The Government's "Road Diet"

Does Your Road Need to be on a Diet?
By Sharon Cohen

After the holidays, many of us go on the proverbial post New Year's diet (maybe a dry January too), but does your road need to be on a diet?
Road diets are all the rage now, foisted on the public in the guise of commuter, biker and pedestrian safety.  Not that anyone is against bikers (my future son-in-law is an avid biker).  Nor would any sane person not be concerned about commuter, biker or pedestrian safety.  But the rush to impose "road diet" raging among our county leadership is causing real rage among county residents who need to get to work, to the Metro station, to get groceries, to make it to medical appointments and to take our kids to school.  Instead we seem to be stuck in endless traffic jams because so-called road diets have taken away road lanes for cars.  
Further, "road diets" do nothing good for the environment as cars have to wait often for 5 or more light changes at the Old Georgetown Road and Tuckerman Lane intersection just to get through one light.  How much gas is now being wasted on intersection gridlock?  
Now Montgomery County wants to take more lanes away; reducing Tuckerman LN from 4 lanes to just 2 -- one each going each way.  This "road diet" would be imposed on the section of Tuckerman LN just past Old Georgetown Rd heading to the Grosvernor Metro station.  If you commute on Tuckerman LN to the Grosvenor Metro, add 25 minutes of travel time after the impending road diet goes into effect.  Ditto if trying to get your kids to Walter Johnson High School, Holy Cross or Georgetown Prep along the same route.  Ditto if trying to get to Suburban Hospital along these roads.  Ditto for trying to get to any of the shops at Wildwood Shopping Center or the Giant and other shops on the other side.
Most of us trying to work, raise families and manage our busy lives have no clue about which of our roads are about to be put on a so-called diet until it is done.  Only then do we find ourselves stuck in massive gridlock wondering what happened.  
Last week on Wednesday, February 15 (of course scheduled for 3:30 pm when you are likely working or trying to pick up kids from school) a public zoom meeting was held about the planned Tuckerman LN "road diet."  Bet you had no clue about this public session!  Surprise the notice from the County's Office of Public Information about the public zoom sesion was pushed out on Monday, February 13th, maybe you had some more notice if you were lucky.  But this is the check the box pattern of County officials: provide notice of public session -- check, hold public comment session - check.  Too bad most did not know nor could participate in the 3:30 pm zoom session but nevertheless there was an opportunity for public input - CHECK
Undoubtedly, most County residents did not know about this or missed the 3:30 pm zoom session, but please send a strong message to your County Council members to put the brakes on "road diets," especially those planned around or near Metro Stations as is the case with the Tuckerman LN "road diet." Don't know your County Council Member, put in your address here and you can figure out who is your member. Please send similar message of opposition to "road diets" to all the At Large County Council members:
Then PLEASE cc:  the county transportation email set up just to receive comments about the planned Tuckerman LN road diet:  
If you know of other "road diets" in the works OR already done, let us know at [email protected].
Sharon Cohen is a former Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party.
Montgomery County Republican Party