Monday, September 25, 2017
Friday, September 22, 2017
To expand capacity on the B-W Parkway, the state would have to be given control of the road by the federal government. Hogan has begun preliminary discussions with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke regarding this issue, he said. A private partner will be solicited by the state to construct and operate the new Express Lanes on all three highways. Because of the public-private nature of the plan, Hogan can largely move forward on his own to implement it, another plus in what is sure to be a contentious election year legislative session in Annapolis.
In a press conference yesterday, Hogan called his plan "unprecedented" and "absolutely transformative." The popular governor predicted that the congestion relief would assist the entire region, not just Maryland residents. Aside from the clear practical benefits, the highway plan is a brilliant political move, as many of Hogan's rivals have already taken the bait and come out opposing traffic congestion relief(!).
Other politicians, even those not in Hogan's party, smartly endorsed the plan. Robin Ficker, a Republican candidate for Montgomery County Executive who has called for such a plan for I-270 for years, praised the governor's proposal. "We say thank you to Governor Larry Hogan for putting forth a plan to widen the 495 beltway and I 270," Montgomery County Young Republicans VP Dan McHugh said in a statement. "This will help alleviate the terrible traffic problems we have here in Montgomery County!! This is what happens when you elect Republicans - we get things done!!" Patricia Fenati, a GOP candidate for the House of Delegates in District 14, recalled the many hours she has spent over the years driving from the upcounty into the District for work. "Finally, a hero has come along to look at that problem, and come up with a solution," she said of Hogan.
Predictable criticisms and the old "induced demand" canard came from organizations engaged in the War on Cars in our region following yesterday's announcement. "Induced demand" theory has never been proven, as missing pieces of our regional freeway system have been to blame for growing congestion on our few highways. For example, there is no second Potomac River crossing, and no M-83 Midcounty Highway Extended, to relieve traffic on the American Legion Bridge and I-270. And the Capital Beltway was doomed to be jammed when anti-car forces foiled the original plan to run I-95 through Washington, D.C. That dumb move sends East Coast traffic around our Beltway 365 days a year, creating massive traffic jams.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Expected to participate are Republican Robin Ficker and Democrats Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal. Democrat Bill Frick of Bethesda just entered the race yesterday, and I will update this article as soon as I can confirm his participation.
The event is free to attend and open to the public. From the schedule, it appears Congressional candidates will speak first, and the County Executive candidates will go on at noon. However, you will have the chance to "work the room" and speak one-on-one with the candidates between 10-10:30, and between 1-1:30. This is the first real chance to hear the platforms and positions of the candidates in their own words.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
There's substantial evidence that the driving force behind the plan is the financial interest of one or more property owners along the corridor, who are seeking upzoning and increased density for their properties. That, combined with the developer-fueled Bus Rapid Transit plan for Veirs Mill, will lead to the demolition of several homes and apartment complexes.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Schultz was president of Georgia Tech Pride Alliance, which describes itself as "a student organization for LGBTQIA students and their allies." The organization's board released a statement crediting Schultz with the group's advancement and success over the last two years.
Violent protests spurred by the fatal encounter led to Georgia Tech urging students to remain indoors last night. At least two police officers were injured, and Schultz's parents urged demonstrators to remain peaceful in their protests. Classes at Georgia Tech are resuming this morning as scheduled, the university said in a statement.
Monday, September 18, 2017
|"Triplex" homes proposed for|
King Farm Boulevard
120 of the housing units would be in a condo building at Piccard Drive and Choke Cherry Road, and 42 more would be in triplex homes on King Farm Boulevard. The units would be within the total number allowed by the King Farm master plan; 3,329 housing units have been constructed in King Farm so far, and 3600 units is the total permitted.
|5-story condo building proposed|
for Piccard Drive
While claiming that the revenue will help the City or County is perhaps the oldest canard in the developer PR handbook, the reality is that office developments create more net revenue for governments than residential. Not only does residential generate students for already-overcrowded public schools, but also requires the delivery of government services. In contrast, people working in the kind of offices you find in a place like King Farm are less likely to require government services. They not only may live outside of the jurisdiction, but also are probably making a decent white-collar wage and can support themselves.
The proposed change has been endorsed by the King Farm Citizens Assembly, and by a number of nearby landowners and developers.