WTOP has an article out today detailing how Betheseda, Maryland is about to get royally BRAC'd. Basically, by way of Base Realignment and Closure the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is going to be absorbed into the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. This is unfortunate as the NNMC is right across the street from the NIH which as we all know employs roughly 115% of DC area residents.
"Today, you have about 500,000 visits to the Bethesda campus," says Phil Alperson, the BRAC point man in Montgomery County. "After BRAC is fully implemented, you'll have about a million visits per year."
"You currently have 3,000 people crossing the street from the Metro station to the Navy (Medical Center). By September, that number will double to 7,000."To put that increase more clearly...
Let me get this straight, the amount of visits to the BRACosphere will double and every one of these people is going to want to cross the street? This is a total BRACtastrophe!
Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner was quoted in the article.
"You take gridlock and you multiply it by two and you have OMG!"
I've obtained some raw video of the interview which can be seen here.
It seems that the only hope for achieving Bractopia is bike commuting.
"There also will be a campaign to get people out of their cars and onto bikes -- a popular concept across the street at National Institute of Health.I'm curious to see how this will effect my commute into Bethesda. A large number of commuters I talk to work at NIH which has fostered a healthy bike commuting environment. For my sake and all those who frequent BRACthesda I hope the Capital Crescent Trail is "bumper to bumper" come September.
Joe Cox, employee transportation coordinator at NIH, counts more than 600 members in the bike commuter club there.
Even when the weather is bad, we have some die-hard commuters. Their motto is they're 'non-polluter commuters.'"