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Takeaways from the MD 355 BRT Open Houses

Posted on by Amy Ginsburg

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If you weren’t one of the hundred or so folks who attended one of the recent MD 355 BRT Open Houses, here’s what you missed. (You can view their presentation here … and I urge you to do so.  It discusses in detail what I’ve summarized here, and their boards are higher-resolution and easier to enlarge than what you’ll find in this blog.)

Purpose: to present the MD 355 BRT Conceptual Alternatives and review the results of the Preliminary Analysis.

Alternative Routes:

Alternative 1 No-Build: No improvements to infrastructure or bus service along the MD 355 Study Corridor beyond those improvements already planned and programmed in the Constrained Long-Range Plan.

Alternative 2 Transportation System Management (TSM): Consists of enhanced bus service operating in mixed traffic in existing lanes in addition to minor infrastructure improvements. The infrastructure improvements would consist of queue jumps and Transit Signal Priority (TSP) at select intersections.

Alternative 3A: New BRT service from Clarksburg Outlets to the Grosvenor Metrorail Station. The service would be in mixed traffic from the Clarksburg Outlets to Middlebrook Road along Observation Drive and on dedicated median lanes from Middlebrook Road to the Grosvenor Metrorail Station along MD 355.

Alternative 3B: New BRT service from Redgrave Place in Clarksburg to the Bethesda Metrorail Station. The service would be mostly on dedicated median lanes from Redgrave Place to the Bethesda Metrorail Station along MD 355.

Alternative 4A: New BRT service from Redgrave Place in Clarksburg to the Grosvenor Metrorail Station. The service would be mostly on dedicated curb lanes from Redgrave Place to the Grosvenor Metrorail Station along MD 355.

Alternative 4B: New BRT service from Redgrave Place in Clarksburg to the Bethesda Metrorail Station. The service would be mostly on dedicated curb lanes from Redgrave Place to the Bethesda Metrorail Station along MD 355.

Preliminary Analysis of Options: 

Providing service along Observation Drive increases ridership due to higher number of large trip generators.

Extending service to Bethesda increases ridership by expanding the BRT market and providing improved transit access to additional activity centers without having to transfer to Metrorail.

In general, the median running way sections have up to 20% shorter travel times generating higher ridership within those sections.

Median running way has a wider footprint and results in more than 25% higher property impacts and 60% higher construction costs compared to the curb running way.

Alternatives 3A and 4A causes BRT travel times that are up to 25% longer.

Questions or Opinions? Send an e-mail to: md355brt@mta.maryland.gov

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