MCDOT’s Highway Services Division has completed a five-month, emergency project to replace a culvert in Damascus under Sweepstakes Road between Cutsail Drive and Newbury Road. The road is now open and Ride On bus Route 90, which was temporarily detoured around the construction area, has resumed its regular schedule. More information about the project is available online. See the Route 90 schedule online.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Earlier this month, MCDOT Acting Director Al Roshdieh (second from left) and County Council Vice President Roger Berliner (second from right) visited MCDOT’s Bethesda Depot Maintenance Shop and salt barn and discussed winter readiness with staff. MCDOT has 8,000 tons of salt stored for winter storms. Staff pictured are Wayne Ray, Workforce Leader (on far left) and Louis Machetto, Bethesda Depot Supervisor (on far right).
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Parking Management Division completed the replacement of more than 1,100 on-street parking meters in Silver Spring with new "smart" parking meter heads that expand payment options. The smart meters also use a solar-powered battery system, have a highly visible display, and provide real-time communication capabilities to identify broken meters and instantly process credit card transactions. Last year, MCDOT replaced over 700 of Bethesda’s on-street meters.
Maryland Campaign to Discourage Drunk Driving Launched: “Spend Time With Family, Not In Jail – Drive Sober.”
During the holidays, the number of people who drive impaired skyrockets. Law enforcement agencies across Maryland are stepping up sobriety enforcement campaigns.
The campaign offers the following tips to drivers:Read more.
- If you plan to celebrate with alcohol, include a sober driver in your plans.
- If you will be drinking, designate a sober driver before the party begins.
- When you know you’ll be drinking, leave your keys at home or give them to someone else.
- Once impaired, use mass transit, call a cab, get a free ride with SoberRide, or ask a sober friend to get you home.
SoberRide, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program initiative, is providing free rides home through January 1 for those who have imbibed too much during the holiday season. SoberRide offers free taxi rides nightly to those ages 21 or older from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Call 1- 800-200-TAXI to arrange for a ride. Read more.
Ride On, Metro and the TRiPS Commuter Stores have modified schedules next week:
- Ride On – Sunday schedule on December 25 and January 1; limited weekday service until 10 p.m. on December 24.
- Metrobus – Sunday schedule on December 25 and January 1
- Metrorail – Sunday schedule on December 25 and January 1
- TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed on December 25 and January 1
Recent Presentations Provide an Overview of Plans for the Purple Line, BRT on US 29 and the Countywide Rapid Transit System
Learn more about the County's rapid transit plans by viewing presentations made to the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board and the Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee:
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett will hold five budget forums in January to seek input from residents about Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) operating budget priorities.
The forums all begin at 7 p.m. on the following dates:
- Wednesday, January 6, Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring.
- Monday, January 11, Bethesda-Chevy Case Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda.
- Wednesday, January 20, Silver Spring Regional Services Center, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring.
- Thursday, January 21, Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring
- Monday, January 25, BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) State Highway Administration (SHA) is resurfacing more than one mile of MD 182 (Layhill Road) between Park Vista Drive and Chester Mill Road in Silver Spring/Aspen Hill. Weather permitting, the work should be completed by the end of the year.
Crews have been patching the roadway. The next step is repaving and applying new pavement markings.
Motorists should be aware that SHA may close one lane in both directions of MD 182 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Crews will use arrow boards, cones and barrels to guide motorists through the work zone.
The latest real-time traffic information is available online or by calling 1-855-466-3511.
Traveling over the holidays? Maryland 511 provides travelers with current traffic and weather information and links to other transportation services.
The latest real-time traffic information is available online or by calling 1-855-466-3511.
During County Executive Ike Leggett’s online chat this month, he answered two transportation-related questions from the public: one about bicyclists obeying traffic laws and the other about building a new bridge to Virginia in northern Montgomery County. Read more.
|Source: Streetsblog USA, December 4, 2015|
Listen to a podcast, "The Most Exhilarating Transit Ride in America" by Matt Johnson, and learn more about his adventures riding every American urban rail system open today (101 total). View this spreadsheet. Johnson discusses his favorite systems, what got him started on his journey to ride them all and other topics. He is a bike planner for Montgomery County and a writer for Greater Greater Washington.
Tree Montgomery, an initiative of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), offers free shade trees to single-family homeowners, businesses, multi-family properties, and homeowner associations (except in Rockville and Gaithersburg). DEP provides trees that are 10 to 12 feet tall that will eventually grow to more than 50 feet when fully mature. DEP cares for the trees for two years, including watering and pruning.
The program was designed to increase the number of trees in the County and raise awareness of their benefits. Trees improve watersheds by reducing sediment and other pollutants that flow into streams, improve air quality, and provide a more aesthetic environment. The program began in the spring.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Public Safety Chiefs Urge Public to “Be Safer this Holiday Season;” Be Safe, Be Seen, Be Responsible
Police Chief Tom Manger and Fire Chief Scott Goldstein urged community members to “Be Safer this Holiday Season,” and to “Be Seen, Be Alert, and Be Responsible.” As of November 24, there have been 33 fatal traffic collisions in Montgomery County in which 34 people lost their lives. Read more.
Montgomery County’s new towing law, Bill 17-15, passed unanimously by the County Council on July 21 and signed into law by the County Executive, took effect on November 30. The new law is designed to address overly aggressive and predatory towing practices and restore regulatory balance in commercial and residential parking lots.
Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) typically receives more towing complaints each month than any other single category of complaint. These unfair practices can be detrimental to businesses and residents’ quality of life. Read more.
Leggett Announces County Priorities for 2016 Legislative Session that Includes Funding for Transportation Projects
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett released his list of County priorities for the 2016 legislative session that begins in January. He identified transportation as one of the County’s critical needs.
Leggett said, "Being a part of a region that has long been identified with the worst traffic congestion in the country, it is essential to protect the integrity of the State’s Transportation Trust Fund and, therefore, the ability for the County’s priority projects to move forward. Greater investment in the transportation infrastructure of the most economically viable County in the State is the necessary precursor for job creation, which is being held back by insufficient mobility in the region -- especially on State highways and transit, which are State responsibilities. Specifically, both Montgomery and Fairfax Counties need their states to pursue improvements to the American Legion Bridge and the Beltway from the I-270 West Spur into Virginia.
"Expanded transit options and renewed effort to improve the safety of the WMATA system are also priorities. Replacing the existing Tri-State Oversight Committee with an empowered new State Safety Oversight Agency should be made a pressing issue this year by Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. Given the disproportionate need, any opening to negotiate to advance transportation projects and studies, improve the safety of the region’s Metrorail operations, or increase State funding for the County’s Ride On Bus system, should be aggressively pursued."
See the full list of priorities online.
Users of Ride On Real Time should be aware that the website address has changed from http:// to https://, so bookmarks and website settings may need to be updated.
Ride On Real Time uses GPS technology to track buses and estimate when they will arrive at a bus stop. Apps are available for IOS and Android phones.
Get more information about Ride On Real Time online.
In an effort to help prevent drunk driving in Montgomery County, the Department of Liquor Control (DLC) is partnering with a local transportation service to offer $20 gift cards towards a designated driver this holiday season.
The “Be My Designated Driver” (Be My DD) program, the nation’s largest designated driver service, provides an alternative using professional drivers who drive your vehicle for you. Fully-screened and fully-insured, BeMyDD’s drivers have over 10 years of driving experience and arrive dressed in professional attire. Hourly personal driver services range from $14-$19.50 an hour (depending on location). BeMyDD also provides car pickup services for $25 plus mileage. Read more.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has announced the dates, times, and places of five budget forums to be held throughout the County in January. The forums, held every year by Leggett to get public feedback on the upcoming County operating budget, are free and open to all. Input from the forums informs development of the County’s operating budget. The County Executive will release his Recommended Operating Budget on March 15 for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2016.
The forums will begin with a briefing on the upcoming budget by the County Office of Management and Budget, followed by a conversation and question-and-answer period with the County Executive.
The meetings, which all begin at 7 p.m., are scheduled for:
- Wednesday, January 6 – Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring
- Monday, January 11 – Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda
- Wednesday, January 20 – Silver Spring Civic Center, One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring
- Thursday, January 21 – Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring
- Monday, January 25 – BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), the East County Regional Service Center and Montgomery County Police hosted a community stakeholder meeting to discuss plans for a Pedestrian Road Safety Audit/Study in the North White Oak/Burnt Mills area along Longwood Drive, from Oak Leaf to Stewart Lane. MCDOT periodically conducts Pedestrian Road Safety audits in areas that are experiencing traffic and pedestrian safety related issues. Information from the audit is then used to develop recommendations about possible improvements.
At the community meeting for civic leaders and stakeholders, staff provided information on the audit process and traffic and pedestrian safety concerns in the area.
Since October, crews have completed construction of roadway bus pads—sections of concrete at bus stops that can support the weight of heavier vehicles like buses—along southbound MD 650. Current crews are constructing upgraded sidewalk ramps, repairing and replacing curbs and gutters, and installing new traffic light infrastructure and guardrails. These activities will continue through spring 2016.
Other planned improvements will:
- Construct new traffic signals at the intersections of MD 650 and Ruatan Street, Quebec Street and Metzerott Road;
- Resurface traffic lanes and apply new pavement markings; and
- Clean inlets and pipes for better roadway drainage.
Crews may temporarily close one lane of traffic along northbound MD 650 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., and southbound MD 650 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
WSSC contractors will be shutting down two southbound lanes on Rockville Pike (MD 355) near the Cedar Lane intersection Weather permitting, the repairs are expected to take five to 10 days.
The right two southbound lanes will be completely shut down once repairs begin, with a temporary Jersey wall erected to protect the construction area. The two remaining open lanes will consist of one through lane and one right turn lane onto West Cedar Lane. As the repairs progress, one additional through lane will be re-opened. Despite earlier reports, there is no work being done on the northbound lanes of Rockville Pike.
The repairs are confined to the road and do not affect the water mains. No customers will be out of service during these repairs.
The repairs are necessary due to damage caused by a 16-inch water main break on October 12. The 74-year-old cast iron pipe caused significant damage to the road and to the adjacent embankment. Crews will shore up the undermined road and the surrounding area and replace the curb and gutter drainage system.
For the latest updates on this work, follow WSSC on Twitter @WSSCWaterNews or call WSSC at 301-206-4001, 301-206-9772 or toll free at 1-800-828-6439, weekdays, from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For water emergencies only (water main breaks or sewer overflow) contact WSSC 24 hours a day at 301-206-4002 or EmergencyCallCenter@wsscwater.com.
By January, Metro is upgrading its fare vending machines to dispense SmarTrip cards rather than paper farecards.
Here are highlights of the transition process:
- The change to SmarTrip-only machines began recently at Virginia stations, but Metro plans to discontinue all sales of paper farecards, including bulk sales, when the last machine in the system is upgraded by January. (Paper farecard sales will end at each of its more than 450 individual Metrorail stations as machines are upgraded.)
- Riders will be able to use any remaining paper farecards to enter and exit the Metrorail system until early March.
- Riders holding paper farecards will still be able to transfer the value from paper to SmarTrip at any rail station or Metro sales office through June 2016.
Friday, November 20, 2015
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