PHED Committee Meeting Tuesday 1-9-10

PHED Committee Meeting Tuesday 1-9-10

Live blogging from the January 19, 2010 meeting of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee of the Montgomery County Council. The PHED Committee is continuing its hearings on the White Flint Sector Plan; today’s topics include transportation and “land use.”

Committee Chair Councilmember Mike Knapp called the meeting to order just after 2PM (the full Council meeting just ended). Knapp: we asked staff to tell us what it would take to actually accomplish “balance” between traffic congestion and density.

Committee staffer Glenn Orlin referred to the memo he prepared for the Committee and released last Friday. You can find the memo here:

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/council/pdf/agenda/cm/2010/100119/20100119_PHED1.pdf

Orlin began with the first issue, involving “private streets.” Various agencies agreed on a series of criteria for designating a private street in White Flint, which are listed on P. 2 of the memo. Council President Nancy Floreen: Montrose Shopping Center has some public/private streets, but the ordinary user wouldn’t realize they were public streets. Designed for transportation capacity, as required, under whatever standard we come up with. Biggest problems are on the weekends, so these are the streets we don’t want closed, because it would limit the opportunities. They should look and feel more like real roadways. I’m interested in predictable public access. Dan Hardy, chief transportation planner for the Planning Board, pointed out that the first two criteria are designed to make sure the streets meet current standards and would be useable as part of the road grid, and the other six criteria were put in to work with the needs of other groups.

Councilmember Marc Elrich asked which of the proposed streets was critical to the grid. Edgar Gonzalez, from Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation, pointed out that some of the projects might want to close their private streets for festivals and events.

Then the Committee moved to the transportation ‘balance” issue which caused much consternation this weekend (see prior two posts).

Barnaby Zall

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