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corridor cities transitway

Apr 13 15

Bicycle Master Plan Preview Kicks Off With April 20 Meeting at JHU Montgomery County Campus

by Bridget Schwiesow

Community invited to learn about the upcoming Bicycle Master Plan beginning with a special focus on the Corridor Cities Transitway station areas.

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is hosting a community meeting on Monday, April 20 from 7-9 p.m. at the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus (9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850; Academic and Research Building, Room 106-110) to kick off the update to the Bicycle Master Plan as it relates to the planned Corridor Cities Transitway.

At the April 20 meeting, planners will present their approach to the plan, milestones of the process and provide opportunities to give feedback and engage in person and online. RSVPs are encouraged but not required.

RSVP today for the April 20 meeting.

Planners will work from April 2015 until July 1, 2015 on developing a high-quality bicycle network that facilitates access to the planned Corridor Cities Transitway stations from the surrounding communities and ensures coordination and compatibility with the Life Science Center Loop, an off-road trail currently under design by the Planning Department. The goal is to develop a regional bicycle network plan for the Greater Seneca Science Corridor area to maximize the effectiveness of transportation systems currently being planned, and to coordinate these efforts with the City of Rockville and City of Gaithersburg.

Review a map of the Montgomery County Bicycle Master Plan CCT Phase 1 Corridor special focus area.

Starting July 1, 2015, the comprehensive update to the Bikeways Master Plan will be launched to consider the County’s complete bicycle networks and recommendations for access and mobility. The planning process will provide ample opportunities for the community to get involved and offer feedback. Check out the Bicycle Planning web page to learn more.

What is the Bicycle Master Plan all about? Why do we need to revise it?
The goal is to develop a high quality, low stress bicycling network in Montgomery County. The Bicycle Master Plan, first created in 1978, has been subsequently revised in area master plans with the last comprehensive update to the Bicycle Master Plan completed in 2005.

The newest changes to the Plan will focus on the Greater Seneca Science Corridor because development is poised to happen soon in that area. By planning for a high quality bike network now, a higher quality of life will be an option for the Montgomery County community. The Bicycle Master Plan aims to make bicycling a viable option for everyone in the County.

What is the Corridor Cities Transitway? How does it relate to bicycling?
The Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) is a 15-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line operating from the COMSAT facility near Clarksburg to the Shady Grove Metrorail Station. The first phase of the project is 9 miles from Metropolitan Grove to Shady Grove, and is currently proceeding with engineering and environmental analysis. The second phase would extend from Metropolitan Grove to the COMSAT facility, and will be developed as land uses mature and additional transportation funding becomes available.

The CCT project will provide transit service to communities such as King Farm, Crown Farm and Kentlands; and institutional hubs, including the Life Sciences Center and Universities at Shady Grove. The transitway will connect to the District of Columbia and other regional destinations by way of the MARC Brunswick Line at Metropolitan Grove and the Metrorail Red Line at Shady Grove. A high quality bike network can get more people to the transitway stations, allowing for greater mobility. 

What is the duration of the planning process?
The update to the Bicycle Master Plan is scheduled to be completed by September 2017. Review the full schedule for this plan:

March 31, 2015

Council Review of Work Program
July 1, 2015 Start Work
September 2015 Planning Board Approves Scope of Work
March 2016 Methodology Report to Planning Board
November 2016 Staff Draft
February 2017 Planning Board Work Sessions
April 2017 Planning Board Draft
September 2017 Council Approval

What will be the final product?
A Bicycle Master Plan will be the final product that will look at the network of bikeways and locations for bicycle storage. It will serve as a guide to facility planning studies and the development approval process.

How can I get involved?
Attend meetings, talk to staff, send us your comments. Contact:

David Anspacher
Functional Planning and Policy Division

Learn more about Bicycle Planning in Montgomery County.

Oct 23 09

State Transportation Officials Affirm Planners’ Recommendation for Corridor Cities Transitway Route

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – A key recommendation for the Gaithersburg West Master Plan that would re-route the proposed Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) was strengthened Thursday when state transit officials endorsed the proposal. The plan is under consideration by the Montgomery County Council.

In an October 22 letter, Donald Halligan, director of the Maryland Transit Administration’s Office of Planning and Capital Programming, cited an up to 40 percent increase in ridership associated with the revised transit route in approving the realignment recommendation. That increase would make the CCT project more cost-effective, the agency letter said.

Halligan urged the County Council to speedily approve the draft Gaithersburg West plan proposed by the Planning Board so the transit agency could seek federal approval for the mass transit project.

The CCT, conceived in the 1970s as a 14-mile-long light rail or bus rapid transit route connecting the Shady Grove Metrorail Station to Clarksburg, has been the lynchpin for the Gaithersburg West Master Plan. The plan focuses on invigorating the county’s Life Sciences Center by creating a more desirable community where people can live, work and enjoy many services.

Planners envision that the CCT, which they recommend run as bus rapid transit, would help create a more walkable community in a Life Sciences Center now dominated by cars. The CCT would serve as a means to cluster houses, jobs, and retail to support activity centers and lessen reliance on automobiles.

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Jun 26 09

Planners Recommend Bus Rapid Transit for Proposed Corridor Cities Transit Project; Planning Board Schedules Public Hearing July 6

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County planners have recommended bus rapid transit, a system designed to move transit vehicles past traffic congestion on dedicated lanes, for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT), a planned public transportation project linking Shady Grove with Clarksburg.

Following recommendations rolled out in the draft Gaithersburg West Master Plan, planners have endorsed a route for the CCT that follows a long established alignment from the Shady Grove Metro Station through Gaithersburg, Middlebrook and Germantown on its way to Clarksburg. However, planners recommend a change to the previously planned route through the Life Sciences Center near Gaithersburg.

Responding to a Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) report, planners also addressed a proposed expansion of I-270 as another strategy to improve mobility in the heavily traveled corridor. The expansion could include preferential lanes for high occupancy vehicles and drivers willing to pay a toll. Both projects would try to alleviate chronic traffic concerns in the I-270 Corridor, the economic engine of Montgomery County.

Planners made their recommendations based on MDOT’s Alternatives Analysis/Environmental Assessment report. Their recommendations go to the Planning Board, which has scheduled a July 6 public hearing to allow residents and others to have their say.

The board’s recommendation will be considered by the County Council’s transportation committee on July 13. Once the Council has collected input, it will send the county’s collective position on the two transportation projects back to the state.

The CCT has long been proposed along I-270, and the Planning Board has featured the CCT as an integral part of master plans for Gaithersburg West and Germantown. The transit route would support a growing number of workers and proposed new residences in those areas. In the state report, transportation planners evaluated premium bus, light rail and bus rapid transit. By choosing bus rapid transit, county planners have endorsed an alternative that is estimated to cost around $450 million. The CCT is expected to carry up to 27,000 people daily by 2030.

Planners say bus rapid transit would link activity centers in the corridor, maximize connections to other transit routes such as Metro, and increase opportunities for funding and construction phasing that would allow it to be built quickly.

As part of their proposal, planners recommend adding a busway segment through the Life Sciences Center that creates a loop serving Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, the Universities at Shady Grove, the emerging Johns Hopkins University campus, a redeveloped county Public Safety Training Academy site and other businesses. That new route, which would support proposed residential development, existing and planned heath sciences and hospital facilities, and biomedical research initiatives, has been the subject of much discussion as the Planning Board prepares to finalize its draft of the Gaithersburg West Master Plan next month.

The state report combines the CCT with I-270 highway improvements.  Planners recommend that the CCT go first to emphasize the most affordable, green solution by combining transit and mixed use development to support a community less dependent on auto travel.

Planners reviewed the highway alternatives presented by the state and recommended a combination of express toll lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Express toll lanes provide a speedy and reliable option by charging a toll that varies depending on the time and day of use. The I-270 improvements, extending well into Frederick County, may cost up to $3.9 billion and could displace up to 260 homes, although transportation officials believe that number can be reduced significantly by minimizing the width of roadway shoulders and constructing retaining walls.

Adding a combination of high-occupancy lanes and tolls also would encourage people to commute longer distances by bus or rail and use the highway for carpooling to transit stations, planners say.

Planners also recommended that the County Council establish a working group to pursue potential funding for the CCT in addition to existing public transportation like Metro and Ride On.

Learn more about the CCT. Sign up to testify at the July 6 hearing; scroll to July 6 at the “date” prompt. Submit written testimony.

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