Monday, July 14, 2014

Leggett, Transportation Secretary Smith, State and Local Elected Officials Break Ground for Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road Interchange

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently celebrated the start of construction for a $74.8 million interchange project at Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road in the Glenmont area that will reduce congestion and improve traffic safety. The project will lower Randolph Road nearly 25 feet to allow through traffic to go under Georgia Avenue. The County provided more than $14 million to advance this project, which is one of the Montgomery’s top transportation priorities.

The project includes new turn lanes and ramps, an additional through lane along Georgia Avenue for a total of three through lanes in each direction, an extension of the Glenmont Greenway Trail and additional sidewalks.

The $44.4 million should be completed in winter 2016, weather permitting.

Joining Leggett were Transportation Secretary James T. Smith Jr.; Senator Richard S. Madaleno Jr.; Senator Jennie M. Forehand; Delegate Sam Arora; County Council Vice President George Leventhal; County Councilmembers Nancy Floreen, Nancy Navarro and Phil Andrews; State Highway Administrator Melinda B. Peters; and other state and local officials.

Update on Road Maintenance Projects

Several road maintenance projects by the Division of Highway Services (DHS) are either underway or about to begin in local subdivisions. Residential resurfacing using hot mix asphalt preserves pavement for many years.

Projects listed below (unless otherwise noted) are expected to take four to six weeks, weather permitting. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless noted otherwise.
  • Stratton Woods, North Bethesda, began in June. 
  • Wyngate, Bethesda, began in June and will take about 12 weeks to complete. 
  • Goshen Estates, Gaithersburg, will begin in July and is expected to take two weeks to complete. 
  • Avery Village, Derwood, will begin in July and is expected to take three weeks to complete. 
  • Dun Horse Lane, Derwood, will begin in July and is expected to take two weeks to complete. 
  • Scott Drive, Silver Spring, will begin in July and is expected to take two weeks to complete. 
  • Bready Road, Olney, will begin in July and is expected to take two weeks to complete. 
  • Midcounty Highway, between Washington Grove Lane and Shady Grove Road, Derwood, will begin in July and is expected to take five weeks to complete. Work hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
  • Sandy Spring Meadows, Olney, will begin in July and is expected to take two weeks to complete. 
  • Shady Grove Road, between Muncaster Mill and Briardale roads, Derwood, will begin in July and is expected to take six weeks to complete. 
  • Fellowship Lane, North Potomac, will begin in July and is expected to take two weeks to complete. 
  • Connecticut Avenue Estates, Phase III, Wheaton, will begin in July and is expected to take three months to complete. 
Permanent patching is a cost-effective interim solution to maintaining roadway structural integrity. The following projects began in June and should be completed within three to four weeks, weather permitting. Work hours are between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Indian Spring Village community, Silver Spring. 
  • Rock Creek Manor, Rockville. 
  • Northwest Park, Silver Spring. 
  • Hillandale Heights, Silver Spring. 
  • Oakview, Silver Spring. 
For projects to preserve pavement, DHS will complete full-depth patching of pavement; perform crack sealing; apply a micro surfacing material; sweep residual stone; and repaint lane markings. Work began in June (unless otherwise noted) and the projects will take about four weeks to complete. Work hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday:
  • Wexford neighborhood, Gaithersburg. 
  • Goshen Estates, Gaithersburg. 
  • Wilderness Walk neighborhood, Gaithersburg, during this summer/fall. 
  • Kings Valley Manor, Damascus, during this summer/fall. 
  • Sycamore Acres, Olney. The first phase will begin in June, with resurfacing to be competed in summer/fall. 
  • Gum Springs Farm, Silver Spring. 

Concrete curb, gutter and sidewalk repair projects involve replacing defective sections to ensure structural integrity, proper drainage and to remove tripping hazards. When DHS crews are in a neighborhood, residents can take advantage of discounts for concrete work under the driveway apron and lead walk repair program. Work will occur from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The following projects will begin in July and take about three to four months to complete, weather permitting:
  • Stonebridge, North Potomac. 
  • Oakview, Silver Spring. 
  • College View, Silver Spring. 
For more information on resurfacing projects throughout the County, visit the Division of Highway Services’ website or call 311 (outside Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311; TTY 301-251-4850), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Emergency Pipe Replacements Begun on Newbridge Drive in Potomac and Kings Valley Road in Damascus

Two projects to improve drainage and replace failing pipes have begun on Newbridge Drive, at the creek between Mayberry Court and Hunt Valley/Twin Creek Court in Potomac and on Kings Valley Drive at the creek just south of Kingstead Road in Damascus.

Traffic on both roads will be intermittently detoured, so drivers should look for variable message signs that will instruct them about alternate routes.

Work along Newbridge Drive began in mid-June and will take about six weeks to complete. Work on Kings Valley Road will begin the week of July 7 and should take about two weeks to complete. Work will occur from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The County right-of-way in front of some residences may be disturbed during the repair project, but it will be restored following completion of construction.

For more information, call 311 (outside Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311; TTY 301-251-4850), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

MCDOT Seeking Vendors to Install Solar Panels on County Parking Garages

To help meet its climate and energy goals, Montgomery County has issued a Request for Energy Proposals (RFEP) to install solar electric power generation systems on 12 County parking garages. Montgomery County will be among the first east coast urban areas to install solar panels on top of its parking facilities. The project will not reduce the number of parking spaces.

The project is expected to save money; reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity generation; and promote local economic activity and job growth.

Proposals are due by September 5, and construction is expected to begin in early 2015. More information is available on the Division of Parking Management’s website.

Public Information Office Wins Award for Parking Lot Safety Campaign

The Montgomery County Office of Public Information (PIO) has won one of three Best of 2014 awards from the International Parking Institute for its education campaign to improve pedestrian safety in parking lots. The inaugural Parking Matters Award recognized outstanding marketing and communications programs. PIO’s campaign was commended for using research and an edgy message to promote safety.

PIO developed the campaign after analyzing data that showed pedestrian collisions in parking lots and garages increased over a three-year period from 2010 to 2012 – to 30 percent of all collisions. Although parking lot collisions represent a significant portion of pedestrian collisions in the County, the assumption had always been that vehicles involved in these collisions were traveling at low speeds and the resulting impacts caused little or no injury. However, in 2012 data analysis found that surprisingly, 18 percent of parking lot collisions resulted in incapacitating injuries – about the same as occurred on County roads.

To reduce the number and severity of parking lot collisions, in July 2013 staff began working with property managers and owners of private parking lots to develop a public education campaign, as 83 percent of the collisions in 2012 occurred in private, retail lots.

The campaign consisted of:
  • Distribution of 20,000 reusable shopping bags and safety tip cards to shoppers at retail centers; 
  • Distribution of an additional 30,000 safety tip cards in parking lots, public facilities and urban centers; 
  • Exterior and interior bus ads; 
  • Bus shelter ads; 
  • Posters; 
  • Pavement decals for parking lots and store interiors; 
  • Two television public service announcements; 
  • A new website featuring downloadable education materials in English and Spanish; 
  • Use of social media, e-newsletters and blogs to reach about 120,000 subscribers; and 
  • Development of a social media toolkit for property managers and owners and their tenants. 
Although it is too early to definitively assess the impacts of the education campaign, preliminary results are very encouraging. Between August and December of 2013, parking lot pedestrian collisions decreased by 30 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has made reducing pedestrian collisions a priority of his administration. In 2007, he released the County’s first strategic plan to improve pedestrian safety through a data-driven approach. The program has successfully reduced collisions overall and particularly in targeted areas with the highest concentrations of collisions. To try and achieve this same success in parking lots, the County Executive developed an addendum to his Pedestrian Safety Initiative in 2013 that identified strategies for reducing parking lot pedestrian collisions.

The campaign slogan developed reflects a simple, somewhat edgy message that tells pedestrians and drivers what to do: “Heads Up in Parking Lots: Don’t run over people. Don’t get run over.” The campaign featured photographs of people in parking lots being inattentive to what is going on around them, whether using cell phones, texting or being otherwise distracted.

The campaign emphasized no-cost and low-cost outreach techniques that focused on getting the message out to both drivers and pedestrians in parking lots. Artwork and public service announcements were developed in-house.

Learn more about the parking lot safety campaign on the County’s website.

Ride On Route 34 Detour

Through the end of August, Ride On Bus Route 34 will be detoured as the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) makes improvements to the Cedar Lane and Maryland Route 355 (Rockville Pike) intersection.

To avoid the construction, the bus route bypasses Cedar Lane between Parkhill and Beach drives, skipping six bus stops (three in each direction) in that stretch of the road. These stops are temporarily discontinued. See a map of the detour route online.

Route 34 between the Wheaton and Medical Center Metro stations takes the following detour stopping only at Route 34 bus stops: Cedar Lane, Beach Drive, Connecticut Avenue and Jones Bridge Road.

Passengers who board the Route 34 bus at the intersection of Parkwood Drive and Cedar Lane, heading in the direction of the Medical Center Metro Station, are advised to board at the westbound bus stop #20868 on Parkwood Drive. If heading towards Wheaton, board the eastbound bus on Parkwood Drive at bus stop #20840.

For more information, visit Ride On’s website or call 311 (outside Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311; TTY 301-251-4850), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

SHA Website Provides Information about Rockville Pike/Cedar Lane Project

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) has a comprehensive website that provides information about the ongoing construction project at the intersection of Rockville Pike and Cedar Lane.

Check the site for updates about the closure of a portion of Cedar Lane just east of Rockville Pike and detour routes around the area. It also includes a feedback form which is the best way to get answers to questions or express concerns.