King Farm residents hope state will take another look at CCT plans
Rockville group is worried construction of transitway will disturb traffic, parking, pedestrian safety
Chances of making changes may be remote, but King Farm resident Joan Hannon hopes the Maryland Transit Administration will at least take a second look at its plan for the Corridor Cities Transitway.
Hannon leads the Coalition for the Preservation of King Farm, a group looking to reroute the proposed transitway from going through King Farm along King Farm Boulevard to going around King Farm.
She said the group is worried about the effect construction will have on traffic, parking, pedestrian safety and buildings in the community in the northern reaches of Rockville city limits.
"I read somewhere that transit values and community values should harmonize," Hannan said. "I don't know that how the CCT as it is envisioned today and how King Farm exists today are in total harmony."
The Corridor Cities Transitway is a planned 14- to 16-mile light rail or rapid bus line designed to connect the Shady Grove Metro station to Clarksburg. Development of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center at Belward Farm is contingent upon construction of the CCT.
Hannan's group made its pitch at a Dec. 15 Maryland Transit Administration hearing devoted to receiving public comment on the environmental impact of the alignment for the transitway. The coalition hopes to raise awareness of King Farm residents' concerns and plans to go before the Rockville City Council in 2011.
The King Farm coalition faces an uphill battle because the state owns land along King Farm Boulevard. State officials have also said the route was planned well before King Farm existed; King Farm's first residents moved to the community in the 1990s.
Rockville Councilman Piotr Gajewski, a King Farm resident, said he understands why his neighbors are uneasy about the project. Most notably, he said, King Farm residents already have a shuttle that connects the neighborhood to the Shady Grove Metro station.
"It serves no purpose for King Farm residents," Gajewski said. "People may need it to get to jobs at Science City, but that doesn't exist yet."
Gajewski also said he believes residents should have known when they bought in King Farm that the CCT was planned.
"I was aware of this when I bought and my analysis was it's going to be good for my investment," Gajewski said. "Tens of thousands of people will want my house and that can only be a good thing."
Hannan stressed that her group does not oppose the CCT nor does it oppose public mass transit. One of the group's chief concerns is splitting the community. That worry is rooted in plans, Hannan said, to terminate through-streets at the route along King Farm Boulevard.