Detailed Responses - County Council District 2
Do you support the Locally Preferred Alternative selected by Gov. O'Malley for the Purple Line, including an at-grade light rail line with a trail alongside it on the Georgetown Branch right of way between Bethesda and Silver Spring?
Sharon Dooley (D) Yes.
Royce Hanson (D) I support the preferred alternative for the Purple Line.
Charles Kirchman (D) Yes, I support the at grade light rail line with adjacent trail for the Purple Line between Bethesda and Silver Spring. I prefer light rail over a rapid bus option as the buses will be caught up in the ever increasing gridlock on the roads in the area. The cut and cover option adds excessive costs and will prevent the riders from enjoying the scenery as they ride the train.
Craig Rice (D) Yes, I do.
Which is a higher priority: maintaining Ride-On Service or building the $80 million parking garage in Bethesda?
Sharon Dooley (D) Ride on buses
Royce Hanson (D) Maintaining Ride-On service is a higher priority than a new Bethesda Parking Garage
Charles Kirchman (D) I would give the funding of Ride-On Service higher priority than the construction of the $80 million Bethesda parking garage. In order to maintain and also increase ridership it is critical to keep the Ride-On Service properly funded. Parking garages are important but those who benefit the most from their construction, the developers and businesses in the specific area, should be absorbing a portion of the costs if the revenues from the parking meter receipts are not enough to support the bonds needed to construct the facility.
Craig Rice (D) Maintaining the Ride-on service is the higher priority. As I talk to residents that use our Ride-on bus system, they want more routes so we at least need to keep the routes we currently have, but I would like to see us expand the service to underserved areas.
Do you approve or disapprove of County traffic engineers' current policy of giving equal priority on the road to autos that carry a few people and buses that carry many people?
Sharon Dooley (D) No.
Royce Hanson (D) I do not approve of DOT policy that gives equal priority to autos and buses.
Charles Kirchman (D) In principle I support the idea of giving buses higher priority over automobiles. In response to the suggestions from ACT for prioritizing bus traffic over automobile traffic the County Department of Transportation brought up some valid concerns. The best answer to this would be to implement the ideas for giving buses higher priority on a trial basis along one major road. Criteria would need to be set in advance to measure the success or failure of the test.
Craig Rice (D) No, we should have priority lanes for buses that carry many people. The only way we can entice people to use our mass transit system is if it is faster than if they were driving on their own. If its the same, then they won't use it.
Should any money be spent on increasing highway capacity associated with the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan before a light rail Corridor Cities Transitway from Shady Grove to Clarksburg is fully funded for construction?
Sharon Dooley (D) No, the CCT staging should have been moved up.
Royce Hanson (D) The staging recommendations of the Great Seneca Science Corridor Sector Plan should be followed with respect to the CCT and road improvements.
Charles Kirchman (D) The only way to ensure that the Corridor Cities Transitway is built is to have the project fully funded prior to building roads for the Great Seneca Science Corridor. Once road capacity is increased their will be nothing to stop the development. The CCT could be delayed for years by funding problems, disagreements over alignments and rail versus bus. Let’s get the plans and funding for the CCT completed prior to moving forward with this development.
Craig Rice (D) No. The CCT needs to be fully funded before the plans associated with the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan move forward.
Should approval of Transit-Oriented Development near Metro stations be tied to the movement of cars?
Sharon Dooley (D) I do not understand why it would be, so No.
Royce Hanson (D) Cars should move in TOD development areas near metro stations--just more slowly to accommodate pedestrians and bikers.
Charles Kirchman (D) Approval of transit oriented development should be tied to the movement of cars. Any development that is approved will generate an increase of additional vehicle trips no matter how convenient mass transit is. Many of the areas where the transit oriented development is slated to be constructed is in areas where there is already significant traffic congestion. The management of the existing and future vehicle traffic does need to be addressed.
Craig Rice (D) Mainly reliant upon mass transit, TOD should not be tied to the movement of cars as TOD, is the creation of compact, walkable communities centered around high quality train systems. This makes it possible to live a higher quality life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival.