What about the CCT?

Our city and county absolutely need improvements to our transportation system, but we need to make sure that they are indeed improvements.  If elected, I will be a strong advocate for sensible solutions.

Although the funding for the CCT was pulled until 2019 at the earliest, I do believe there are some significant concerns surrounding the plan in its current form should the state decide to move forward.  That being said, the idea of the CCT could have potential if executed in a more sensible fashion and done in conjunction with all-day, two-way traffic on the MARC Brunswick Line.  And since the MARC and Metro both stop at Rockville, leveraging our existing resources could provide the desired connectivity and could also reduce the need to construct dedicated lanes.

The decision to split the CCT Project in two phases and delaying phase 2 defeats one of the original goals of the CCT: providing better transit options to Upcounty Residents, particularly in Clarksburg and Germantown.   Where Phase 1 of the CCT would make sense is for the residents of Crown and through King Farm.  These were built as high-density developments with the idea that they would rely on public transit.

Currently, the last eastbound MARC train of the day leaves Metropolitan Grove at 8:24 a.m.  Being that the drive to Shady Grove is shorter by car than currently planned on the CCT from the Metropolitan Grove station, I don’t foresee commuters getting off I-270 to get on the CCT. NIST traffic would also benefit from adding AM westbound train service from Union Station and down-county stops that got off at Metropolitan Grove, versus only being served by half-hour ride from the Shady Grove Metro northbound on the CCT.

The original plan for the Kentlands station was to use the former Famous Dave’s location as a parking lot; however, the owner of that property currently has a development proposal going through the review process with the city to build apartments on that site.  No one has addressed where and how commuters would be able to park at this station should that parcel be developed as planned.  And the distance between where residents live within the Kentlands, Lakelands and Quince Orchard Park would likely preclude most people from walking to the station.  And without parking, none of the surrounding neighborhoods would be able to benefit from the CCT, unless they take a RideOn Bus and transfer, and at that point, wouldn’t the existing RideOn network suffice?

We need to take a fresh look at the CCT and figure out a way to make it work better for those who might actually use it.

Click here for the currently-proposed CCT Map

 

Jim McNulty