Traffic in Bethesda on Oct. 18. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Allison Macfarlane’s Oct. 30 Local Opinions essay, “The half-baked Bethesda plan,” on the proposed downtown Bethesda sector plan and its related traffic, committed the exact sin she accused others of: relying on an official model that bears no relation to reality.

Ms. Macfarlane’s preferred model focused on how fast cars move instead of how long it takes to reach a destination. By that measure, it’s more convenient to live miles down an empty interstate from the nearest store than across a busy street from it.

I live in downtown Bethesda and don’t suffer from any “traffic Armageddon.” I reach stores and the Metro quickly. More people should have that opportunity.

Ben Ross, Bethesda

The writer is a former president of
Action Committee for Transit.

I can respond to Allison Macfarlane with one word: Glenmont. What an opportunity it would be for Marriott to lead the way in bringing our neighborhood up to the standards of all the other area transit zones.

This part of Montgomery County is like a Third World country. We have land and small-business owners who would love tax incentives along with the addition of Marriott headquarters to upgrade their locations and bring better services to residents here at one end of the Red Line. We have an underused transit zone, are close to the underutilized Intercounty Connector and are ripe for development.

Glenmont could give Marriott the land it needs, an excellent location and a chance to help an area that needs the upgrading and the growth.

Alan Dechter, Brookeville