Saturday, June 8, 2013

Editorial to the Planning Board


To Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commissioners:

The Coalition for Transit Alternatives to Mid-County Highway Extended (TAME) is a unified coalition of 44 organizations made up of HOAs, elected officials, faith communities, environmental groups and political action groups.  We want Montgomery County to restore balance to our transportation systems, making public transit a priority by developing the CCT, BRT, Purple Line and full service MARC Train.  We petition to accelerate road improvements and proposed transit projects rather than building new highways.

McDOT just finished a nine-year study on the Mid-county Corridor Study and their 250+ page Draft Environmental Effects Report has only 1 1/3 pages (p.228-229) addressing transit as a transportation alternative.  If the County is going to study a road to Clarksburg, there should be an equally in-depth study on transit alternatives to Clarksburg, the upper county, and the eastern side of the county.

Montgomery County absolutely must study and include BRT as an extension to Clarksburg: traveling along Rt. 355, through Clarksburg's neighborhoods, and along existing roads east of Germantown.  Since the county is spending millions studying a road to Clarksburg, we need to study transit to Clarksburg NOW in anticipation of ridership in 2020 and 2030.  Transit can no longer be simply an "add-on" after Master Plans are sealed, if we are to have good smart growth for our county's future.

Prioritize transit alternatives over roads and start demanding that  transit studies be as extensive in scope as the out-dated and environmentally destructive Mid-County Highway Extended (M-83).  It's time for transit to serve the upper county, Clarksburg and the I-270 Tech Corridor in 21st-century Bus Rapid Transit systems.

We strongly encourage you to lead in this monumental transportation transition for the future of MoCo by choosing BRT over more roads.

TAME Coalition

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