SHA was famously known for decades as an agency that put engineering best practices and the greater public good ahead of the desires of a few to reduce speed limits, and place other similar obstacles to inflict pain on commuters. So why is SHA suddenly becoming a politics-first, best practices-last agency under Gov. Larry Hogan?
Hogan, a real estate developer, seems to know where his best interests lie. In this case, it is in teaming up with the Montgomery County Council and their developer sugar daddies. After all, it's the Council who demanded speeds as low as 25 MPH on major commuter routes. The move is part of the MoCo cartel's secret plan to redevelop the single-family home properties along 45 MPH state highways into mixed-use urban areas.
In addition, the drastic speed changes are part of a parallel plan to raise more funds for the cartel through speeding tickets and speed cameras. SHA violated its own procedures by not posting the required signs to notify drivers of the speed limit change on River Road. Police began ticketing drivers immediately in the hours after the illegal speed change.
After the Suburban News Network, which publishes East MoCo, reported the SHA violation, signs were quickly rushed out to River Road - but only briefly. Along with the fact that the artificially low 35 and 25 MPH speed limits will make it challenging to comply with the new speed restrictions, massive paydays are guaranteed for the County government via tickets.
In Bethesda, developers are rubbing their hands together with plans to redevelop several golf courses, churches, an SHA depot and a garden center into mixed-use, high-density development. Along with another secret plan to extend the Purple Line to Westbard, the speed limit changes are getting drivers ready for slower urban speeds.
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affordable neighborhoods in Aspen Hill,
Glenmont and Wheaton
But that traffic will be moving slower than ever.
It's ironic that Olney residents may feel the most pain from the Georgia speed limit changes. After all, the BRT plan will demolish hundreds of homes and businesses between Olney and Silver Spring when the County brings it back. But the same Hogan and Council who are making Olney residents' exhausting commutes even longer are the same Hogan and Council who continue to block construction of the Georgia-Norbeck interchange.
No wonder Hogan waited until after his reelection to direct these changes. Will his development company be among those to propose projects along these roads after he leaves office? We know the Council's sugar daddies already have plans for both.
Nothing will change for long-suffering auto commuters, the vast majority of MoCo residents, until those drivers take their anger to the ballot box. Until then, expect to remain casualties of the MoCo cartel's War on Cars.