August 21, 2013

Given the tight funding environment for transportation projects, it was nice to learn that the first phase of the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) will be underway soon [“Montgomery transit plan is broken into 2 segments,” Metro, July 28]. The southern segment will pass through a rapidly developing mixed-use corridor and has the potential to serve more people than does the later phase.

However, for residents, the system may be both difficult to access and inconvenient. Most of the nearby neighborhoods were built around automobile access to arterial roads and highways, making it hard to walk or bike quickly and safely to the planned CCT stops. To make the transitway more useful, planners should focus on improvingwalking and biking connections. Ample bike racks will be important, as will free parking for those who need to drive. Wider sidewalks with plantings that buffer walkers from cars, well-marked crosswalks with pedestrian-activated warning lights and bike lanes protected by bollards could also attract riders.

Those who live near the CCT route can drive to the Shady Grove Metro station in 10 to 15 minutes, while the ride time alone on the first phase of the CCT is estimated to take up to 35 minutes, not including getting to a stop and waiting for the bus. If using the CCT is not enjoyable, residents will stick to driving, and the system will serve a limited number of commuters and employers.

Daniel Moss, Gaithersburg