Residents sound off on traffic issues in Montgomery Co.

Driving around a stretch of Montgomery County, Maryland, has many people frustrated, and they had the chance to speak about it at a town hall Monday night.

During the virtual community town hall on Zoom, residents said there are significant issues at Massachusetts Avenue and Little Falls Parkway, and beyond to Bethesda.

It’s all exacerbated by the construction on nearby Westbard Avenue, they said.

Neighborhood cut throughs and left turn restrictions are among the top concerns, residents said.

For 90 minutes, residents explained their frustrations, though many people were not identifiable as the meeting was online.

Nonetheless, one man said, “Whose boneheaded idea was it to all of a sudden put two police officers, every morning before 9 a.m. and every afternoon before 5 p.m., on Little Falls Road picking off people making that illegal left hand turn?”

Another woman said, “They put speed bumps on a section of Little Falls Parkway where there are no pedestrians.”

Another area resident, frustrated by people cutting through area neighborhoods said, “Safety is not being taken as seriously in side streets — that applies to Springfield, that applies to Kenwood, that applies to a lot of the neighborhoods.”

Local leaders who were on the call said they wanted to find solutions for commuters, but also accommodate residents who are in the area to use the park space.

Montgomery County recently started work on the second phase of a pilot program to transform 1.3 miles of Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda into a park. The project will repurpose two lanes of the parkway between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue.

Mike Riley, director of Montgomery Parks, said, “I realize that some people would like us to suspend that.”

However, he said, “I want to continue to test it, and if it shows that it can work from a traffic perspective by next spring or summer, we will be coming back to the community for a decision point about whether to make this permanent.”

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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