The State of MD is in the planning stages of a new Bus Rapid Transit system that would widen Georgia Avenue, consequently taking properties along the proposed route through the center of Olney.
In the current proposal, 75% of the businesses between Olney Elementary School and Route 108 — a three block area that is a significant portion of the town’s center — are targeted to be acquired for right-of-way. This includes The Backyard Naturalist and our neighboring businesses.
Additionally, there is a proposal for a new special tax district in Olney to help defray the costs of construction and management of the system. This is projected to include property tax increases and a special business surcharge. There’s more info below on “Maryland Senate Bill 627”.
If you are a resident of Maryland, particularly Montgomery County or the Olney area, we ask you to respond. During this planning stage, The State Highway Administration, our elected officials and local business associations need to hear from citizens, particularly if you disagree with their proposals. No feedback equals approval.
We want all residents of Montgomery County to have full information and input on this matter. We’ve added a list of some of the key deciders on this issue. Please email your comments and copy Carmaletta Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org on each message. She is the Project Manager at SHA and is coordinating responses from the public.
More Information About the BRT Project
- See the Countywide Master Plan.
- Read ITDP’s Demand & Planning Report to MC DOT.
- See map of “Least Invasive” Plan for Olney.
- Read The Backyard Naturalist Backyard Blog post Olney BRT Project Raises Concerns.
- Read story in The Gazette, Concerns intensify over BRT’s effect on Olney businesses
How Will the BRT Project Be Funded?
Maryland Senate Bill 627 & House Bill 1279
In January and February, bills were introduced to the Maryland General Assembly, Special Taxing Districts – Transportation Improvements and Exemption From County Tax Limitations.
Introduced in the State Senate as Bill 627 by Senators Richard Madaleno, Ulysses Currie, Verna Jones-Rodwell, and Karen Montgomery.
- Read and download Maryland Senate Bill 627.
- See supplemental notes on Maryland Senate Bill 627.
- Monitor progress of Maryland Senate Bill 627.
Cross-filed with Senate Bill 627, House Bill 1279 was read to the House by sponsoring Delegates Hixson , Barnes, Barve, Carr, Cullison, Gutierrez, Hucker, Luedtke, S.Robinson, Simmons, Waldstreicher, and Zucker.
- Download a copy of Maryland House Bill 1279.
Olney BRT Project Contacts
State Highway Administration
Please copy Carmaletta Harris, Project Manager, on all your emails.
Project Management Division
Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering
1-800-548-5026 or 410-545-8522
Montgomery County Department of Transportation
Special Assistant to the Director for WMATA
Montgomery County DOT
Office of the Director
Maryland Transit Administration
Montgomery County Executive
Montgomery County Council
Greater Olney Civic Association
Olney Chamber of Commerce