Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Leggett Celebrates Annapolis Session Accomplishments; Executive’s Top Priority to Expand Transportation Funding Succeeds

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (center) celebrated this year’s Annapolis session accomplishments and congratulated the Montgomery County State Delegation for their successes. Pictured from left to right are: County Councilmember George Leventhal, Sen. Jennie Forehand, County Councilmember Marc Elrich, County Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Sen. Brian Frosh, County Councilmember Craig Rice, County Council President Nancy Navarro, Del. Susan Lee, Montgomery County Senate Delegation Chair Sen. Jamie Raskin, Montgomery County House Delegation Chair Del. Anne Kaiser, Del. Al Carr, Sen. Richard Madaleno and Del. Charles Barkley.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett celebrated the accomplishments achieved by Montgomery County in Annapolis this year.

Montgomery County’s number one priority for more than 10 years has been to obtain more transportation funding,” said Leggett. “Six years ago, I virtually stood alone in advocating for an increase in the state’s gasoline tax, which hadn’t been increased since 1992 when George Bush Sr. was President. Since then, I have testified at every hearing on this issue and have been relentless in its support.

“An increase in transportation funding is vital to helping commuters who are stuck in traffic congestion and to our ability to attract jobs and investment in the future. Thanks to our continuing efforts and the hard work and diligence of our state legislative delegation, we finally will have the sustainable funding source to help us build the transit, road, pedestrian and bike projects we so desperately need.”

The new revenue raised by the gas tax increase is expected to raise $4.4 billion over the next six years. This funding will help support the costs of key County projects, including the Purple Line, the Corridor Cities Transitway and a backlog of major road projects.

Update on Road Maintenance Projects

With the return of warmer weather, the Division of Highway Services began its first new road maintenance projects of the season using hot mix asphalt to resurface the following areas and streets:
  • Contour Road (Montgomery Village/Gaithersburg) from Lost Knife Road to Odendhal Avenue, began April 8. The project is expected to take eight weeks, with construction occurring between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Odendhal Avenue (Montgomery Village/Gaithersburg) from Lost Knife Road to Goshen Road, began April 8. The project is expected to take eight weeks, with construction occurring between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Peachwood subdivision (Spencerville/Silver Spring) began April 1. The project is expected to take three to four weeks, with construction occurring between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Piney Meeting House Road (Potomac) from Canaugh Drive to Boswell Lane, began April 8. The project is expected to take five weeks with construction occurring between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Mink Hollow Road (Ashton) from MD State Road 108 to the Howard County line, began April 8. The project is expected to take four weeks with construction occurring between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Stoney Creek Road (Potomac) from Travilah Road to River Road, began April 22. The project is expected to take four weeks with construction occurring between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Colesville Road (Silver Spring) from East-West Highway/MD Route 410 to Georgia Avenue/MD Route 97, will begin the week of May 6. The project is expected to take eight weeks, weather permitting, with construction occurring overnight, between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. 
  • The Garrett Park Estates neighborhoodwill begin the week of July 30. The project is expected to take four weeks, with construction occurring between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
Pavement preservation projects were also begun. These efforts include full depth patching in portions of the pavement that have deteriorated, sealing cracks and applying a micro-resurfacing material. The first phase of the projects listed below is expected to take four weeks, weather permitting. Final resurfacing will occur this summer or fall.
  • Oakwood/Perrywood subdivision (Burtonsville) began April 22. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Old Georgetown Village subdivision (Rockville) began April 22. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Spring Oaks Estates subdivision (Cloverly/Silver Spring) began April 15. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Al Marah subdivision (Bethesda) will begin the week of May 9. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Newbridge Drive (Potomac) from River Road to Democracy Boulevard began the week of April 29. Construction will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
  • Newport Mill Road (Wheaton) from Veirs Mill Road to University Boulevard will begin the week of May 8. Construction will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
  • Piney Glen Farm subdivision (Gaithersburg area) will begin the week of May 6. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Weller Road (Glenmont) from Georgia Avenue to Connecticut Avenue, will begin the week of May 6. Construction will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
  • The Brookfield neighborhood, Gaithersburg, will begin the week of May 6. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • The Hawkins Landing neighborhood, Laytonsville, will begin the week of May 9. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • The Palatine neighborhood, Rockville, will begin the week of May 6. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Mateny Road, from Great Seneca Highway to Creamery Hill Drive, Germantown, will begin the week of May 13. Construction will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
  • The Olney Village neighborhoodwill begin the week of July 9. Construction will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
For more information on resurfacing projects throughout the County, visit the Division of Highway Services’ website or call 311 (TTY, call 301-251-4850), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Construction Begun on New Bike Path on MacArthur Boulevard

This month, the Department of Transportation’s Division of Transportation Engineering began two projects along MacArthur Boulevard between I-495 and Oberlin Avenue in Glen Echo to construct a new bikeway and resurface the road.

The bikeway will run along the south side of MacArthur Boulevard for 2.6 miles, providing an eight-foot wide path for shared uses. The roadway resurfacing project will include installing retaining walls, driveways, underpass lighting and landscaping; upgrades to the existing stormwater facilities; and installation of bioretention facilities to treat stormwater.

Construction is expected to take about a year. A full-time County representative will be available on site during hours of construction to oversee the progress, monitor pedestrian and traffic safety issues, and to answer resident questions.

Drivers should expect some temporary lane closures associated with the project. Every effort will be made throughout construction to maintain routes for pedestrians and driver access to side streets and driveways.

MCDOT Completes Rehabilitation of East Gude Bridge

The Division of Transportation Engineering recently completed rehabilitating the westbound Gude Drive bridge over the CSX and Metrorail train tracks. The bridge is located about 600 feet east of Frederick Road/MD Route 355 in Derwood.

The portion of the bridge constructed in 1968 was in poor condition. The project took more than a year to complete.

Forest Glen Passageway Study Selects Preferred Alternative

Under the Forest Glen Passageway Feasibility Study, three options were considered to provide a pedestrian passageway linking the east side of Georgia Avenue, across Forest Glen Road, to the Forest Glen Metrorail Station on the west. Tunnel Option 2 was selected as the preferred way to provide the passageway and is depicted in an online newsletter. Preliminary engineering for the project is the next step, which is expected to take about two years. When completed, the plan with the estimated budget will be submitted to the County Council for their approval.

More information about the project is available on the Division of Transportation Engineering website.

County Signs Bikeshare Contract; 50 Stations to be Installed Later This Year

On April 24, the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share that will bring the popular Capital Bikeshare program to Montgomery County. The contract provides for equipment purchase and operating costs in two areas of the County. About 20 bike stations with 200 bikes will be installed in the Rockville and Shady Grove/Life Sciences Center area. Thirty stations with 250 bikes will be located in the Downcounty along both of the Red Line Metrorail corridors between the District of Columbia and the beltway. Areas include Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Friendship Heights, Bethesda and Medical Center.

Montgomery County’s bikeshare program will operate seamlessly with other Capital Bikeshare programs throughout the region. MCDOT’s top priority is to ensure the safety of riders by locating stations in areas with safe connections to activity centers and other stations, including bike paths, bike lanes and sidewalks, or on streets that are less congested by traffic. MCDOT is working with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on locating bikeshare stations at each of the Metrorail stations in the areas to be served.

Proposed locations for the bikeshare stations include the Rockville and Shady Grove Metro stations; Rockville Town Center; King Farm; Fallsgrove; the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center; Montgomery College, Rockville campus; The Universities at Shady Grove; and Johns Hopkins University, Montgomery County campus.

Bikesharing provides short-term bicycle rentals at self-service, automated, solar-powered docking stations sited at publicly-accessible locations. Bikes may be picked up at one location and returned to another, creating a system that allows for one-way trips. Bikeshare is considered ideal for short trips of less than five miles. Trips under 30 minutes are included in the membership fee, while longer trips are charged based on their duration.

For the Downcounty bikeshare program, MCDOT received a $1,008,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation. The County also received $252,000 in private- sector funding commitments to meet the requirement for local matching funds. The Downcounty system is expected to expand the reach of Metrorail and other transit; provide low-cost transportation options in the most urbanized and congested portion of Montgomery County; help get people out of their cars for short trips; and produce environmental and health benefits while enhancing economic activity.

Commuters Encouraged to Register for Bike to Work Day; Montgomery County Will Have 17 Pit Stops

On Friday May 17, Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association will co-sponsor the region’s annual Bike to Work Day. Commuters are urged to join thousands of others in the region for a celebration of bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get where you’re going in the morning.

There will be 70 pit stops throughout the Washington area, of which 17 will be in Montgomery County. Six of the pit stops will be sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Commuter Services and these include Silver Spring - Discovery, Friendship Heights, Bethesda – Reed Street (Woodmont and Bethesda avenues), North Bethesda, Rockville Town Center and, in partnership with the City of Rockville, Fallsgrove.

Registered participants will receive a free tee shirt and refreshments at the stops and will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for a free bicycle and other prizes.

Information on all of the Bike to Work Day pit stops is available online. Learn more about Commuter Services on its website.

Leggett and Navarro to Declare Transportation Choices Week in Montgomery County

To recognize National Transportation Week and celebrate the County’s comprehensive and balanced transportation program, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and County Council President Nancy Navarro designated the week of May 12 through 18 as Transportation Choices Week.

More than 67 million passenger trips are made annually on Metrorail, Metrobus, MARC, and Montgomery County’s Ride On. County commuters travel by carpool, vanpool, bicycling, walking and telecommuting each day, reducing greenhouse gases, improving the environment, ensuring the economic and environmental health of neighborhoods and enhancing the mobility of residents.

In the proclamation, Leggett and Navarro thanked residents who use alternative transportation such as carpools, vanpools or public transit, and who walk or bicycle. They also commended employers who encourage their workers’ use of commuting alternatives.

Residential Street Sweeping Underway

Montgomery County’s 4,000 curb miles of residential roadways are receiving their annual spring cleaning, which takes several months to complete.

This joint effort between the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) removes abrasives and other debris left behind after the winter snow season and improves the appearance and safety of County streets.

Based on past results, officials expect the cleaning to remove about 2,000 tons of material that could otherwise be washed into County streams. Removing excess debris and abrasives from road surfaces also helps to keep drainage systems clean.

Roads in areas identified by DEP as priority watersheds will be swept first and, if needed, will receive additional sweepings. The schedule for streetsweeping is available on the County’s website.

MCDOT Conducts Pedestrian Safety Education Campaign at Seneca Valley High School

The morning of April 11 marked the beginning of a pedestrian safety education and enforcement campaign at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown. The campaign kicked off with a student assembly featuring Gwendolyn Ward, mother of Christina Morris-Ward, a 15-year old Seneca Valley student who was tragically killed crossing Germantown Road this past Halloween. She spoke to the crowd of more than 1,200 high school students about the potentially life-threatening consequences of not obeying pedestrian safety laws. Other speakers included Seneca Valley High School Principal Marc Cohen, Montgomery County Police Captain Thomas Didone, and Montgomery County Department of Transportation's Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Jeff Dunckel. The assembly also featured a 10-minute public service announcement produced by students at the high school, which highlighted the importance of being a safe pedestrian and driver.

The assembly was followed by a several week campaign conducted by a team of pedestrian safety Champions, comprised of parents and members of the community, as well as representatives from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue. They intercepted students as they crossed streets, handing out reflective materials and talking to them about crossing safely. Tips included:
  • Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections; 
  • Look left, right, left, and over the shoulder for turning vehicles when crossing the street; 
  • Begin crossing the street on the “walk” signal; 
  • Stay visible after dark; 
  • Make eye contact with drivers; and 
  • Stop texting and talking on the cell and remove earphones. 
Following the education campaign, police issued citations to pedestrians and drivers who were not obeying the law. Pedestrians will be fined $50 for crossing outside of a crosswalk if both adjacent intersections have traffic signals, or starting to cross at a signalized intersection if the pedestrian signal is red or flashing red. Drivers will be fined $80 for not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Spring Regional Street Smart Campaign Has New Look – Same Message about Pedestrian Safety

Montgomery County joined the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s new public awareness safety campaign urging drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to look out for each other. The Street Smart campaign offers safety tips to prevent pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries in the region.

The “tired faces” visuals call attention to the dangers challenging pedestrians and bicyclists with the larger-than-life faces of area residents on ads on buses and in transit shelters. Officials want drivers to actively watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially when turning.

 They also are reminding bicyclists to ride with traffic and stop at red lights and urging pedestrians to use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal before crossing the street.

In 2012, preliminary data indicates there were 3,033 crashes in the Washington metropolitan region involving pedestrians and bicyclists that resulted in 70 fatalities.

During the Street Smart campaign, which runs through May 13, law enforcement officers in Maryland, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia will step up ticketing of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists who violate traffic safety laws. Drivers and cyclists who fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, as well as pedestrians who jaywalk, can face fines. Drivers also are subject to getting points on their driving records.

Information on the new campaign and the Street Smart public education program is available on MWCOG’s website.

Montgomery County Police to Focus on Pedestrian Safety during April and May Efforts Part of Regional Street Smart Awareness Campaign

During April and May, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) are focusing enforcement efforts on pedestrian safety in High Incidence Areas (HIAs) -- areas with more pedestrian collisions. They are issuing citations to both drivers and pedestrians in the following locations who are breaking the law: 
  • Connecticut Avenue between Independence Street and Georgia Avenue, Aspen Hill; 
  • Randolph Road between Selfridge Road and Colie Drive, Wheaton; 
  • Four Corners, Silver Spring; 
  • Rockville Pike between Halpine Drive and Hubbard Road, Rockville; and 
  • Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring. 
In addition to these HIAs, MCPD will focus pedestrian enforcement actions on other crosswalk locations around the County where driver compliance with pedestrian safety laws has been an issue, including: 
  • Veirs Mill Road at Turkey Branch Parkway, Aspen Hill; 
  • Bel Pre Road between Georgia Avenue and Layhill Road, Aspen Hill; 
  • Democracy Boulevard between Old Georgetown Road and Bells Mill Road, Bethesda; 
  • Arlington Road between Elm Street and Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda; 
  • Muddy Branch Road between Suffield Drive and Diamondback Drive, Gaithersburg; 
  • Aircraft Drive between Century Boulevard and Germantown Road at the Germantown Transit Center, Germantown; 
  • Middlebrook Road at Great Seneca Highway, Germantown; 
  • Lost Knife Road between Odendhal Avenue and Contour Road at the Lake Forest Transit Center, Montgomery Village; 
  • Wootton Parkway near Wootton High School, Rockville; 
  • Spring Street at First Avenue, Silver Spring; 
  • University Boulevard at Reedie Drive, Wheaton/Glenmont; 
  • Randolph Road at Livingston Street, Wheaton/Glenmont; and 
  • Randolph Road at Bluhill Road, Wheaton /Glenmont. 
About 400 pedestrians are struck by vehicles in Montgomery County each year. Many of these collisions could be avoided if drivers and pedestrians obeyed the law and were more aware.

Wheaton Pedestrian Safety Volunteers Making a Difference

A group of community volunteers are making a real difference in the Wheaton area as they help to spread the word about pedestrian safety with help from the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), the Montgomery County Police Department and the County’s Fire and Rescue Service, in coordination with the Maryland Highway Safety Office. The volunteers have been reaching out to attendees at fairs, festivals and community meetings and pedestrians on the street, distributing reusable bags containing pedestrian safety information.

The community members represent neighborhood civic associations, including Connecticut Avenue Estates, Montclair Manor and Rock Creek Palisades, as well as the Hispanic/Latino community. A YouTube video highlights some of their activities over the last few months.

Those who want to volunteer their assistance should contact Joana Conklin with MCDOT’s pedestrian safety program at 240.777.7195 or by email.

Nominations Due by June 22 for Annual Landscaping and Photography Contests

Nominations are being accepted for the Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) annual Keep Montgomery County Beautiful (KMCB) landscaping and photography competitions. Applications for both contests are due by June 22.

The 27th Annual Landscape Contest is open to community groups, businesses, public institutions and other organizations undertaking landscaping projects that enhance the appearance of commonly owned commercial or residential properties in Montgomery County. Landscaping along County roadsides, medians or other public locations is also eligible for the award.

The subject categories for the 22nd Annual Amateur Photography Contest are Montgomery County by day or by night and County landmarks, people and those at work. Photos are judged on effective composition, originality, interest, relevance of the subject matter and technique. There is also a special youth category for aspiring photographers, ages 18 and younger, who wish to be judged only against their peers.

Download the landscaping and photography contest applications and get more information about the guidelines and judging criteria at MCDOT’s Community Outreach website. Photos of last year’s winning entries for both contests are also available on the website.

MCDOT’s Adopt-A-Road Summit Encourages Participation in Litter Reduction Program

The Department of Transportation (MCDOT) recently held its fourth summit for Adopt-A-Road program volunteers. The program encourages County residents and businesses to keep roadsides litter free through regular clean ups. Currently, the Adopt-A-Road program has about 1,000 volunteers who keep 360 road segments clean, keeping the County beautiful and preventing harmful debris from washing into and polluting streams.

The summit gave attendees a chance to learn about County support for the Adopt-A-Road program; share their experiences, knowledge and concerns with other volunteers; and pick up cleaning equipment. MCDOT supports the program by providing safety items, such as bright orange trash bags, gloves, vests and pick-sticks.

Additional volunteers are always welcome. For more information on the Adopt-A-Road program, visit the County’s website.

Monthly Parking Permits Can Now be Purchased Online

Residents can now purchase online monthly Parking Convenience Stickers (PCS permits) and the AM/PM monthly permits. PCS permits allow unlimited parking for one calendar month at County meters in parking garages, lots, on-street parking spaces or PCS reserved areas. The AM/PM monthly permit allows unlimited parking at long-term meters (for parking nine to 15 hours) only from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Once the permit transaction is completed online, the permit will be mailed to the purchaser. Residents may continue to purchase the permits through the mail or in person at the Montgomery County Parking Division’s sales stores in Bethesda and Silver Spring.

Montgomery County operates parking lot districts in Bethesda, Montgomery Hills, North Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton.

Additional information on parking permits and County parking options is available on the County’s website. Or, call 311 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Bethesda Parking Sales Store can be reached at 240-777-8770 and the Silver Spring Parking Sales Store number is 240-777-8744.

options for the meters include:
  • Coins; 
  • Cash Key, which has money pre-loaded onto the key; and 
  • Parking Convenience Sticker (PCS), which will cost $123 a month for unlimited parking. Stickers can be purchased online, by mail or in person at two County locations: 
  1. The Silver Spring Parking Sales Store (in County Parking Garage #61), 809 Ellsworth Avenue, Silver Spring, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 
  2. Bethesda Parking Sales Store (in County Parking Garage #42), 4720 Cheltenham Drive, Bethesda, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 
A few weeks following installation of the meters, the pay-by-cell phone option will be added.

Net revenues, after expenses for equipment, operations and enforcement, will support the Greater Shady Grove Transportation Management District (TMD). The TMD works with businesses, employees and residents to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and support a sustainable community.

For more information, contact 311 online or call 311 (from outside of the County, 240-777-0311) or TTY 301-251-4850, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WMATA Selects Bethesda Metro Station as Test for "Model Station" Concept

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) announced that the Bethesda Metro Station has been selected to test potential future station concepts. As part of Metro’s strategic plan, Momentum, the model station will enable Metro to test several design concepts in a single station, with improved lighting, better information and improved customer convenience.

More information is available on Metro’s website.

Bethesda and Woodmont avenues Project Update

Southwest Corner
Work continues on the public-private partnership project located on the former parking lot (Lot 31) at the corner of Bethesda and Woodmont avenues in Bethesda. 

While excavation continues, concrete operations have begun. Work continues on the northeast portion of the site to remove soils and install the last of the sheeting/shoring system along the east wall. Excavation is expected to be completed in late June.

Exterior waterproofing is being installed in the northwest quadrant and the first tower crane is in full operation.

Drivers are reminded that Woodmont Avenue remains closed from Miller to Bethesda avenues. Only vehicles with business on Miller or those who live off Miller should enter Woodmont Avenue northbound at Wisconsin.

Overhead protection of the Capital Crescent Trail and its restoration immediately adjacent to Lot 31 is complete. 
Northwest Corner

The Department of Transportation continues to monitor pedestrian and vehicle traffic around the Woodmont Avenue closure to ensure their signal timing changes continue to improve traffic flow on Bethesda Avenue. Additional pedestrian crossing signs have also been installed within the Bethesda/Woodmont intersection.

For more information on parking options in Bethesda, visit the Division of Parking Management’s website.

Experts Discuss Telework with Employers; Presentations Available on County Website

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Commuter Connections Program; and Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Commuter Services Section sponsored a workshop for employers interested in learning more about telework and its impact on productivity and employee morale.

Recent media reports about telework have prompted discussions about whether this alternative work arrangement benefits employers. Experts on telework explained what factors businesses and organizations should consider in making telework decisions and the benefits and challenges of telework. Local employers who are successfully implementing telework programs also discussed their experiences.

The workshop presentations are available on the Commuter Services website.

MCDOT’s Annual Report Now Available

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Office of Community Outreach recently published its 2012 Annual Report. The report includes accomplishments during Fiscal Year 2012 as well as planned initiatives for current and future fiscal years. This year’s report also contains a special section reviewing the County’s accomplishments in improving pedestrian safety.

View a copy of the report on the MCDOT Community Outreach website. To request a printed copy, call the recorded information line at 240-777-7155. Leave your full name, address and the number of copies requested.

MTA to Hold Open Houses on Purple Line

(Source: PurpleLineNOW.com news announcement, April 15, 2013)

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Purple Line project team will be holding five open houses in different neighborhoods along the Purple Line alignment between May 7 and May 15. The team is nearing completion of the Preliminary Engineering and Final Environmental Impact Statement.

At the open houses, MTA will display current plans and MTA engineers will answer questions and take suggestions. MTA will use the input received from the public to make final revisions to the Preliminary Engineering plans before they are submitted for federal approval late this summer.

For more details, visit the Maryland Department of Transportation’s website.

MCDOT Installing Parking Meters on Streets Near Shady Grove Hospital

The Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is installing 292 parking meters on three streets around Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and other nearby medical and professional facilities. The Montgomery County Council approved parking charges in the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center area to help control traffic congestion and encourage more on-street parking turnover, which increases the availability of parking spaces. MCDOT mailed notifications to all affected businesses.

The meters are being installed on both sides of:
  • Medical Center Drive between Great Seneca Highway and Key West Avenue; 
  • Broschart Road between Key West Avenue and Medical Center Drive; and 
  • Blackwell Road between Broschart Road and Great Seneca Highway. 
A map of the locations is available on the County’s website (pdf).

The parking rates will be 65-cents an hour, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No payment will be required on weekends or holidays.

More Adults Text While Driving

(Source: USA Today, March 28, 2013)

Forget teenagers. Adults are the biggest texting-while-driving problem in the U.S. What’s worse — they know it’s wrong.

In an AT&T survey, almost half of all adults admit to texting while driving compared with 43 percent of teenagers. More than 98 percent of adults — almost all of them — admit they know it’s wrong. Six in 10 say they weren’t doing it three years ago. This follows an extensive national campaign against distracted driving: 39 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving for all drivers, and an additional five states prohibit the practice for new drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The AT&T survey follows a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found 31 percent of drivers in the U.S. reported texting or e-mailing while driving.