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technically this is a matter of privilege versus rights. As well as about how a community resource is managed, mediated by the interests of specific neighbors. Planning efforts don't always properly address these types of interests at different levels. Typically, immediate neighbors, given their increased likelihood of getting involved, have more input and the representation of broader goals and objectives is usually underrepresented. (You really see this in DC planning processes.)

Richard correctly describes the neighbors (highly motivated) vs. the general public (interests are more diffuse, therefore less motivated to weigh in) dynamic in this and other similar situations. What makes this one a bit unusual is the presence of Patty Kane, a prosecutor for the Montgomery State's Attorney, as one of the neighbors opposing the Parks Department's preferred route. When you get someone like Ms. Kane (aggressive litigator type personality, i.e., advocates for her position at all costs and to heck with the public interest) involved, the ability of elected officials to withstand pressure from the neighbors to weigh in against the bureaucracy becomes overwhelming, even when the bureaucracy has produced a well-reasoned decision. Ultimately no elected official is really interested in standing up to someone like Ms. Kane over an issue like where a trail should be built. Unfortunately, the result is that the trail either doesn't get built at all or costs twice as much on the alternative route.

The Gazette article is one sided and incomplete. There were people their including poeple who live in the neighborhood making all the noise against the trail.

The trail in question is part of the Upper Rock Creek trails Corridor Plan. There were many meetings on it and there were even neighborhood that came out against other aspects of the project. To my knowledge thye recieved the same notice as those who live next to lake Frank.

It is intersting that on one hand they cry foul on the possible loss of the pavment removal then turn around and try to stop the best trail route with the least environmental disturbance.

I guess the outer several hundred feet of the park are no longer public. They exist for the sole benefit of the adjacent neighborhoods. Don't put anything there. Keep park users in the middle of the park. Especially those scary bicyclists!

We need bicyclists to start sending letters on this issue! When it became undeniably clear that the community-demanded trail option would be much more expensive and environmentally damaging than the county-supported option, they switched to talking almost entirely about removal of the abandoned parking lots. This is very disingenuous but strategically advantageous. They are furthermore saying that they weren't informed of the decision by the county & state to build a trail instead of remove the parking lots. (Whether they were well notified remains a question). This makes undoing an already made decision appear more legitimate. They are getting ever wider community and politician support. Of course building the lots will result in making the trail project much more difficult to fund and then they will have more time to fight it tooth and nail.

Multiple letters to the editor opposing the trail have been appearing since March, some characterizing the trail as a useless facility that merely adds pavement. In fact the trail is the first segment of the planned North Olney Trail that will connect the Rock Creek Trail to Olney.

There is a meeting about this very issue tomorrow night 5/11/10. Please come down to the Shady Grove Maintenance Yard Training Room, Building B
16641 Crabbs Branch Way
Rockville, MD 20855 which is right around the corner (so to speak) from the Shady Grove Metro and speak up. The meeting starts at 7

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