Armed with a petition signed by 921 of their neighbors, leaders of the New Rockcrest Citizens Association appeared before the Rockville City Council this week to denounce plans for the temporary closing of a bridge in their neighborhood to permit Metro construction.
Nearly 100 citizens grilled council members for more than an hour as to what city officials can do to prevent the closing of John C. Brown Memorial Bridge at the intersection of Rockville Pike and Edmonston Drive.
The bridge provides the only convenient access from the community to Rockville Pike, citizens contend. It is scheduled to close early next year for at least six months so that it can be widened and resurfaced.
Mayor William E. Hanna Jr. asked city manager Larry Blick to set up a meeting between neighborhood leaders and Metro officials to discuss the problem. Hanna also agreed to have a sign posted near the bridge alerting travelers to its closing and bearing a number to call to register opposition.
Citizens at this week's meeting accused city officials of "selling out to Metro."
"You should have studied the impact on the citizens before you decided to let the bridge be closed," charged one Rockcrest resident.
Hanna instructed the city attorney to investigate whether the city can take legal action against Metro, which, the mayor charged, "isn't honoring the agreement they made with us."
In other business the council introduced an ordiance that would prevent commuter parking on some residential streets. The proposed ordinance is in response to complaints from Twinbrook area residents who live near large government office buildings. Under the measure, residents would receive parking permits and only they would be allowed to park in the area during the working hours.
A majority of council members also voted to establish new election districts and to provide election day registration for residents who are already registered Montgomery County voters. Elections for mayor and council members are held every two years in April.
In other action, city manager Blick told the council the city will receive $240,000 from the sale of the Dawson Adams tract to developer Anthony C. Koones. The six acres near downtown Rockville will be redeveloped into a moderate income housing project. The $8 million project is slated for completion in 18 months.