The MDOT has completed work on the CCT, as the CCT Project Team has successfully identified cost-saving strategies intended to improve the likelihood that the CCT could be constructed and implemented faster and at a lower cost. Strategies include the potential redesign of the Operations & Maintenance Facility with an expandable configuration to accommodate 60 articulated vehicles, stations that are consistent with the Montgomery County BRT station prototype, and targeted shifts between CCT segments with dedicated guideway, mixed traffic, or repurposed lanes. The cost-saving strategies and other supporting documentation have been prepared for consideration by a future project sponsor and presentation for public input once a sponsoring agency and funding source(s) have been identified.
The Project Team is refining the CCT Project: Phase I alignment between the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station and the Shady Grove Metrorail Station, including the two terminus stations and the intervening stations. In addition, revisions/re-evaluations of the projected CCT Project bus ridership are underway. By Winter 2018, the Project Team expects to complete the alignment/station work and update the design documents.
Following approval by both the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) Project was released on August 18, 2017. The EA documents the CCT alternatives development process and identifies potential natural, cultural, and socioeconomic effects that may result from the proposed CCT Project. The Environmental Assessment (EA) for the CCT Project: Phase I can be downloaded under Studies and Reports.
The MTA has continued to refine the CCT Project based on input from the public, from federal, state, and local government agencies, and in a continuous effort to make the project more efficient and cost effective. The more substantive changes are described below:
- Width of Transitway– The width of the CCT Transitway has been reduced from 28 feet wide to 26 feet wide. This new width still meets acceptable design standards while reducing capital costs and the amount of impervious pavement that effects stormwater runoff.
- CCT Platform Sizing- CCT platforms had initially been sized at 150 feet in length. To reduce costs, the Platform lengths have been reduced to 125 feet, which will still accommodate two articulated buses. In addition, a ridership analysis has been performed for each station and a determination has been made that a number of the stations will be initially constructed at 65 feet in length, but designed and constructed with the provision they can be expanded to the full 125 feet length in the future as ridership grows. Full length platforms would be constructed initially at Metropolitan Grove, Kentlands, Crown Farm, and West Gaither. Reduced length platforms would be constructed at Firstfield, NIST, LSC West, LSC Central, DANAC, and East Gaither. Platforms at Traville Gateway and USG would be reduced size also, while the station at Shady Grove would be integrated into the WMATA Metrorail Station.
- New Bridge alignment over I-270– A new bridge alignment has been designed over I-270. The new alignment will save capital costs on the project and avoid some major utility impacts. The new alignment also has the benefit of removing a segment of the CCT along Fields Road that would have been supported by embankments and retaining wall. The modified design of this segment will be at-grade transitway and will reduce visual impacts.
- Grade Crossing at Key West Avenue and Diamondback Drive– The CCT has analyzed this intersection using both an at-grade crossing and a grade separated crossing. A decision has been made to proceed with an at-grade crossing to reduce project costs, including the reduction of some major utility relocations that would have been required with a grade separated crossing. A thorough traffic analysis has also indicated that an at-grade crossing can be integrated into the existing intersection, minimizing the effects on general traffic flow through the intersection.
- New alignment along Darnestown Road and Muddy Branch Road– The CCT alignment in this area of the project has traversed from Key West Avenue and Johns Hopkins Drive, through the Belward Farm property, to the median of Muddy Branch Road and then to the south side of Great Seneca Highway. A new alignment has been established that will use Key West Avenue, Darnestown Road and Muddy Branch Road in mixed traffic between the intersections of Key West Avenue/Johns Hopkins Drive and Great Seneca Highway/Muddy Branch Road. The reason for this change is that Belward Farm is currently considered eligible as an historic resource. Federal rules stipulate that intrusion onto historic properties should be avoided if possible.
- Alignment along Great Seneca Highway- The alignment on the south side of Great Seneca Highway has been shifted approximately ten feet closer to Great Seneca Highway between Upshire Circle and Muddy Branch Road. This change has been made in response to community concerns and to minimize park impacts. Portions of this segment of the alignment will also consider a noise wall, presuming existing procedures are met such as approval by residents most directly impacted by noise from the CCT.
Since our last newsletter, many new initiatives and design activities have been undertaken. In this edition of CCT News, we introduce the CCT Area Advisory Committees (AACs), provide an update on the alignment based on the 15% Design Plans, share the status of the Phase I Environmental Assessment and associated Public Hearing, and present upcoming milestones.
2012 - 2014
15% DESIGN PLANS
On August 15, 2014, the CCT project team delivered 15% Concept Preliminary Engineering Plans to MTA for review. Since then, the MTA has been gathering comments on the plans from agency stakeholders such as State Highway Administration, Montgomery County Department of Transportation, the Cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The plans contain more detailed engineering for the Phase I section of the CCT. This level of design detail is used to assess the environmental, cultural, and property impacts of the proposed transitway and develop a more accurate construction cost estimate.
Through the design process the transitway alignment has changed in three locations since the Locally Preferred Alternative was announced in May 2012.
- Along the CSX tracks by Metropolitan Grove, the transitway would shift from the north side of the tracks to the south side of the tracks.
- Along Muddy Branch Road between Darnestown Road and Great Seneca Highway, the transitway would be located in the existing median of Muddy Branch Road.
- Near Key West Avenue, the transitway alignment would shift from the east side to the west side of Broschart Road at an intersection with an existing driveway. It would then cross under Key West Avenue.
August 18, 2014
The three AACs have been busy since the joint kickoff meeting in April and will continue to meet through March 2014. Every AAC will discuss the same general topics – alignment, traffic, urban design, station design, environmental stewardship, bicycle and pedestrian access, operations, project costs and funding, and construction impacts – but depending on the local conditions within the AAC study area and the particular interests of the AAC members, the timing and emphasis of the discussions may vary from one AAC to the next.
AACs One and Two each held meetings in May and July and discussed the proposed alignment, station location, intersection design, and traffic analysis and how it influences project decision making. The focus of September’s meetings will be on urban design and how it integrates bicycle and pedestrian access, passenger safety, and green infrastructure into the overall CCT design.
AAC Three met in May and held a walking tour in June to discuss the typical section options for the median of King Farm Boulevard. AAC Three members were asked to provide feedback on two transitway typical section options. The options were first presented at the May meeting and the June walking tour allowed members to visualize the two options while standing in the field where the changes would occur and to ask additional questions. AAC Three will be meeting in August to summarize the typical section decision and discuss traffic.
AAC meeting materials, including meeting summaries can be found here.
MISSION HILLS STUDY
May 21, 2014
On December 3, 2013, members of the CCT Project Team met with residents of Mission Hills to discuss their concerns about the transitway, its location relative to their homes, and vehicular access to their community. Residents expressed concern that the addition of the transitway, along with the existing congestion on Muddy Branch Road, would make it difficult to exit the community during morning and afternoon peak travel times. Mission Drive is the only access point to the Mission Hills community of 52 homes. Consequently, the MTA agreed to study options to address the community’s concerns.
The resulting study evaluated four options and compared them to the alignment shown at the October 2013 public meeting. View the four options. The study compared the options including the basis of transit operations, traffic and travel time impacts, costs, stations, stormwater management, and environmental resources. View the full study.
The results of the study were shared at a community meeting with Mission Hills on May 20, 2014. Feedback was provided by residents of the community. No additional studies are proposed at this time.
AREA ADVISORY COMMITTEES KICK-OFF EVENT
April 22, 2014
On Saturday, April 5, 2014, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) hosted the Area Advisory Committee Kick-off event. Henry Kay, Executive Director, Transit Development and Delivery of the MTA opened the meeting asking us to Imagine the Possibilities of what the CCT can become. Following his introductory remarks, five speakers explored various aspects of planning a BRT system. Dan Hardy of the Renaissance Planning Group discussed the Corridor Cities Transitway planning process and Jack Gonsalves of Parsons Brinckerhoff presented What is BRT? describing features and systems from across the United States. After a short break, Greg Slater, Director of Planning and Preliminary Engineering of the Maryland State Highway Administration explained the importance of Complete Streets and how it balances a variety of users on roadways. Stu Sirota of the TND Planning Group demonstrated various Walkable, Livable Communities and offered tools for how communities can change to embrace transit. The final speaker, Otto Condon of ZGF Architects, discussed Station Design & Amenities and presented numerous examples of community transit stations.
Please click the links above to view the presentations given during the Kick-Off event.
AREA ADVISORY COMMITTEES TO BEGIN IN MARCH 2014
February 10, 2014
A cornerstone of the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) outreach efforts is the establishment of Area Advisory Committees (AAC). The AACs are a mechanism to provide citizens along the corridor and throughout the region with the opportunity to participate in the project. It reaffirms and maintains the Maryland Transit Administration’s commitment to work with communities in the development of the CCT.
MTA sought nominations from the public to assist in the project and are proud to announce that the members of the AACs have been selected.
Three AACs were formed to cover the full project length. Please click here to see a map of the AAC boundaries.
The initial meeting for each of the three AACs will be held in March 2014. Meeting details can be found on the Area Advisory Committees page. The Maryland Transit Administration hopes that information about the project and discussions regarding specific community concerns will be shared with residents by way of the members of the AACs. Also, AAC members can solicit feedback from the community to share with the project team.
MISSION HILLS ALIGNMENT STUDY
February 10, 2014
An alignment and station locations for the CCT project have been developed and were presented at the October 30, 2013 CCT Public Open House. In the area near the Mission Hills community and the Belward Farm, the CCT alignment, as currently defined, travels from the intersection of Johns Hopkins Drive and Belward Campus Drive, through the proposed Belward Farm development along an extension of Belward Campus Drive, along the east side of Muddy Branch Road to the intersection of Muddy Branch Road and Great Seneca Highway, and then along the south side of Great Seneca Highway. While travelling along the east side of Muddy Branch Road, the transitway would cross Mission Drive and a new traffic signal would be installed. To view the current alignment in this area click here.
On December 3, 2013, members of the CCT Project Team met with residents of Mission Hills to discuss their concerns about the transitway, its location in relation to their homes, and vehicular access to their homes. Residents expressed concern that the addition of the transitway, along with the existing congestion on Muddy Branch Road, may make it difficult to exit the community during morning and afternoon peak travel times. Mission Drive is the only access point to the Mission Hills community.
In recognition of these concerns, the CCT Project Team is looking into alternative alignments in the Mission Hills area. The alternatives being investigated include locating the transitway in the median of Muddy Branch Road as opposed to along the east side and shifting the transitway alignment to the east side of Belward Farm and connecting to Great Seneca Highway, thereby removing the alignment from Muddy Branch Road. The study team will be reviewing these alternative alignments and sharing them with the Mission Hills community in April of this year.
MTA MOVES FORWARD WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF CCT AREA ADVISORY COMMITTEES
January 7, 2014
Thank you to those individuals who submitted a self-nomination form to participate in a CCT Area Advisory Committee (AAC). The process resulted in more than 70 submissions. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and its project partners are working now to review the self nominations forms to determine the final AAC composition. AAC members will be notified in mid-January. In the meantime, the project team is working to organize AAC launch activities including a kick-off event.
As a reminder, the AACs were created by MTA to encourage involvement from the community regarding the design and construction of the transitway and the 14 proposed transit stations. Decisions on the system design will be informed through facilitated discussions at quarterly meetings. Possible topics of discussion include station design amenities, traffic management, transit operations, safety and security, transitway access and community interface. For more information on the AACs, please view our handout.
AREA ADVISORY COMMITTEES (AAC) NOW ACCEPTING SELF NOMINATION FORMS
CCT Area Advisory Committees (AAC) are being created by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to encourage involvement from the community regarding the design and construction of the transitway and the 14 proposed transit stations. Decisions on the system design will be informed through facilitated discussions at quarterly meetings.
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE UPDATE
On October 30, 2013, more than 130 residents, elected officials and interested stakeholders joined MTA representatives and staff to learn more about the CCT project. The Public Open House, held at the Conference Center at the Universities at Shady Grove featured advanced design concepts for the CCT project. Engineers were on hand to walk interested attendees through aerial maps of the alignment and detailed typical sections for Phase I of the project. Phase I will extend from the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station south to the Shady Grove Metrorail Station and includes additional transit operations to two new CCT stops located just south of Darnestown Road. Display board and other pertinent project information were available for residents and interested stakeholders to review. Attendees discussed and provided comments on a variety of topics including noise, vehicle type, ridership, stormwater management options and traffic operations.
This meeting also served as the launch for the CCT Area Advisory Committees. Interested attendees asked questions about the process and took time to complete self nomination forms. A limited number of concerns were identified by participants at the meeting including localized noise and parking impacts, a request for an alignment modifications near Muddy Branch Road and King Farm Boulevard and the need for public art as part of system amenities. Written comments received will be reviewed by the MTA. To access the Public Open House maps and display board, please click here.
OCTOBER 2013 OPEN HOUSE MATERIALS
The materials presented at the October 30, 2013 Public Open House are available for review. The MTA has assembled a set of boards that provide information on the history, station concepts, environmental studies, schedule and other current development details for CCT project. In addition, maps of the Phase I alignment showing the current level of design are available for review.
The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will be hosting a Public Open House on
October 30th for the Corridor Cities Tansitway (CCT) Project.
- Review the Phase I alignment modifications
- Learn more about ongoing environmental studies and field activities, station concept plans, the Area Advisory Committees and project schedule
$100 MILLION IN TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT FOR THE CCT PROJECT
On August 5, 2013 Governor Martin O’Malley, along with Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, and other key officials, announced that $100 Million has been budgeted to the CCT project to complete final design and right-of-way acquisition. The funds for the CCT project will enable the project to advance through the three critical steps of planning and project development, final design, and right-of-way acquisition. The $100 Million is part of nearly $650 Million in Transportation Investments that were announced for projects in Montgomery County. The funds are available due to the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013.
At the announcement, held near the entrance of the Bethesda Metrorail Station, Governor O’Malley emphasized the importance of the transportation investments. “Today’s announcement creates more than 9,700 jobs for Montgomery County, reduces traffic congestion and revitalizes communities”. Lt. Governor Brown emphasized the importance of “making an investment to support our growing economy, create thousands of jobs, and expand opportunities in our communities”. Various displays accompanied the Transportation Investment Announcement. To view the CCT display click here.
CCT TEAM MEETS WITH WASHINGTONIAN WOODS COMMUNITY
At the invitation of the Washingtonian Woods Home Owners Association, MTA presented an update on the CCT project in a Town Hall style meeting on January 30, 2013. The meeting was attended by nearly 75 residents from four area communities including Washingtonian Woods, The Vistas at Washingtonian Woods, The Oaks at Washingtonian Woods and Mission Hills. The discussion covered a range of topics of interest to members of these communities including noise analysis and mitigation, traffic and operations on Muddy Branch Road, pedestrian safety and access to stations, community cohesion and impacts. The presentation included a number of graphic and visual depictions of the CCT alignment using Google Earth aerial maps of these communities as well as a computerized model to illustrate future traffic operations in the area and particularly at roadway intersection. Attendees also included City of Rockville Mayor Sydney Katz, County Council member Phil Andrews and a number of other county and city government officials. Click here to view the materials presented at the meeting.
NEW BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM TO BE A FIRST FOR MARYLAND
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O'Malley announced today that the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) will be Maryland's first Bus Rapid Transit system operating along a 15-mile north-south corridor from the COMSAT facility near Clarksburg in Montgomery County, MD to the Shady Grove Metrorail station. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will now submit the project to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under its New Starts Program as the MTA prepares for the preliminary engineering phase of the project.
"The CCT Bus Rapid Transit line will provide easy, accessible, cost efficient transportation for Montgomery County's neighborhoods" said Governor O'Malley. "This north-south transitway line will reduce our dependence on cars as we continue our goal to double public transit use by 2020. The CCT will support nearly 15,000 jobs in the corridor, help facilitate smart growth through mixed used development and it can be built in a timely manner." More
CCT ON THE MOVE
Since the public comment period for the Supplemental Environmental Assessment ended on February 1, 2011, MTA and its team of consultants have been busy preparing for the selection of the locally preferred alternative. We have been out in the community providing briefings and presentations to interested parties. In response to public concerns raised by the King Farm community, the team completed a feasibility study of potential alternatives to operating along King Farm Boulevard from the Shady Grove Metrorail Station near the King Farm Community. This study was completed during the summer of 2011. A meeting with the community to discuss the findings was held last fall. In addition, the engineering team has been focused on refining conceptual designs of the alignment and stations to better assess project limits of disturbance and coordinate designs with developers at stations in which development is being actively planned and constructed. Lastly, much of 2011 and 2012 has been spent testing and preparing the travel forecasting model for estimations of ridership and travel performance, in close consultation with the Federal Transit Administration. The modifications to design concepts and travel forecasting tools and analysis of ridership projections provided additional information for the choice of the LPA. Moving forward, the team will be focused on developing materials for entry into the Federal Transit Administration New Starts process later this year. There is much more to come! You can stay connected to the project on this website.