Skip to content
About the CJCA
News & Photos
Calendar of Activities
Team Trivia Night
Spring Egg Hunt
New Neighbor Potluck
July 4th Parade & Festival
Potomac River Canoe Trip
Chicken & Crab Feast
Community Service & Outreach
Block Coordinator Program
Holiday Giving Tree Project
MacArthur Blvd. Beautification
Moses Hall & Cemetery Preservation
Neighbor 2 Neighbor
New Neighbor Initiatives
Support CJCA ($)
Listservs of CJ
Contact Information for Government Officials
Fill out my
Fill out my Wufoo form!
Changes to the CJ Community Listserv
November 18, 2020
The Cabin John Community Listserv serves as CJ’s informal neighborhood listserv that lets all members share information, post items for sale, ask questions, make recommendations, report missing pets, and otherwise reach out to the community. Since its inception, the Cabin John listserv has been hosted on Yahoo Groups, which announced it is shutting down effective Dec. 15. The Cabin John Listserv is now on Groups.io. To join this listserv, send an email with your name and street address (to verify residence) to: email@example.com. Membership is open to current and former CJ residents. The purpose of this listserv is to share information and have discussions that are hyperlocal to Cabin John and that are non-commercial/non-political in nature. Anyone wishing to advertise their business to the CJ community may want to consider The Village News. Classified ads are 30 cents a word. The community listserv differs from the Cabin John Citizens Association listserv, which remains the go-to source for timely news and information about upcoming community events and important issues of possible interest to CJ residents. The CJCA listserv lets the association keep CJ residents informed without overloading the inbox – usually just a few emails a month. CJCA listserv members cannot communicate with each other. To join this list, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on local listservs is available in the Get Connected section of the website. By Susan ShippCJCA President...
CJ Giving Tree Branching Out Due to COVID
November 17, 2020
THE DEADLINE FOR DONATIONS IS DEC. 5For Info: email@example.com This year marks the 10th anniversary of Cabin John’s Giving Tree Project. Like many things in 2020, the pandemic is redefining this community service effort, which provides gifts to children and adults in need through SOME (So Others Might Eat), a Washington DC organization that helps the poor and homeless through services, such as training and shelter Instead of gifts for the upcoming holidays, SOME is asking for gift cards for the people in its transitional housing. In previous years, CJ residents have provided generous gifts for 50 to 60 people living in SOME’s transitional housing. The community traditionally raises an additional $500 or more for SOME through the raffle at the holiday party. SOME says the switch to gift cards is to minimize donor risk of COVID through shopping. Recipients can make their purchases online, and no one involved has any increased exposure. Gift cards in $50 increments to stores such as Target, Walmart, Macy’s, and Amazon, as well as Visa and Mastercard would be most versatile. But cards for any retailer of any denomination are appreciated. It will take about $5,000 worth of gift cards for Cabin John to be as generous as in previous years, says Lori Rieckelman of 79th Street. Rieckelman coordinates this effort with the Brookmont and Glen Echo communities. Given the economic hardship faced by so many during this difficult year, wouldn’t it be great if we could give even more? Gift cards should be brought to Lori’s house. Email Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a drop off time. By Lori RieckelmanCJ Resident...
CJ Cemetery Garners Needed Attention of Politicians and Press
November 16, 2020
In the last month, politicians and the media have focused their attention on Cabin John’s Moses Hall and Cemetery. The historic African American property off Seven Locks Rd. is threatened by the state’s planned Beltway expansion. Maryland State Delegate Sara Love and the Friends of Moses Hall hosted a private tour of the Moses Morningstar Cemetery, Moses Hall lodge site, and Gibson Grove Church Oct. 17 for county and state officials as well as members of the media. The event aimed to draw attention to efforts by descendants of Moses Hall as well as the CJ community and preservationists to protect these important historic sites. If the Beltway expansion moves forward as currently designed, project maps and reports show graves and portions of the Moses Hall foundation would fall within the construction Limits of Disturbance. In a Sept. 24 Maryland Matters article on environmental justice, Delegate Love described how the construction of the Beltway in the 1960s decimated the Gibson Grove community and stated that the government has a responsibility “not to exacerbate prior injustices, but to reverse them.” Love wants the Hogan administration to “stop its mad dash to widen I-495 at all costs.” The tour came about in response to her article. Picture perfect fall weather greeted the 30 tour guests, which included Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Maryland Senator Susan Lee, Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando, and a number of officials from Montgomery County Planning, M-NCPPC, the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission, and the National Capital Planning Commission. Members of the press from The Washington Post and The Economist also attended. Descendants of those buried at Moses Morningstar and members of the Gibson Grove First Agape A.M.E. Zion Church community, including Cabin John residents Austin White and Shannon Stewart, shared family stories, along with a rich collection of artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and historical records with inquisitive tour guests. Some public officials were moved to tears by the impassioned remarks of Washington DC archaeologist Dr. Alexandra Jones, a staunch advocate of the property since writing her doctoral thesis on the Gibson Grove Community in 2010. Delegate Love said that the event was “powerful, humbling, and enlightening” and shared her commitment to supporting efforts to preserve, protect, and restore these sites. The Oct. 18 Washington Post article written by tour participant Katherine Shaver described the cemetery as “hardly peaceful with Beltway traffic roaring just past the bamboo grove” at the edge of the cemetery. The article noted that historians combing through death notices, burial records, and family histories have documented 78 burials there between 1894 and 1977. The Post story caught the attention of Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, who joined with Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Jamie Raskin and David Trone to urge the Federal Highway Administration and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to avoid possible physical impacts to the Moses Morningstar Cemetery and Hall, as well as Gibson Grove Church. Their Oct. 26 letter went on to suggest that such a major infrastructure project should “promote recovery from earlier impacts by enhancing the visibility and access of the cemetery site and its connection to the community.” Spurred by the Post’s coverage, the CBC Radio, Canada’s national public broadcaster, aired a segment Oct. 29 featuring DC resident Diane Baxter, whose great grandfather was buried in the CJ Moses cemetery in 1894. The ongoing advocacy and growing public awareness have prompted the State Highway Administration to conduct additional field investigations at the cemetery. To do so, the SHA will remove bamboo with hand tools so that the Moses Hall lodge foundation and any gravesites remain undisturbed. SHA officials estimate the bamboo removal process will take up to a month and require daily monitoring by field archaeologists. Friends of Moses Hall will also have representatives on site monitoring the work. Friends of Moses Hall (FMH) is a dedicated group of volunteers, including descendants, members of the Cabin John community as well as others with expertise in archaeology, genealogy, historic preservation, research, and advocacy. FMH was organized in 2020 with the purpose of saving Moses Morningstar Cemetery and Lodge Hall from destruction by the I-495 Beltway expansion. FMH aims to preserve the site as a hallowed resting place and an important African-American historical site. By Charlotte Troup LeightonCJCA Vice President for Advocacy...
COVID Redefines A CJ Halloween
October 19, 2020
The leaves are turning, the nights getting cool, and pumpkins are populating the roadside stands. Yep, Halloween is just about here. Sadly, with the Clara Barton Community Center still closed, the Friends of Clara Barton C.C. will not be running the Haunted House this October. But what about trick-or-treating? Many neighbors have asked the CJCA what is happening in Cabin John. The association has never endeavored to organize Halloween events, but they did open this topic up for discussion at the Sept. 10 CJCA Zoom meeting. The neighbors in attendance generally felt trick-or-treating could proceed, but the community should be encouraged to follow guidelines to increase safety and show respect for neighbors who don’t wish to participate. In early October, Montgomery County issued guidance discouraging trick-or-treating and offering safer alternatives. The CJCA considered a number of ideas, but concluded that many still risk folks gathering in unsafe numbers or are difficult to implement safely in our small neighborhood streets. The association hopes folks will still get in the Halloween spirit by carving pumpkins, making festive chalk drawings, and decorating their houses and yards. The Village News would love to have photo submissions of your Halloween décor as well as costumed people and pets. Please send your photos to VNEditorial@gmail.com no later than Nov. 3 for possible publicationin the November newsletter. WHAT ABOUT TRICK-OR-TREATING?Despite the county guidance against it, the CJCA expects that some CJ residents will opt to let their kids hit the streets, and others will gladly make treats available. Should you choose to trick-or-treat, the CJCA encourages everyone to follow these important guidelines to minimize the risk of spreading COVID while participating in this Halloween tradition. FOR PEOPLE PASSING OUT GOODIES Only offer commercially-wrapped treats. Skip the bowl and spread the treats out on the table or make individual grab-n-go bags.Put your goodies on a table in front of the house or at the end of the driveway so there is no touching of doorbells or crowding by entryways.Put hand sanitizer on the table, and encourage trick-or-treaters to use it before picking up their treat.If you are outside with your treats, wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from the table and the trick-or-treaters.Encourage trick-or-treaters not to linger and discourage any congregating. FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS & PARENTS At least one adult should supervise each group of trick-or-treaters to ensure that social distancing and other guidelines are followed.Show respect for neighbors who don’t participate. No doorbell ringing! Only approach neighbors who have set up their offerings outside.Wear the right masks. Costume masks do not necessarily provide protection. Incorporate a cloth mask into the costume. (A fun pre-Halloween activity might be to get a white or black mask and have your child paint or draw on it to make it work with their costume.)Trick-or-treat only with family members or those kids that are part of your quarantine pod. Do not invite folks outside of Cabin John into the neighborhood to trick-or-treat with you.Maintain six feet of distance between groups and from neighbors passing out treats.If a particular street becomes congested, trick-or-treating groups should stay to the right side of the street in the direction they are moving.Candy and treats should not be eaten while trick-or-treating. Better to wait until home after hands are washed. With Halloween falling on a Saturday AND a full moon, we hope our CJ ghouls and goblins can have some safe outdoor fun however you choose to celebrate. Remember: keep wearing masks, stay six feet apart, and wash hands! We’re headed into flu season, and this is no time to let up! BY NANCY RUSSELLOutgoing CJCA Vice President of Community Outreach Addendum:A map is being developed to mark homes that have agreed to participate in safe, socially-distanced trick-or-treating. To add your house to the map, fill out this short google form. The map will be shared with the CJ Neighborhood and CJCA listservs no later than Saturday morning (October 31)....
Consultants Advise CJ on Response to Beltway Expansion Report
October 18, 2020
Cabin John residents have until Nov. 9 to submit comments in response to the the 19,000-page draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the state’s massive plan to expand I-495 and I-270 using variablepricing toll lanes. Given the size of the DEIS and the complexity of all the potential impacts to our community, the Cabin John Citizens Association hired VHBMetroDC, a transportation, design, engineering andconsulting firm in mid-September to provide guidance. The consulting contract came after a Sept. 10 emergency CJCA meeting, held via Zoom, during which the community authorized up to $2,000 for consultants to develop technical points that focus on the negative impacts to traffic on MacArthur Blvd., Seven Locks Rd. and Persimmon Tree Rd., both during construction and in the longer term. The community also approved $1,000 to be given to help CJ’s Evergreen neighborhood on Cypress Grove Lane with their efforts to oppose any property takings on their street as well as to argue for noise barriers, storm water management and tree canopy replacement. The Carderock Springs Community Association also contracted with VHB for assistance with their comments. VHB is also providing pro bono consulting services to the Friends of Moses Hall & Cemetery to develop their written comments. Final comment letters from all of these groups will be posted as they become available. The concerns raised in the DEIS are many. There is the overarching question of whether this project, estimated at $11 billion or more, is needed given the commuting changes brought about by the pandemic. Other serious concerns for Cabin John, including property takings, noise pollution, stormwater runoff, local road congestion, parkland loss, and negative impacts on ourcultural resources, such as the Moses Hall & Cemetery site and the C&O Canal. (See below for the various points that you could raise in your comment letter.) Cabin John residents are urged to submit comments either via email to MLSNEPA-P3@mdot.maryland.gov, or by letter to: Lisa Choplin, DBIA, I-495 & I-270 P3 Program Director, MDOT State Highway Administration I-495 & I-270 P3 Office, 707 North Calvert Street, Mail Stop P-601, Baltimore, MD 21202. Whichever way you comment, it is most impactful if you share a copy of your comments with County Executive Marc Elrich and members of the County Council as well as our state delegates and congressional delegation. The CJCA would also be interested in a copy of your comment letter. Please send it to Susan Shipp at email@example.com. Comment Letter: What to Say? Here are points you could raise in a number of key areas: CONSTRUCTIONThe replacement of I-495 bridges over local roadways and the reconstruction of local roadway bridges over the highway could have substantial impact on our community’s commutes and quality of life. The Final EIS must detail potential roadway closures and needed modifications in these locations. The current construction analysis fails to explain how construction materials would be stored and staged along I-495 between the C&C Canal and Seven Locks Rd. as well as the means and methods of constructing the new River Rd. (MD 190) off-ramp. A Supplement DEIS and Final EIS needs these disclosures and a Construction Management Plan. Cabin John would object to any staging/storage that causes disruption for our residents and/or affects sensitive areas like parkland and seeks a commitment to avoid such uses in the Final EIS. LONG-TERM TRAFFICThe induced traffic created by the project could cause substantial long-term harm to our community. In the Traffic Technical Report, Figure 5-73 indicates that the Clara Barton Parkway and River Rd., would see greater than 10% increases in delays with the project. Despite this clear impact, this effect is not reported in the Draft EIS and is not proposed for mitigations. This failure must be addressed in a Supplemental DEIS with community impacts substantively resolved. The analysis of arterials that do not intersect I-495 is limited and inconsistent, as reported in Figure 5-73. While MD 410 is analyzed for traffic impacts, other state highways like Wilson Rd. (MD 188) and Goldsboro Rd. (MD 614) are not evaluated. MacArthur Blvd. and Seven Locks Rd., both critical non-state road commuter routes, do not receive any traffic impact analysis. This glaring omission is especially egregious as Appendix A of the Traffic Technical Report, states that the River Rd., Cabin John Parkway, and Clara Barton Parkway exit ramps will seeincreases of up to 55% over existing volumes and up to 40% over volumes in the No-Build Alternative. No substantial modifications to the parkways are planned by SHA, Montgomery County, or the National Park Service. A Supplemental DEIS is needed to model the traffic impacts on Seven Locks and MacArthur and the Final EIS needs to include appropriate mitigation. Future Clara Barton Parkway traffic would make use of MacArthur Blvd. at the Cabin John and Glen Echo exits, which are at unacceptable peak-hour operating conditions today. The constrained infrastructure in the area, including the one-lane Union Arch Bridge and the reversible lane management at Glen Echo, means limited ways to address the increased volumes. The Supplemental and Final EIS must include mitigations to minimize the impacts of commuter traffic spillover into our community. NEW RIVER RD. OFF-RAMPThe noise impacts as well as the visual impacts of the new MD 190 off-ramp are inadequately analyzed in the Draft EIS. More detailed noise analysis and a Visual Impact Assessment should be prepared and incorporated into a Supplemental DEIS for review and comment. The MD 190 off-ramp would negatively affect sensitive wetlands and parkland, as shown in Appendix D. Section 4(f) considerations require the evaluation of approaches to avoid the use of such parkland. Because of the unacceptable visual and property impacts, the Final EIS should remove an eastbound flyover off-ramp onto MD 190 and replace it with an at-grade exit. NOISE ANALYSIS & BARRIERSPast promises to provide noise barriers along I-495 in our vicinity have not been kept. While the Noise Analysis Technical Report (Appendix J) indicates it is feasible and reasonable to construct noise barriers along both sides of I-495 between Persimmon Tree Lane and Seven Locks Rd., the Final EIS, Record of Decision, and project implementation need to include a commitment by the SHA that noise barriers are constructed at no direct cost to residents. The noise barrier design should include information about the location, height, grading, tree takings and its acoustical effectiveness so that it can be assessed by our community. Even if the project does not move forward, we implore SHA and Montgomery County officials to develop a program and associated funding for “Type II” noise barriers to address the unconscionable onslaught of noise already subjected on our community. MOSES HALL & CEMETERYThe Moses Hall & Cemetery property is described in the DEIS as being “adversely affected” by all build alternatives. As currently designed, the limits of disturbance (LOD) would significantly impact the historic property, including portions of the Moses Hall foundation wall, a section of the access way from Seven Locks Rd, and grave locations. This is unacceptable and the final EIS must offer mitigation that protects this historic property. PARKLAND & TREE CANOPYWe are concerned by the impacts to parks surrounding our community and insufficient efforts to avoid their use. Consistent with Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, use of Federal and local parkland should be avoided wherever possible. As indicated in the Environmental Resource Mapping (Appendix D), the construction of the project would affect meaningful portions of the C&O Canal. The off-ramp from I-495 to MD 190 would require substantial use of Cabin John Park. The Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation (Appendix F) fails to document any efforts to avoid this use. Further avoidance measures must be pursued and described in the Final EIS. The tree canopy and bucolic setting define Cabin John and substantial tree removal would alter the visual character of the community. Avoidance measures must be taken to reduce the number of trees affected by the project and should be documented in detail. STORMWATERThe stormwater analysis in the Draft EIS is inadequate to ensure that existing and future stormwater issues associated with the project are properly managed. According to the Natural Resources Technical Report, the Cabin John Creek watershed would see substantial impacts (Table 2.3-8). These impacts would result from additional impervious surfaces from the Alternatives (Table 2.9-60). The Final EIS must contain more detailed information regarding the Preferred Alternative approach to addressing stormwater in Cabin John and its environs. BY SUSAN SHIPPCJCA President...
Clara Barton Paving Project to Begin in Cabin John
October 17, 2020
The project to repave the Clara Parton Parkway, which began this summer, is now reaching Cabin John. According to a press release from the National Park Service, pavement repairs at the Clara Barton Parkway interchange in Cabin John are underway mid-October. They will start on the Eastbound ramp, which is planned to be closed nightly from 7:00 pm to 6:15 am until Oct. 24. The Westbound ramp will then close beginning Oct. 25 through Nov. 2 — during this time the Westbound ramp will be closed day and night, and drivers will need to detour. The park service will then be making safety updates to the Cabin John Access Road, including updated striping and signage for two turning lanes onto MacArthur Blvd., and bolder Don’t Block The Box (DBTB) pavement striping and stop bars at Ericsson Rd. This phase of the work will close the Cabin John Access Road from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm: Nov. 3 to Nov. 6 at Ericsson Rd.Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 (northbound)Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 (southbound) NPS will post detours, and flaggers will be present to during the day to direct traffic. For more information, visit http://go.nps.gov/CBParkwayRepaving or contact Aaron LaRocca, Chief of Staff for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 202-438-6619. BY LORETTA DEVERY INGALLSVillage News Content Editor...
Cabin John Speaks Out on Beltway Expansion Impacts
September 11, 2020
The Cabin John Citizens Association and two CJ residents testified Sept. 3 at a virtual hearing to provide comments on the possible environmental impacts of Governor Hogan’s massive planto expand I-495 and I-270 using variablepricing toll lanes. This was one of six public hearings collecting oral comments on the 19,000-page draft environmental impact statement for the project. Speakers were given three minutes for their statements. Charlotte Troup Leighton of Cypress Grove Lane spoke on behalf of the Evergreen community, which backs up to the Beltway. There are 27 homes on Cypress Grove Lane, and a number of them would be directly impacted as the expansion plan is currently defined. (See Charlotte Troup Leighton’s testimony.) In addition to expressing general concern about the project being ill-conceived and fiscally irresponsible, Charlotte raised very specific issues with the lack of detail in the plan when it comes to stormwater management, the effectiveness and placement of noise barriers, and the harmful effects on the neighborhood of living through years of construction. Charlotte also expressed opposition to a flyover access ramp that looks to be located on part of the Moses Hall & Cemetery property, which is also off Cypress Grove Lane. Kara Cunzeman, also of Cypress Grove Lane, spoke to some of the same issues. “We ask that a more detailed plan be put together that mitigates negative consequences to our properties, local wildlife, and the environment during and after the construction,” she said. (See Kara Cunzeman’s testimony.) Kara also called the plan a “complete failure of innovation” that does not address the root of the congestion problem and contributes to climate change. Speaking on behalf of the Cabin John community, CJCA President Susan Shipp said it stands with the Evergreen families in opposition to property takings and the flyover access ramp. She also stressed the need for effective noise barriers and stormwater management. (See Susan Shipp’s testimony.) She also said it is unacceptable that the Moses Hall & Cemetery property, including grave locations, are identified as “adversely impacted” by the expansion plans. Susan’s testimony raised a number of concerns about the projected traffic impacts both during construction and in the longer term. Traffic analysis in the 19,000-page draft environmental impact statement indicates that both River Road and the Clara Barton Parkway will see a greater than 10% increase in delay with managed lanes on I-495. She also noted the lack of documented impacts on Cabin John’s local roads, including Persimmon Tree, Seven Locks Rd., and MacArthur Blvd. She said, “The impacts to these roads must be thoroughly evaluated in the final EIS and mitigation incorporated through improvements to these roadways and policies to reduce their levels of traffic congestion.” The CJCA, Evergreen neighborhood, and Friends of Moses Hall and Cemetery will now shift their focus to putting together more extensive written comments, which must be submitted by Nov. 9. If there are community members willing to help with this effort, please contact Charlotte Troup Leighton or Susan Shipp. Individual community members are also encouraged to submit written statements. CJ RESIDENTS PLEASE SUBMIT COMMENTS! With the years-long construction slated to take place at our doorstep and the project’s possible impact on neighborhood park lands and the historic African American properties in our community, now is the time for Cabin Johners to educate themselves and voice their opinions about this project. The full DEIS, including all technical reports, can be found at: https://495-270-p3.com/deis/. The county’s planning department analysis is available at https:/montgomeryplanningboard.org/i-495-and-i-270-managed-lanes-study/. Cabin John residents are urged to submit written comments on the DEIS comment form, via email to MLSNEPA-P3@mdot.maryland.gov, or by letter to: Lisa Choplin, DBIA, I-495 & I-270 P3 Program Director, I-495 & I-270 P3 Office, 707 North Calvert Street, Mail Stop P-601, Baltimore, MD 21202. Whichever way you choose to comment, it is most impactful if you share a copy of your comments with County Executive Marc Elrich and members of the County Council, as well as our state delegates and congressional delegation. Contact information for all of these folks are available in the PDF below. BY CHARLOTTE TROUP LEIGHTONCJCA Vice President for Advocacy...
County Needs Cabin Johners to Complete Airplane Noise Survey by Sept. 21
September 11, 2020
The county is asking Cabin John residents and others who live in communities under the flight paths from Reagan National Airport (DCA) to complete an airplane noise questionnaire tohelp determine priorities for proposing new arrival and departure procedures. Participants have until Sept. 21 to complete the survey. As we all know, Cabin John has on average more than 11,000 planes creating noise overhead each month. It is very important that our community’s perspectives on this noise be well represented in this survey. While responses are anonymous, you will be asked to put your zip code in at the end of the questionnaire. The survey is part of a joint effort by Arlington and Montgomery counties to identify, evaluate, and propose ways to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on communities to the north of Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Earlier this year, the two counties hired a consulting team to provide the technical expertise to evaluate flight procedures and noise exposure prior to and following the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) 2015 implementation of its NextGen procedures at DCA. As part of their study, the consultants also will be developing alternative flight procedures designed to meet FAA criteria and mitigate airplane noise in our communities. While the consultants have been hired by the two counties, they will be working with DCA’s Community Noise Working Group, which includes 15 members and their alternates split evenly between Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. Two CJ residents, Bill Noonan and Susan Shipp, are in their fourth year on the working group. The goal of the noise working group is toidentify practical aircraft noise solutions and make recommendations to the FAA. Formed in fall of 2015, the DCA noise working group has struggled to engage the FAA in any meaningful action to mitigate airplane noise on the ground despite putting forward 18 recommendations for the agency’s consideration. The technical expertise provided by the consultants is expected to ensure the FAA’s ability to act on any new working group recommendations that come out of this joint county-sponsored effort. To keep up with the study updates, visit Arlington County Aircraft Noise page. Go to Montgomery County Quiet Skies Coalition to sign up for key updates on FAA developments and other airplane noise news of importance to Cabin John residents....
Cabin John Bridge: An Error of Omission
September 11, 2020
Last month, in the story I wrote about our wonderfully redesigned CabinJohn.org website, I made a terrible blunder. I forgot to thank Bob Epstein of Arden Rd. for the use of the phenomenal photo he took of Cabin John community members on the Cabin John Bridge. To me it’s an iconic image that captures both the uniqueness of place and the esprit de corps that makes ourcommunity so special. I remember when the photo was taken, in the fall of 2001. We had moved into the neighborhood in July and our daughter was born a month later. We read in The Village News that there would be a party Nov. 17 to celebrate the reopening of the one-lane bridge, which had been shut down for several months for repairs. As the photo will attest, the weather was glorious. In typical Cabin John fashion, there was a low-key parade, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and refreshments. Jeff and I, with Jackie in her stroller, were swept along with the crowd to stand on the bridge for this photograph to be taken. At the time, we only knew a handful of Cabin John families, and they had not come out for this event. At that moment, standing in the midst of the welcoming crowd, is when I started to fall a little bit in love with this community. We have a framed copy of Bob’s picture hanging in our house. It makes me exceedingly happy to have it on the homepage of the Cabin John website. I hope when you take a look at it, youwill pause to consider all that the image says about our home. So, thank you Bob for capturing a beautiful image of an iconic structure and a window into the community of Cabin John. Read a 2001 Washington Post story about the Cabin John Bridge. Susan ShippCJCA President...
Key Beltway Expansion Environmental Study – Public Urged to Weigh In
August 14, 2020
The proposed $10+ billion beltway expansion project reached an important milestone in July with the release of the much-anticipated draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Now it’s time for the public to submit comments, and Cabin John residents are being urged to raise their concerns before the Oct. 8 comment period deadline. The close to 1,800-page draft DEIS includes traffic, environmental, engineering, and financial analyses of the six build alternatives, in comparison to the no-build alternative, along 48 miles of Interstates 270 and 495. The DEIS also describes existing conditions and anticipated impacts — as well as conceptual mitigation — to the community, environment, natural resources,and cultural resources. All of the six build alternatives retained and analyzed in the DEIS include the addition of two lanes in each direction on I-495, incorporating a dynamic tolling managed lanes network with either express toll lanes (ETL) or high-occupancy toll lanes (HOT). Build alternatives will also include new managed toll lanes on I-270 and the full replacement of the American Legion Bridge. The CJCA has a number of ongoing concerns related to the beltway expansion that have been shared with state officials and local agencies over the past 12 to 18 months. These concerns include property takings, noise and air pollution, stormwater runoff, arterial road congestion, loss of parkland, and the negative impacts on our cultural resources, such as the Moses Hall and Cemetery site, Gibson Grove Church, and the C&O Canal. A number of Cabin John neighbors in the Evergreen subdivision are expected to be directly impacted. In its 63-page analysis of the DEIS, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which owns significant park land along I-495, criticized the DEIS for underestimatingits impact on natural, cultural, and recreational resources, and not taking into account local traffic considerations. The review also raised major concerns about its assessment of stormwater treatment, saying that the stormwater management “approach presented in the DEIS is insufficient and ignores decades of degradation that the existing highways have inflicted on local land.” Many in the region are questioning the need for this expensive project in light of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on transportation patterns. MDOT SHA touches on this in the DEIS, but is clearly committed to moving forward with what they consider long-range transportation improvements. CJ RESIDENTS PLEASE SUBMIT COMMENTS! With the years-long construction slated to take place at our doorstep and the project’s possible impact on neighborhood park lands and the historic African American properties in our community, now is the time for Cabin Johners to educate themselves and voice their opinions about this project. The full DEIS, including all technical reports, can be found at: https://495-270-p3.com/deis/. The county’s planning department analysis is available at https:/montgomeryplanningboard.org/i-495-and-i-270-managed-lanes-study/. The state will be holding four online and two in-person public hearings between August 18 and September 10. Cabin John residents are urged to submit comments at one of the public hearings, on the DEIS comment form, via email to MLSNEPA-P3@mdot.maryland.gov, or by letter to: Lisa Choplin, DBIA, I-495 & I-270 P3 Program Director, I-495 & I-270 P3 Office, 707 North Calvert Street, Mail Stop P-601, Baltimore, MD 21202. Whichever way you choose to comment, it is most impactful if you share a copy of your comments with County Executive Marc Elrich and members of the County Council, as well as our state delegates and congressional delegation. Contact information for all of these folks are available in the PDF below. BY CHARLOTTE TROUP LEIGHTONCJCA Vice President for Advocacy Contact-Information-for-Your-Government-Officials...
Scroll to Top