Council Committee To Hear Update On Walter Reed Traffic Projects
The hearing is set for 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
A Montgomery County Council committee is set to be updated on traffic improvements around the campus of Bethesda's Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Thursday afternoon.
As a part of the federally-mandated Base Realignment and Closure process, a portion of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center merged with the military hospital last year, prompting an uptick in employees and visitors and a host of traffic concerns for congested thoroughfares around the base.
Since the BRAC transition, 3,600 new employees now work at the base, and yearly visitors are expected to nearly double to one million. Over the next 10 years, campus upgrades that are under review could draw an additional 925 employees to the base.
Neighboring NIH is also reviewing campus upgrades that call for the addition of 3,000 workers from satellite locations over the next 20 years.
Traffic mitigation measures are in the works to help relieve congestion, including intersection improvements and a pedestrian tunnel and elevator project that will ease access to the Medical Center Metro station.
County BRAC coordinator Phil Alperson recently told the Montgomery County Planning Board that a Navy traffic study found that the BRAC transition hasn't significantly impacted traffic around the base, but the study couldn’t derive accurate traffic readings because throroughfares near the base are so clogged with cars.
“In my view, post-BRAC traffic counts do not reflect the true nature of current traffic around the Medical Center,” Alperson said at a hearing last month. “Traffic right now is dramatically worse than it was before.”
A hearing of the council's Transportation, Energy, Infrastructure and Environment Committee is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.
The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed via the county website.