Capital Crescent Trail/Little Falls Parkway Crossing – Planning Board rejects Parks Dept. plan

After listening to the testimony of a substantial number of community residents the Planning Board rejected the Parks Dept. proposed plan to make the road constriction permanent at the Little Falls Parkway/Capital Crescent Trail Crossing. The Planning Board vote was 4:1 against the plan.

The Parks Dept. was instructed to relocate the trail to the Arlington Road/Little Falls Parkway signal light, to restore Little Falls Parkway to four lanes, and to focus on building a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Little Falls Parkway as the long term goal.

The arguments against making the crossing permanent were principally as follows:

·       A signal is the safest crossing point, and if cyclists have to make two right angle turns from the trail at the light they will come to a stop or nearly so.  The ability of a cyclist to blow through an intersection is blocked.

·       The Parks Dept. traffic plan did not take into account future substantial growth in Bethesda (10 million sq. ft.) and the considerable growth in Westbard with construction expected to commence this fall.  The Parks Dept. planning is independent of County DOT.; it is autonomous.

·       The Parks Dept. plan increased traffic on Hillandale Rd. which is heavily populated whereas Arlington Rd. is not bordered by residences.  Hillandale residents safety was decreased.

·       The Parks plan did not take into account project costs incurred by DOT in order to implement traffic calming measures on Hillandale and the desired lane removals on Arlington Rd.

·       With traffic backups, the Parks plan did not take into account:

 o   Increased pollution due to increased traffic congestion.

o   Increased contribution of CO2 to global warming.

o   Waste of fossil fuel and of coal generated electricity.

o   Value of motorists’ time lost.

o   Cost of decreased safety to the victims of cut through traffic.

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Montgomery County Civic Federation Report:

The October meeting was on the proposed expansion of I-270 and the Beltway (I-495). Carol Rubin, Special Project Manager for this with the Planning Department and Chris Conklin Director for Transportation Policy with the county Department of Transportation. There was no representative from State Highway. Ms. Rubin explained that plans for 270 will be from the Beltway to 370 and the Beltway will be from the American Legion Bridge to exit 7, Branch Ave., in Prince Georges County. It will not go to the Wilson Bridge because it would cause a major bottle neck. The worst case scenario is 2 additional lanes on each side and neither speaker was up to date on the right-of-way. They also said that there are plans for express buses on the Beltway. In the Q and A it was pointed out that on the Beltway the exits are too small to carry current traffic unless totally rebuilt will not be able to handle this additional traffic. In addition, the streets that the exits feed into would also have to be updated for any of this to work.

On Zoning Text Amendments the MCCF opposes ZTA 18-07 regarding accessory housing that will no longer require public hearings. MCCF opposes this.

On the ZTA on cell towers within 30 feet of a residence MCCF opposes this.

On ZTA 18-06 MCCF is taking no position on this (MCCF needs much more time to develop a position than was requested by CCCFH).

Sue Schumacher

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Capitol Crescent Trail/Little Falls Parkway Intersection – Comparison of Final Alternatives 10/09/18

Capitol Crescent Trail/Little Falls Parkway Intersection – Comparison of Final Alternatives 10/09/18

Montgomery Parks and MCDOT presented the final alternatives under study for the Capitol Crescent Trail crossing Tuesday evening 10/09/18 at BCC HS.  A comparison table of the three alternatives was provided  for review – not a handout.  The link below shows a copy of that table.


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Thanks to Sue Schumacher for attending the meeting and taking notes.

Montgomery County Civic Federation Report – 9 19 2018:

The September meeting addressed getting publicity or information about your group into the newspapers, or other social media outlets. First to talk to the group was Bernie Simpson who is a reporter. He stressed that you should have a short speech with the 5 “W”s when you call. This he referred to as an elevator speech. He pointed out that whatever you are promoting you must be sure that the news outlet knows whom to go to for quotes.  Is it you or are you the messenger and there is a spokes person for the group and or event. Brian Karem, Editor of the Montgomery Sentinel basically recommended going in person to see the reporter. He said phone calls go to voice mail and emails can be deleted, but standing there in person is hard to ignore. He also suggested that MCCF have a pod cast. His major complaint was that so many of the organizations that need to get information out to the public are not doing it because they are made up of seniors not young people and in so many cases have no idea how to do it.

Other topics covered included Farm Road. This has been going on for about 12 years.  The Planning Commission declared Farm Road as none existent. Therefore, the people who lived on it (poor blacks) could no longer get mail delivered or utilities. So they had to abandon their homes and rent somewhere. They are looking for compensation under the law that was passed in the Obama years that reimbursed the Japanese forced out of their homes in WWII.

Another subject was detached Accessory apartments on lots one acre of larger would not require hearings. MCCF voted to oppose this last year.

ZTA on September 26th dealing with Cell Towers in residential neighborhoods, which reduces th distance from the house from 60 feet to 30 feet and eliminates public hearings. MCCF voted against this last year.

Under New Business was the Bicycle Master Plan. As it stands now it will cost $6 Billion over 25 years. MCCF will address this during next month’s meeting.

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Click on the link below to get to a number of plans of interest regarding the redevelopment of Westwood I.

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The Capital Crescent Trail crossing at Little Falls Parkway has long been dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.  M-NCPPC will be presenting alternative designs to help alleviate this problem 7:00 p.m., June 13, at Somerset ES.  See the link below for the flyer providing further details:

PUBLIC MEETING: design alternatives for the Capital Crescent Trail at Little Falls Parkway

Additionally, there is a link within the flyer providing a visual overhead of the site plus a list of seven alternatives being considered as remedies.  That link is:




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The link below provides brief biographies of each of the nine candidates for County Council for our District 1, replacing Roger Berliner.


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