Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BRT: Planning Board session Nov. 8, 7:30 PM

The Planning Department posted their draft recommendations for the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Master Plan this past week.  To read their report, go here. 

Planning Department Staff will present this report and recommendations to the Planning Board this Thursday, November 8th at 7:30. You can send comments, or attend.

This is the BRT Master Plan and shows the staff's recommendations for treatment for each route (Dual median busway, one lane reversible median busway, taking a traffic lane for BRT, and mixed traffic); station location; and recommendations for additional right of way. They note in their memo that they have not completed their right-of-way analysis so more could be added later.

BRT routes will affect most communities, especially downcounty.  The current plan is to add a special tax if you live within 1 or 1/2 mile (undecided) of the proposed route. Routes are specified in a series of 19 'binders' which the Parents' Coalition has posted on www.scribd.com. For example, Binder_016 - MD355 South to DC Line is available here and shows the route for that area.

The route for Georgia Ave., South is available here.

Routes will go up Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown, Georgia Ave., Key West Ave., US 29-Columbia Pike/Colesville Rd., Sam  Eig Hwy., Muddy Branch, Norbeck Road, University Blvd., Veirs Mill Rd., 185-Connecticut Ave., and others.

Dedicated lanes will mean no left turns into certain neighborhood streets, and rights-of-way will need to be taken to widen roads in some areas to accommodate the buses. 

Implementation of these plans will be the basis for more development.  From the report:
Performance measures that adequately reflect the greater capacity of bus lanes to move people and their ability to move transit riders more quickly are essential to the determination of whether greater land use density can be adequately served by transit.
Where will the ROW come from? Here is an example:
“Proposed for the Rockville Pike: Friendship Heights Metro Station to White Flint Sector Plan Area Southern Boundary Recommendation: Two Dedicated Lanes via Lane Repurposing”
This plan could have a very serious impact on Montgomery Blair High School student pedestrians, as well as parent drop-off traffic, on U.S. 29 and University Blvd., particularly during morning rush hour.

Please take a close look at the staff report and look at the binder for your neighborhood. Please attend and send your comments hereComments must be received 48 hours before the meeting.

Then Planning Department Staff is also holding 3 public meetings to discuss their recommendations.

Countywide Transit Corridors Community Meetings (all meetings 6:30-9 p.m. Drop in any time, or see presentation at 7 p.m.) Transportation planners will unveil their preliminary recommendations and seek input. Recommendations will include results from modeling and analysis on close to 20 potential corridors as well as right-of-way requirements.

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