Washington Post posts Op-Ed by Mark Pierzchala

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In partnership with Prince George’s County, Montgomery County recently convinced the  Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to consider a more complete and environmentally sensitive approach to the State’s plans for easing congestion on I-270 and I-495. The new alternative to be studied includes managed lanes, reversible lanes, active traffic management techniques, spot improvements, expansion of park & ride facilities, and dedicates some toll revenues to already planned transit projects.

But as Team Rockville member Mark Pierzchala points out, this won’t be sufficient in his recent Washington Post op-ed.  As he notes, “There is too much sprawl in the region for transit alone to solve the commuting crisis…The mess is decades in the making.”  As an alternative to the endless cycle of growth and sprawl encouraged by bigger and faster highways, he suggests a better use of land through transit-oriented development.

This year, Rockville finally embraced a transit-oriented development near the Twinbrook Metro called Twinbrook Quarter. But it was a rough fight, and the project nearly failed on the issue of school crowding, even though it will pay for more school capacity than students it will generate. I don’t blame parents for being angry about schools bursting at the seams. They’re paying high property tax rates, and their children deserve better. But their children are going to grow up, and they should be able to live and work in Rockville as young adults if they so choose.

Think this is too radical for Rockville?  Actually, transit-oriented development has been around for at least twenty years and the DC region has several examples that serve as  national models. Indeed, Rockville is actually falling behind in this kind of land use planning, even though it’s an ideal solution to the region’s housing and transportation problems.

Thankfully, as our Councilmember, Mark is thinking ahead and as a part of Team Rockville, he brings with him a group of thoughtful, experienced, and diverse residents to address community issues today to create an even better future for our children and grandchildren. Mark served two terms as Councilmember from 2009 to 2013 then returned in 2015. On the Council, he has reduced spending while growing Rockville’s tax base. His experiences on the Council, as a small-business owner, as president of the College Gardens Civic Association, and his stint as chair of the Town Center Action Team, as well as his biking and walking tours of all City streets give him a unique perspective on the needs of residents and businesses.

To read the entire op-ed, see “The Interstate 270 Mess Was Decades in the Making” by Mark Pierzchala in the July 5 edition of the Washington Post.

Sima Osdoby Says It’s Time to Stop Saying “No” and to Take Charge of Our Future

KatzOsdoby-67The King Farm Candidate Forum last Tuesday was the last public opportunity that candidates for Rockville Mayor and Council could share their vision for Rockville and why they deserve your vote on Tuesday, November 3.  We’ll be sharing our closing statements as a series, concluding with Sima Osdoby, candidate for Mayor:

Bridget Newton says she serves on other organizations to represent the interests of Rockville.

Well, then that is just fine, but I don’t know what she was doing in Annapolis on February 26, 2015 at a hearing on state legislation the city considered a priority. The Mayor and Council had voted to oppose proposed changes to the state ethics law (Mayor & Council minutes, Item 16, 6/23/14; Video: http://j.mp/1jT5s6l). Bridget Newton would have been expected to present that viewpoint in Annapolis. Three days before, she informed the Council that she would not “be available to testify on behalf of Rockville.”

Another Council member went instead, only to find Bridget Newton there after all! But the Rockville Mayor in fact testified AGAINST the City’s position on behalf of another organization (caught on video: http://j.mp/1Mk0xSa at 00.56.15). Not only did Bridget Newton fail to represent her own city, but she never informed her colleagues she would testify AGAINST the City’s position—an erosion of trust and responsibility.

I’ve enjoyed serving my New Mark Commons neighborhood and the Rockville community for Continue reading “Sima Osdoby Says It’s Time to Stop Saying “No” and to Take Charge of Our Future”