Saturday, November 30, 2013

Leggett Launches Campaign to Reduce Pedestrian Collisions in Parking Lots

Last Year, Nearly One-Third of Pedestrian Collisions Occurred in Parking Lots/Garages

In time for the holiday shopping season, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett launched an education campaign to address the growing number of pedestrian collisions occurring in parking lots and garages in Montgomery County. In 2012, parking lot and garage collisions comprised nearly one-third of all pedestrian collisions in the County. What is even more surprising was the finding that nearly 20 percent of the lot/garage collisions in 2012 resulted in severe, debilitating injuries -- the same percentage as road collisions.

The educational campaign’s slogan, “Heads Up in Parking Lots,” features the message: “Don’t run over people. Don’t get run over.”

Leggett launched the education campaign at Dawson’s Market in Rockville Town Center, which is managed by Federal Realty. Immediately following the press event, police officers and firefighters kicked off their holiday season safety campaign, “Shop with a Cop or Firefighter,” by distributing reusable shopping bags and parking lot safety tips to store customers. Through Christmas, police and firefighters will visit some of the County’s busiest shopping areas to remind customers to practice safe driving and walking behaviors in parking lots.

To find ways to bring safety messages directly to drivers and pedestrians in parking lots, the County has partnered with retail property managers and owners. The partners are featured on the County’s website.

Leggett’s expansion of his original Pedestrian Safety Initiative is titled Pedestrian Safety Initiative: Reducing Collisions in Parking Lots and Garages. The strategic plan recommends five strategies to reduce parking lot and garage collisions.

See the County’s website for more information about the Heads Up in Parking Lots campaign.

Highway Services Continues Second Round of Vacuum Leaf Collection

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation Division of Highway Services began its second round of vacuum leaf collection on November 18. Many trees did not drop their leaves until quite late in the season, so this has slowed Highway Services’ progress. Residents are encouraged to be patient while DHS trucks and staff work their way through neighborhoods.

The collection schedule for the second round of leaf collection is available on the County’s website.
Due to the unusual dryness of the leaves (which makes them extremely brittle), leaf removal this year is generating dust that may settle on cars, sidewalks and porches. To assist residents, Highway Services will dispatch a worker with a leaf blower to blow leaf dust off areas with excessive accumulation. To request this service, call 240-777-7623.

To determine if a residence is within the boundaries of the leaf vacuum collection district or view the leaf collection schedule, visit Highway’s website.

High School Students Invited to Participate in 'Walk Your Way' Project

Awards Up to $2,000 Available for Pedestrian Safety Projects in High Schools

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is launching the “Walk Your Way” project as part of an initiative to educate high school students about the importance of pedestrian safety. The County will award up to $2,000 to teams of high school students for creating, designing and implementing a pedestrian safety education program at their high school. Projects ideas include painting sidewalks, designing and distributing posters and other materials or holding a school-wide assembly. Other ideas are listed on the County’s website.

To be eligible for the project grant, students must work in groups of two or more and have the support of at least one teacher or staff supervisor. The project must be developed and implemented by April 30, 2014.

Students interested in applying for the grants should submit an application by 5 p.m. on December 16 to or Walk Your Way, 101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850. Mailed applications must be postmarked by December 16.

More information about the Walk Your Way project is available on the County’s website or by contacting Nadji Kirby or Alex Cohen at

New 'Meet the MARC' Ride On Bus Service Begins January 13

Route 94 Bus to Offer Transit Option between Clarksburg and Germantown MARC Station

Beginning January 13, Montgomery County Ride On will offer a new Route 94 bus service between Clarksburg and the Germantown MARC train station. The service is called “Meet the MARC” because if the evening MARC train runs late, the Ride On bus will wait for the train to arrive. In partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration, the Route 94 will offer rush hour service between the train station and bus stops on Clarksburg Road, Snowden Farm Parkway, Little Seneca Parkway and Meadow Mist Road.

Morning bus service will leave from Clarksburg Road and Gateway Center Drive at 5:38, 6:02, 6:38, 7:01 and 7:46 a.m. and make nine stops in Clarksburg. In the evening, the shuttle will depart the MARC Station for Clarksburg at 4:21, 4:35, 5:20, 5:48, 6:33, 7:12, 7:33 and 8:12 p.m. and make 10 stops in Clarksburg. On Fridays only, an earlier bus at 2:21 p.m. will also operate from the MARC Station to Clarksburg.

Riders who have a MARC weekly, MARC monthly or TLC (Transit Link Card) ticket may simply show it to the bus operator and ride free, the same as on all Ride On buses. Other riders will be charged the regular $1.60 fare for SmarTrip Card users or $1.80 for passengers paying with cash or other Ride On fare media.

For more information, check Ride On’s website. Or, call 311 or 240-777-0311, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or TTY (for hearing impaired) 301-251-4850.

Public Meeting to be Held December 11 on Wheaton Redevelopment Project

Montgomery County Government is inviting the community to a second meeting with Stonebridge Carras/Bozzuto Development, the selected developer for the Wheaton Redevelopment Project. The public meeting will be held Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. at the Wheaton High School (Cafeteria), 12601 Dalewood Drive, Silver Spring.

At the meeting, the current status of the proposed development plan will be shared along with details on the scope of the project and ideas for design. Community input is sought.

For more information, visit MCDOT’s Wheaton Redevelopment website.

Pedestrian Safety Brigade: Working to Make Bethesda a Safer Place to Walk

Several trained pedestrian safety volunteers joined Montgomery County and Bethesda Transportation Solutions to provide information and giveaways at the annual Come Back to Bethesda event in October. The volunteers asked attendees to sign a pledge to be a safe pedestrian and/or a safe driver by writing their names on cards and attaching them to a large banner. By the end of the day, the banner was completely covered with the names of people who want to make Montgomery County a safer place for pedestrians.

The County has been targeting its pedestrian safety improvement efforts in areas with higher rates of pedestrian collisions. Staff trained volunteers in Bethesda, Wheaton and at several local schools educate walkers and drivers about how to safely share the streets with each other.

For more information about this program, or to become a volunteer, contact Joana Conklin in the Montgomery County Department of Transportation at or 240-777-7195 or view the County’s website (pdf).

Dixon Avenue Entrance to Bonifant-Dixon Parking Garage Now Reopened

The Dixon Avenue entrance to Montgomery County’s Bonifant-Dixon parking garage in Silver Spring is now open. It was closed for several months while an extension of Dixon Avenue was constructed through the garage. The construction project was completed at no cost to the County by Home Properties in accordance with the Silver Spring Sector Plan to accommodate additional demand for parking.

The garage is located at 1101 Bonifant Drive. Payment to park in the garage is required Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The garage has 1,185 metered parking spaces.

More information about the garage is available on the County’s website.

Forty-Five County Schools Participate in this Year’s Walk to School Day

County Executive Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County Department of Transportation Director (MCDOT) Art Holmes and other officials joined parents, teachers and children to celebrate International Walk to School Day in October. This year’s host school was Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School, where they have begun a “School Pool” program. School Pool is a free, interactive, secure matching service sponsored by the Council of Governments for parents of children who attend the same school and want to share the responsibility of transporting students to school using a “walking school bus”, a bike train or a traditional carpool.

Supporters of Walk to School Day included SafeKids, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Federal Express, Clif Kid, the State Highway Administration and County agencies.

Montgomery County is upgrading safety at schools thanks, in part, to the federal Safe Routes to School program which provides funding for infrastructure, enforcement and education campaigns.

For more information, visit MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School website.

Ceremony Honors Award Winners of the Keep Montgomery County Beautiful Annual Beautification and Amateur Photography Competitions

"Northern Flicker Pair" 
by Alan Kolnik
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) honored 66 winners of the Keep Montgomery County Beautiful (KMCB) community beautification awards and 55 amateur photographers at the 27th annual awards ceremony. In addition, two people received the Clean Sweep Awards for the Adopt A Road program and one award was presented for the Governor’s Proclamation of the Largest Tree in the State of Maryland.

The beautification competition is open to community groups, businesses, public institutions and other organizations undertaking landscaping projects that enhance the appearance of commonly owned sections of commercial or residential properties. Landscaping can also take place along County roadsides, medians or other public locations. More than 20 years ago, concerned volunteers formed the Keep Montgomery County Beautiful Task Force to work with the County to develop beautification projects and anti-litter and recycling programs. The group also conducts public education to change resident attitudes about littering and graffiti. Business and organization sponsors for the ceremony included the Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Florist.

To view the list of award winners and winning photographs, visit the County’s website.

Construction Update on Langley Park Transit Center

Construction of the Langley Park Transit Center by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is underway.

Located at New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard, the location is one of the busiest bus-only transit spots in the region. During the fall and through early spring, MTA expects to: 
  • Modify the MD 193 (University Blvd.) median and the entrances to the Langley Park and the Hampshire Langley shopping centers to create a fully signalized intersection; 
  • Make minor drainage improvements along MD 193; 
  • Modify the Lebanon Street/MD 650 (New Hampshire Ave.) traffic signal to allow left turns onto MD 650 North; 
  • Modify Anne Avenue to regulate traffic flow; 
  • Remove and replace crosswalks; and 
  • Make minor repairs to the curb at MD 193/Lebanon Street. 
At the request of the community, international and multilingual signs will guide pedestrians and advise the public that all businesses will remain open during construction. The Taco Bell is expected to remain open until spring.

For more information, contact Ms. Chrys Wilson, director of MTA Community Relations, at 410-767-3442 or visit the MTA website.