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Chevy Chase Valley Neighborhood Traffic Study

Description

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The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is studying access improvements for the Chevy Chase Valley neighborhood, to mitigate the impacts of BRAC related traffic. The residents are concerned that access to their neighborhood is already very difficult from both Jones Bridge Road and Connecticut Avenue (MD185), and that it will be made more so by SHA's proposed intersection improvements.

Background

SHA's proposed intersection improvements at MD185/Jones Bridge Road include construction of a continuous southbound right-turn lane on MD185, as discussed by the Board on July 22, 2010. The community fears that a continuous flow of traffic using this lane will make it more difficult for them to get in and out of their community. SHA proposes to allow right-turns-on-red from the right-turn lane, so while drivers are legally required to stop at a red signal before proceeding, there likely will not be significant breaks in the stream of traffic at many hours of the day. The community originally requested a traffic signal on Jones Bridge Road at Spring Valley Road, but were told that the short distance between this signal and the one at MD185 would adversely affect the latter signal. They then suggested constructing a new roadway connection between the western terminus of Montrose Driveway and Jones Bridge Road opposite Platt Ridge Drive.

In response, MCDOT offered to conduct a neighborhood traffic study to look at four options for alleviating this problem. The alternatives, developed with input from the community and our staff, were:

  1. Installation of a new traffic signal at MD185/Montrose Driveway, as noted above.
  2. Installation of a new traffic signal at Jones Bridge Road/Spring Valley Road.
  3. Construction of a new road extending through North Chevy Chase Local Park from the western terminus of Montrose Driveway (Option 1) or Woodlawn Road (Option 2) to Jones Bridge Road at Platt Ridge Drive, a signalized intersection.
  4. Construction of a new road from the western terminus of Montrose Driveway (Option 1) or Woodlawn Road (Option 2) to the existing park road in North Chevy Chase Local Park.

MCDOT's consultant's concludes that the Alternative 3 is the best permanent solution – a new road through North Chevy Chase Local Park tying into Platt Ridge Drive. However, the Planning Department and Planning Board need to develop a formal staff recommendation on the consultant report, particularly since the recommended alternative requires parkland. Since SHA's goal is to get the BRAC intersection projects constructed as near as possible to the September 15, 2011 BRAC opening date, there is not sufficient time to develop interagency consensus on recommendations, design and construct any new road in advance of SHA's project. Therefore, the consultant also recommended that Alternative 2 – a traffic signal at Jones Bridge Road/Spring Valley Road – be built as an interim solution.

MCDOT has endorsed the consultant's findings and indicated that they will be installing the signal prior to SHA's construction. They would like to meet with our staff and the Planning Board to discuss the proposed new road on parkland sometime this fall.

Status

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation released the traffic study (pdf, 9MB) in July 2010.

On September 16th, staff briefed the Planning Board on the status of the project. Read the staff summary. During their roundtable discussion, the Planning Board stated that Alternative 3 Option 2 (extending Woodlawn Road to Platt Ridge Road) and both options for Alternative 4 (extending Woodlawn Road or Montrose Driveway to the North Chevy Chase Local Park entrance driveway) would cause too great an adverse impact to the park and should not be studied further. They consented to allow the study to proceed with Alternative 3 Option 1 (extending Montrose Driveway to Platt Ridge Road through North Chevy Chase Local Park), as well as Alternative 2 (the installation of a traffic signal at Jones Bridge Road/Spring Valley Drive) and directed Parks staff to participate in the study.

On November 15, 2010 (pdf, 77KB), the Chevy Chase Valley Citizens Association outlined their position on the recommendations in the Chevy Chase Valley Traffic Study.

View appendices detailing applicable master plans, policies, guidelines and other resources.

Date of last update: November 17, 2010