Dear Chairman Anderson:
The High Road Foundation was grateful for the opportunity on August 10th to discuss with your staff the progress on the Corridor Forward Plan. Your staff’s analysis to date shows a lot of progress. We realize they are on a high planning level now and will shortly proceed to weed thru the details to get to a recommended solution. We feel it is important to identify some weeds in your staff’s analysis to date.
Let me begin by saying that The High Road Foundation’s team includes the foremost international experts in transit, including surface metal wheel, light and heavy rail, and monorail (rubber wheel/automated), as well as Bus Rapid Transit (Thomas Stone PhD, Formerly the President of Bombardier Transportation). It also includes the foremost international expert in structure design and civil engineering for all modes of transit including monorail (INNOVA Technologies). It also includes experienced real estate development professionals that have spent their entire lives living, working, and developing in Montgomery County and know all aspects of the area and the region. The team also includes a former County Council Member (Steve Silverman). In the Foundation’s analysis of the I-270 corridor, it hired a highly recognized local civil engineer (MHG) to identify existing corridor right of ways, and working with INNOVA, designed the grading for the extension of a transit alignment from the Shady Grove Red Line to the City of Frederick. The Foundation hired the foremost Transportation/Traffic Engineering firm (Cambridge Systematics) to analyze trips and demand for the segment in question and using the STOPS program, they prepared a report which showed conclusively the viability of the segment. Our report was subsequently modified by MDOT and used in their report to acknowledge the competitive viability of Monorail as a transit mode despite their modification of assumptions which severely limited their findings.
This team has been engaged with the County and MDOT for the past 5 years and has provided all its reports free to the County and MDOT. We have met numerous times with all interested parties including politicians, citizen groups, Rotaries, Chambers, Mayors and Council members, as well as of course the planning staff.
The complete letter can be found here.