May 2019 General Meeting Minutes

Meeting Date

Thursday, May 2, 2019 8:00-9:30pm

Call to order

The meeting was called to order at 8:05pm. Brian Hooker makes opening remarks. Tonight’s guest speaker is Andy Frank, Environmental Engineering Supervisor at Montgomery Parks. He was invited to address the community about the three-way stop signs that was temporarily installed at the corner of Beach Drive and Wexford Drive. These signs were in place from Thursday April 11th through Saturday April 13th and were controversial to commuters and residents of the area. Also in attendance is Assistant Chief of Patrol Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Captain Jeffrey Coe to address questions relating to traffic enforcement at this particular intersection.

Guest Speaker Andy Frank, M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks

Mr. Frank is the Environmental Engineering Supervisor at Montgomery Parks. His open remarks include upfront and direct apologies for the manner of which the three-way stop signs were installed. There was no notice of the installation to residents and no warnings about the new traffic pattern. This resulted in many frustrated drivers and extensive traffic backups. Mr. Franks states that this was a result of several miscommunications across a number of different departments. For this, he accepts full responsibility and is very sorry about the outcome.

Next, Mr. Frank offers some background as to why a three-way stop was installed. Starting in 2012, there were some formal complaints made to the County Council by residents in regard to excessive speed on Beach Drive and the inability of residents of the Rock Creek Palisades neighborhood to exit that neighborhood by making a left turn from Wexford Drive onto Beach Drive. As a result, a traffic study was done and the decision was made to install the three-way stop, as there are several three-way stops on other areas of Beach Drive. Traffic lights were not being considered due to the high expense and the fact that Beach Drive is considered a recreational parkway for use by park users. In addition, traffic lights are only considered if absolutely necessary or for instances where Beach Drive intersects a numbered State road, such as 547-Knowles Ave.

There are a number of potential solutions to for intersection such as the stop signs, trafficlight, or a traffic circle. For perspective, a traffic circle would cost about $¾M and a traffic light would cost about $500K. Both costs are well beyond the Parks budget. In contrast, the stop signs would cost about $3k. It is his understanding that the three-way stops were unanimously supported by the community. There are many Rock Creek Palisades in attendance at this meeting who are strongly in favor of the three-way stops, as it allows them to exit their neighborhood more easily. However, Matt Tifford of RCA makes it known that the RCA would be in support of a traffic circle at this location instead.

At the moment, the additional stop signs have been removed and the Montgomery Parks is taking a “do nothing” approach for now. However, the biggest concern at the moment is drivers doing risky and unsafe behavior at this intersection such as speeding or passing turning/waiting vehicles on the right or left. Captain Jeffery Coe of the Park Police says that the department has new sign boards that display messages and monitor speed. These sign boards will be deployed to this location.

New Business


MusicFest will be held on Saturday May 18th. For the first time, it will be an outdoor event taking place at the “Civic Green” near the entrance of the Randolph Hills Shopping Center. Vendors signed on include Cafe 2020, who will be selling food and beer, as well as Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Nell Rumbaugh has been coordinating with the musicians and creating the programming/scheduling.

Mural for Boiling Brook Parkway Retaining Wall

There is a long, wedge shaped retaining wall on Boiling Brook Parkway across from the CESJDS. Ken Kopczyk has been in touch with the property owner about painting a mural on this wall. Two simple designs are presented to those in attendance to vote on which they prefer: a design with stripes and a design featuring white oak leaves. The stripes design is preferred by a vote of 5 to 1. An estimate has been presented to the owner based on these designs. This project is in a holding pattern pending more community help and involvement. Residents would like to see a more elaborate design, so we will reach out to the neighborhood for any artists willing to volunteer their talents in designing and implementing something more elaborate. More details and an open call on this project will be featured in an upcoming Echo.

Standard Business

Motion to approve prior meeting minutes passes.
Motion to adjourn passes at 9:30pm.