocates on the County Council Roger Berliner and Hans Riemer quickly backpedaled, portraying themselves as unwitting tools in the closure.

After the street was reopened to traffic, an electronic sign and personal police trap were dispatched rapidly and at taxpayer expense. Other streets and neighborhoods in the County have sought many of these same solutions, but have had to wait weeks, months or years for action.

52 comments:

Scott Orkin said...

We should plan a mass Drive through of their street one afternoon.

Anonymous said...

They have also installed speed monitoring to study the traffic further. You can see the speed monitoring closer to the Bradley Blvd. end of the street. This neighborhood must be home to Jesus Christ himself. This is nuts. I've never seen a neighborhood get such special treatment. Sickening. What a bunch of divas.

Anonymous said...

I'm expecting Leland residents to propose a moat next.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't the existing "do not turn during x hours" sufficient?

The new signs are misleading and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I discovered after contacting Berliner's office that Leland is considered a "minor arterial" street according to the downtown Bethesda master plan. In other words, Leland is not classified as a "residential" street. Only residental streets can qualify for volume restrictions, which I believe means that Leland should not even have a no turn from 4-7 pm restriction. Arterial roads do not qualify for restrictions because of the nature of the roads to connect and move traffic between highways and other arterial roads. I would love to have the no 4-7 pm turn lifted based on this information.

Anonymous said...

I go out of my way to drive that section of Leland everyday

Anonymous said...

449 words?

You should have just typed "I don't like it" 150 times.

"Montgomery County government continues, for dark and mysterious reasons..."

LOL

"Take these two new signs with false messages, for example. When making the right turn from Woodmont Avenue onto Leland, a driver is now confronted with two signs stating, "Do Not Enter." In much smaller type, the hours during which turns are prohibited are detailed, but that information is overshadowed by the universally-familiar "Do Not Enter" symbol and words. This is a violation of signage best practices, and could potentially cause an accident."

Same restrictions, same signs on the west side of Old Georgetown Road, for decades. But those streets are not your personal shortcut, so you don't care.

What's "false" about "Do Not Enter"?

Anonymous said...

So wait, an anonymous poster contacted a representative office instead of saying of just declaring something fishy is going on. Who is the journalist on this site.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the comment, "what is false about do not enter", does one really need to explain that to you? Do not enter means, do not enter. A no turn sign means, no turn. What was wrong with the no turn sign with the hours underneath it? The do no enter sign is at best, misleading, and at worst, will cause confusion that will result in an accident. Do you need further explanation?

Anonymous said...

At 6:02, I am not a journalist. I am just a pissed off citizen who doesn't even drive on aleland, but is annoyed that the street has such a great influence on the government and thinks that should be investigated.

Anonymous said...

6:04 = #UnsignedDyer

Anonymous said...

At 6:04, oh please, that wasn't the blogger. Can no one else have an opinion that agrees with him.

Anonymous said...

Explain why a "NO RIGHT TURN" sign will not "cause confusion that will result in an accident"?

Anonymous said...

Explain how it will cause confusion? It has been the sign that have been up for years and all the people who drive that route know it. If it is suddenly changed to do not enter, not to mention the barrier that was put up weeks before and was taken down, then confusion is inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Left turns from westbound Woodmont Avenue onto southbound Leland Street are not allowed any time of day, and are physically blocked by the median strip.

Right turns from eastbound Woodmont Avenue onto southbound Leland Street are not allowed between 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

I understand that you don't like this restriction. But what exactly is "false" about "signage" saying "Do Not Enter 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM"?

Anonymous said...

Upvote

Anonymous said...

If 6:23 am anonymous needs further explanation, then he should have an assistant help him with reading comprehension. That question was asked and answered in previous comments.

Anonymous said...

6:30 = #UnsignedDyer

Anonymous said...

He's just making up rules. There is nothing wrong with the signs. Time frames are posted last, the gist of the sign is first. Standard.
No Right Turn 7AM-9AM
No Turns 4PM-7PM

PITA? You bet. Confusing? Not so much, they're straight-forward.

Anonymous said...

6:46 AM - That's "signage", you Philistine.

Anonymous said...

The signage is misleading because Leland Street doesn't qualify for any turning restrictions based on the street classification as an arterial road. The signage is false because the turns are legal.

Anonymous said...

6:46, if the signage isn't confusing, why change it from a no turn to a do not enter. Someone along the way found it confusing enough to see the necessity to change it. The question is whether the confusion was clarified or just made more obscure.

Anonymous said...

I just walked by Hillcrest, Rosemary, and Stanford and they have the exact same type of signage. Seems it's not uncommon?

Anonymous said...

It was the first sign they found at the storage facility?

Anonymous said...

Quite down Robbie, they will still let you ride your tricycle down their street.

AGcomments said...

Anonymous said...
I discovered after contacting Berliner's office that Leland is considered a "minor arterial" street according to the downtown Bethesda master plan. In other words, Leland is not classified as a "residential" street. Only residential streets can qualify for volume restrictions, which I believe means that Leland should not even have a no turn from 4-7 pm restriction. Arterial roads do not qualify for restrictions because of the nature of the roads to connect and move traffic between highways and other arterial roads. I would love to have the no 4-7 pm turn lifted based on this information.

5:37 AM


I believe this to be true as well. Robert - can you look into this further?

Anonymous said...

I am willing to help out and put time into getting this street's signage and wasteful application of resources to having a private oasis street taken away.

Anonymous said...

the reason the previous no right turn 4-7 (traditional one) was not adequate was that the residents complained that people were ignoring them. They also annoyed the cops and made them enforce so the compromise was to put this sign up. It's deemed more clear and might have more impact. I agree that the do not enter is somewhat misleading and obviously, technically, this is ignored b/c the time frames are listed. However, these nitwits already had a sign and it was a waste of money to make 2 new signs. What a bunch of horse's butts.

Anonymous said...

6:02 here. I was being sarcastic 5:37. I was confused why Robert, the journalist who breaks the news and knows all that is happening wouldn't take the added step to find out what was going on. He usually just bitches and his readers have to do the leg work for him. Great at bringing up things, terrible at actually telling you about things.

Anonymous said...

Just because you stopped reading halfway through doesn't mean it's "deceptive."

Steve said...

Yup. I'll have an intern do an explainer for you guys.

Anonymous said...

11:18 AM hates that Bethesda Beat actually contacts and reaches out to people who may provide more insight on a matter. That's why this is a blog and cannot get verified as news (read here if you don't believe me), and Bethesda Beat is considered news.

Anonymous said...

Impersonating a real person online is a crime in this state. Only by the grace and good will of the real Steve are you not currently under investigation.

Imagine being so pro-Dyer that one would risk criminal penalty to fight Dyer's battles. SMH.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I don't care if interns do the follow through, but a news site should attempt to have it.

Anonymous said...

11:57am Your stupidity is criminal.

Anonymous said...

Of course the interns need to ask folks what everything in Bethesda means, they don't live here, never have.

Dyer is a life long resident. He doesn't need GPS to find his way around town...or a bus tour of Bethesda like Reamer.

Anonymous said...

1:01PM
“Connect the dots, la la la la. Connect the dots, la la la la.” “There’s a lot of things about me you don’t know anything about, Dottie.”

Anonymous said...

How odd that the anonymous person commenting at 1:04 PM uses the exact same phrases as Robert Dyer.

Anonymous said...

Not arguing or caring whether that street actually is supposed to have a sign or not, but I see this exact signage all the time in the county. It's hardly out of the normal.

Anonymous said...

Wilson Lane at Glenbrook Road:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9871757,-77.1068494,3a,35.1y,15.27h,75.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sK7LfH_rnmHU0HvQlOWzwhw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

P.S.: Robert, in the Captcha, I've gotten the same puzzle - that nice little English town with the speed bump sign and four cars - five times out of the past six comments. Are you paying your Blogger bills?

Anonymous said...

Arlington and Elm has the same sign too. Looks pretty commonplace to me.

Anonymous said...

So you support the fact that Dyer doesn't even ask a Leland resident or a council person for any reasons for the signage? You are more of a fan of the whole if Dyer rants about it, it must be true philosophy?

Anonymous said...

I think the issue is not the wording of the sign, but the fact that the wording of the sign changed and the implication of that change. Many feel that changing a sign from no turn to do not enter (in the shadow of the barricade that was put up to prevent one from entering the street less than a month earlier) is an attempt of the residents of Leland to deceive the public into thinking that their street is closed to cars as a cut through. Whatever your thoughts are of the signage wording, it is clear that someone on Leland street is lining the pockets of someone who has influence on traffic restrictions. The corruption is undeniable.

Anonymous said...

"an attempt of the residents of Leland to deceive the public into thinking that their street is closed to cars as a cut through"

Maybe because it IS "closed to cars as a cut-through".

Anonymous said...

7:28 AM - Reading Dyer's articles is like going on an archeology expedition - encountering many intriguing clues to a civilization, but never directly encountering the civilization itself.

Anonymous said...

A No Right Turn sign only stops those approaching from one direction.
The Do Not Enter sign stops those from the right, left and straight across.

Anonymous said...

Dear Birdbrain @ 10:43 AM - You can't turn left or go straight across because the median strip there prevents you from doing that.

Anonymous said...

You can't turn left onto Leland from Woodmont after crossing 355?

Anonymous said...

@ 2:27 PM - Nope. Concrete median strip, extending half a block in either direction from that intersection.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bethesda,+MD/@38.9800761,-77.0941709,103m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b7cbb76a24022d:0x26b279f76a2bcd0d!8m2!3d38.984652!4d-77.0947092

Anonymous said...

That's what happens when I avoid an area. They screw it all up. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"According to the United States Sign Council Best Practices Manual, a sign of this type requires 4-5 seconds of reaction time on a driver's part. During that time, he or she might be distracted from a pedestrian trying to cross here, for example."

Let's just get rid of traffic signals while we're at it.

Anonymous said...

So this sign is everywhere in the county.