Tell the County Council you Want the ICC Trail!
Send input to the Council by March 9, 2009
Important: Last minute issue regarding Muncaster Mill Road... see this letter for details
Specifically we need to support this option in the vicinity of Muncaster Mill Road.
The Council is voting on a master plan amendment that will determine the ultimate fate of the missing sections of trail (sections which the state decided not to build but the county still can). The vote will be held on the morning of Tuesday March 10th.
Send emails or make calls to County Council members:
For years cyclists were promised a spectacular 18-mile hiker-biker trail from Gaithersburg to Laurel along the Intercounty Connector highway. But now Montgomery County planners may cut the trail into pieces.
The County Council is deciding whether to accept or reject the Planning Board's recommended amendment to remove chunks of the trail from the county master plan. Only 60% of the trail would remain in the master plan. The result wouldn't be a trail but a series of disconnected trail segments linked by sidewalk-type paths alongside major roads. This would force trail users to cross countless roads, driveways and shopping center entrances, destroying the trail's appeal and transportation value. Most severe would be the detour around Upper Paint Branch Park which would zig-zag along New Hampshire Avenue, East Randolph Road, Fairland Road, Rt. 29 and Briggs Chaney Road.
Planners are citing environmental grounds for detouring the trail around this park, even though the six-lane ICC highway will run through the park!
It's vital to keep the entire trail, especially the part through Upper Paint Branch Park, in the master plan. The master plan is the only thing that's gotten us this far.
The Board made the same recommendation in 2005 and the Council overruled it then. Let's ask the Council to do this again. The Board is willing put the Upper Paint Branch segment into its internal plans for future study, but that is not enough.
So please, ask the County Council to reject this amendment to the county master plan, which would remove much of the ICC trail from the plan.
Members of the County Council:
I am writing today to urge you to reject the master plan amendment that would remove multiple segments of the ICC trail from the County's master plan. Montgomery County needs more uninterrupted paved off-road routes along major transportation and recreation corridors, not routes full of gaps and detours. Under the amendment, which was submitted by the Planning Board, only 60% of the trail would remain in the master plan, with the rest replaced by long and unsuitable detours along busy roads like New Hampshire Avenue. The detours would force trail users to cross countless side streets, driveways and shopping center entrances and go through hazardous intersections.
In particular, please keep the trail segment in Upper Paint Branch Park in the master plan. The Planning Board has cited environmental grounds for detouring the trail around this park, even though the ICC highway will run through the park. The Board made the same recommendation in 2005 and you overruled it then. Please do so again. The Planning Board is willing to put this segment into its internal plans for future study, but that is not enough.
Please make a firm statement in support of bike and pedestrian paths by voting against the master plan amendment that would carve up this trail. Thank you.
Our thanks go to M-NCPPC bike staff, especially county bike planner Chuck Kines, for supporting and studying the ICC trail with diligence and creativity. But trail decisions are ultimately made at a higher level...
Chair, Montgomery Bicycle Advocates (MoBike)
7121 Thomas Branch Dr.
Bethesda, Md. 20817
Back to MoBike main page