Corridor Cities Transitway’s impact on King Farm

The October edition of the King Farm Chronicle, the community’s monthly newspaper which is mailed to over 3,500 homes within King Farm, will feature the upcoming Rockville City election.  They asked the candidates to provide answers to four questions, limiting our response to 250 words or less, by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 2, 2009.

Now that the deadline has passed, I thought others may be interested in my opinions (I’m happy to give my opinion whenever someone asks) but I’ll post each separately in case anyone wants to respond (they must be somewhat controversial, otherwise why ask me?).

Here’s the second one:

2. What mode of transportation do you favor for the Corridor Cities Transitway and why? Do you favor a grade separation for the CCT at MD 355 and King Farm Boulevard? How will you make certain King Farm residents have input into the CCT decisions on stations, traffic, and design?

To serve the largest number of people and to be attractive to people working in the businesses served by the CCT, I strongly recommend light rail. It’s twice as expensive as a bus line, but it is much much less expensive than the multi-billion dollar expansion of #270. King Farm will certainly be the neighborhood most affected by the CCT and working with the State Transit Administration is slow, complex, and often frustrating, but the City will need to follow this issue closely as it proceeds as well as coordinate with our state delegation.

For any community issue like this, I’d tackle it in the same way we handle major advocacy efforts in my work at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. I’d form a small advisory group consisting of informed and concerned residents and business owners, develop a set of goals and a strategy for achieving them in consultation with the city’s professional staff, keep the Council and community regularly informed to keep the issue active (which could include newsletters and Web site), and ask the City Manager to assign a staff person to monitor the project and serve as a coordinator. At regular intervals, the advisory group and Council would meet to discuss progress and identify next steps, which may include such mundane tasks as writing a letter to more active lobbying in Annapolis to legal action (but that’s a last resort). I recognize that the process is rather mundane, but doing the work is much more exciting and fun.

I’ve added several links to provide details, but there’s also a blog devoted to transportation in the DC region which has several posts related to the Corridor Cities Transitway.

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