Remember the guys who gave us the new surface parking lot in White Flint, just north of Montrose? As if we needed to spend scarce transportation dollars on yet another surface parking lot in White Flint.
Well, they’re at it again. Cars, cars, cars. Never a thought to modern planning concepts, like, say, pedestrians? Or walkability.
Last week we shared a letter from the Maryland State Department of Transportation in which they said they agreed with our environmental and designs ideas, but didn’t have the money to do them. Today we got a very different kind of letter from the Montgomery County Dept of Transportation. (Don’t confuse McDOT — the county agency — with MDOT — the state agency we wrote about two posts down from here.)
The County DOT letter wasn’t subtle. It was “White Flint Sector Plan BAD.” After all, it might slow down cars, and we really need to move those cars past our new surface parking lot. And all the other surface parking lots in White Flint.
Think I’m kidding? Sadly, no.
For example, the County DoT’s way to deal with air pollution? Cars should drive faster through White Flint.
The real purpose of Rockville Pike? To speed traffic out of the Navy Medical Center in Bethesda to the northern suburbs.
Have a pedestrian-friendly Rockville Pike? Nah. “A wider Pike would be harder for pedestrians to cross.” Really? How come pedestrians in Barcelona, Spain, can cross this street, with twelve lanes?
It appears that the Montgomery County Dept of Transportation, as opposed to the Maryland State Dept., is still caught up in the suburban, cars-are-king approach to traffic planning. Their understanding of the effect of traffic on carbon emissions is primitive, and tied to their belief that we’ll never get drivers out of cars. I just don’t know how they are going to handle the looming legal requirements to reduce carbon emissions.
The McDOT positions were part of the technical comments to the County Executive’s letter to the Montgomery County Council on the White Flint Sector Plan. You can read the whole 41-page package here: County Executive Comments on White Flint Sector Plan.
I’ll have more on the whole package later, but the letter turns on this car-centered McDOT analysis.