Friday, July 24, 2009

Open Letter to Leggett

Dear Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett:

I very much enjoyed your speech on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Brookside Gardens last weekend. What a wonderful, positive event to commemorate and celebrate something our county government is doing right for our citizens. Best of all, Brookside is free to enter and enjoy for all and that is a marvelous thing.

Now wouldn't it be great to make Brookside accessible to ALL of our county citizens? Specifically, have you ever tried to access the gardens using public transit? You'd think public transit to public gardens would be a no-brainer. The very people who "need" the gardens most are the ones who cannot get there. In your next budget, I urge you to look at adding a regular Ride-On route down Glenallen Avenue or maybe even a dedicated shuttle from the Glenmont metro.

Certainly, Brookside is not the only area garden with a sad lack of transit access. The National Arboretum and Green Spring Gardens are two more examples of terrific public resources that are all but impossible to get to without a car. We talk a great deal about "being green," but when the only way to enjoy our green resources is by us each getting into our individual vehicles, is that just green-washing? I'm sure you can see the irony here and the need to remedy this situation.

Your Gardening Friend


  1. I was surprised to learn that Brookside Gardens and I share the exact same birthday - July 13, 1969! No wonder I love going there so much. :)

  2. Yeah, both of you are 40 are fabulous!


    HERE is the response from Leggett's office revd 8/19/09:

    Dear Ms. Jentz:

    Thank you for your recent email regarding improved transportation service to the Brookside Gardens.

    As you may be aware, Ride On Route 10 operates along Randolph Road (every 30 minutes) and Route 31 operates along Glenallan Avenue (rush hour only). To extend these existing services to Brookside Gardens would require our staff to determine the additional miles and hours required. It is important to note that any minor or major change requiring additional resources would have to be included in our budget process; however, with the ever-increasing budget shortfalls each year our goal is to keep our budget at a cost-neutral status. Therefore, we will add your suggestion to our files and will contact you when our planning process matures to an implementation stage, if warranted.

    Again, thank you for your interest in improving our public transportation services. Should you have any additional concerns or questions, please call Deanna Archey, Planning Specialist, at 240-777-5828.

    I appreciate your taking the time to share your concerns.


    Isiah Leggett

    County Executive


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