Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Advisory board revolts against Leggett on Avery Road bus depot study

The Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board, which acts as the middleman between residents of Wheaton, Glenmont, Aspen Hill and Olney and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, has sent a letter to Leggett strongly denouncing his consideration of the Blair G. Ewing Center as a school bus depot site.

"We strongly urge that the Blair G. Ewing Center (on Avery Road) be immediately removed from any consideration," board Chair Gregory Intoccia wrote to Leggett. "This location is wholly unsuited for hundreds of buses."

The board cited environmental damage to Rock Creek and its watershed, loss of a forest conservation easement, traffic impacts on Norbeck Road, reduced traffic safety on Avery Road, the loss of Mark Twain Athletic Park on the Ewing site, and demolition of a functional school building when overcrowded schools are the norm in Montgomery County as its key objections to an Avery Road depot.

The latter loss would require existing programs at Ewing to be moved elsewhere, potentially to the vacant English Manor in Aspen Hill.

What makes the letter remarkable is not just the board going to bat for the community, but that the board members are appointed by Leggett himself. It's another sign of just how politically-toxic the bus depot issue is. There is literally no support for closing the existing depot outside of Leggett, certain County Council members, and the developer who is eager to get started redeveloping the current depot on Crabbs Branch Way in Shady Grove. Yet this thing keeps moving forward, attempting to find a political weak spot on the map.

The letter suggests that, once again, Aspen Hill will not be that weak spot. How much longer does the County risk pushing this scheme, with term limits looming on the November ballot?


  1. Here's a suggestion for MCPS. Lease some of the vacant office parking lots along Executive Blvd, which have sat vacant for the past few years. Until these sites find a reuse, make them viable.

  2. That Executive Blvd area is "hot" right now. They foresee great things there once the road is shifted and built through. They couldn't afford to park them there.