Earlier today, Councilmember Roger Berliner and five councilmembers sent a letter to Al Roshdieh, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, urging MCDOT to study a revolutionary idea for the County’s Bus Rapid Transit project on US 29.
The idea, developed by Four Corners resident Sean Emerson, proposes adding one or two (depending on the existing road width) dedicated bus lanes from Tech Road to Sligo Creek Parkway. The dedicated lane(s) would be “squeezed” in the middle of the road by replacing the median and narrowing the existing travel lanes by one foot.
Emerson’s proposal was first mentioned in a public setting on April 18, when I testified at the public hearing for the US 29 BRT project (the testimony begins at 59:45). Since then, several councilmembers have expressed support for the plan: a few days after the public hearing, then-council-president Roger Berliner praised the idea in a press conference, and current council president Hans Reimer wrote a letter in support of it.
Councilmembers discussed BRT and Emerson’s proposal at length at the May 4 workshop of the Transportation and Environment Committee (more detailed information on the proposal is included in the Analyst Packet for that day).
Since that workshop, the County Executive’s original proposal for BRT on US 29 has been approved by the Council. However, to date the county has made little progress on studying Emerson’s proposal.
I’d like to thank Councilmembers Berliner, Riemer, Elrich, Hucker, Leventhal, and Navarro for advocating for Sean Emerson’s proposal (see letter below). Hopefully their letter pressures MCDOT to begin studying the feasibility of improving the County’s current plan for BRT on US 29 sooner rather than later.
More information about Sean Emerson’s proposal will be presented on this website in the coming weeks.