2022 | Opinion

Opinion: A decision on school bus depot location cannot wait

Move will help reduce diesel pollution

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To the editor: 

Regarding the March 30 story “County Council members concerned about proposed Rockville location for bus depot,” Council Member Hans Riemer’s argument about the urgent need to choose a central site for charging and maintaining electric school buses holds weight.

Whether we are parents of school-age children or not, there is no lack of agreement that we must get those diesel-powered, polluting buses off the road. I share the concerns about the predominance of asthma among youth, along with the added risks of developing respiratory disease and cancer in the future.

Council Member Sidney Katz’s hesitancy about locating the bus depot at Seven Locks Road and Wootton Parkway in Rockville, in his district, is due to his concern about how the increased traffic will impact the nearby neighborhood. He believes the residents need a more prolonged period to comment on the proposed site before plans are finalized.

The redevelopment of the Crabbs Branch site, where 400 school buses are parked, includes affordable housing.

The need for affordable housing upcounty cannot be disputed, along with the benefit of additional commerce provided by perspective small businesses in a walkable community

We can expect added congestion in any neighborhood where the bus facility is located, but not much more than the current bus parking lots. The battery-powered buses can plug into the grid, cooling homes on summer evenings, thereby serving a dual purpose.

Protecting the health of the youth and limiting the severe impacts of climate change by reducing diesel pollution can provide them with the future they deserve.

Gail Landy
Gaithersburg

Editor’s note: Landy is a member of Montgomery County Sierra Club Transportation and Land Use Committee, but said she is speaking as a concerned resident, not for the Sierra Club.

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