Top Montgomery Co. Officials Going Car-Free This Week

    Buffeted by criticism that their transit-first transportation policy runs counter to the commuting preferences of a vast majority of their constituents, several members of the Montgomery County Council have accepted a challenge to leave their cars at home this week.

    In agreeing to the weeklong challenge, which was issued by the Action Committee for Transit, lawmakers must travel from home to work — and to whatever community events and meetings they might have — via bus, subway, bike, scooter or on foot.

    Five members of the nine-member Council accepted the challenge — Gabe Albornoz, Andrew Friedson, Evan Glass, Will Jawando and Hans Riemer. All but Jawando documented at least some of their travels on Twitter, using #TransitChallenge.

    Three members of the Montgomery County Planning Board — Chairman Casey Anderson and members Natali Fani-Gonzalez and Tina Patterson — are also going car-free, as is Takoma Park City Councilwoman Kacy Kostiuk.

    The transit challenge runs from June 10-16.

    As ACT noted in a news release, the experiences that the nine officials have will likely vary.

    “(It) may mean safe, convenient, on-time service and friendly conversations with fellow travelers,” the advocacy group said. “It may also mean buses stuck in the same lanes as cars, difficulties getting from the bus/Metro stop to their destination, and walking and bicycling on big roads where people drive fast.”

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    Bruce DePuyt
    Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.