In the latest of his Gaithersbungle series on Greater Greater Washington, David Alpert gets more specific about his previously mentioned better ways to spend the $3.8 billion that is planning on being spent to widen a stretch of I-270 to the Northwest of Washington, DC. As part of his story, Alpert produced this map:
And here are his specs on what the map represents:
- Extension of the Red Line to Germantown. The Red Line would use the I-370 and I-270 right-of-way from Shady Grove to Germantown, then end in an underground station at Germantown Town Center.
- All-day, bidirectional MARC service to Frederick. A new station near White Flint, to serve the planned, dense, transit-oriented development in that area. And through-routing of MARC trains down at least to King Street.
- A MARC extension to Hagerstown, using an old and abandoned right-of-way.
- The Corridor Cities Transitway, using the less circuitous original alignment and an extension to Clarksburg Town Center. With the Red Line, riders from north of Germantown wouldn’t have to ride all the way through the office parks west of Gaithersburg to get to Rockville, Bethesda or DC.
- A streetcar along Route 355 (Rockville Pike/Hungerford Dr/Frederick Rd) from the White Flint Mall to Gaithersburg. It would stop at the various Metro stations, Montgomery College, Gaithersburg MARC, and Lakeforest Mall before turning west to a new Red Line station and Metropolitan Grove MARC, where it would connect to the CCT.
Something like this would be a wonder to see. It would show that Maryland, in many ways a very progressive and transit-supportive state, is making a statement about car dependence that would support some of the measures it has taken to face climate change and save sensitive areas like Chesapeake Bay. It would allow for proper development in these areas while still focusing energy on DC. I think the proposal that Alpert and friends have created is far superior.