Thursday, December 22, 2016

MCDOT Colesville Depot Employees Give Back During the Holidays

MCDOT’s Highway Services employees in the Colesville Depot adopted two needy families from Greencastle Elementary School and are providing them with gifts and gift cards to brighten their holiday season. The effort was organized by Greg Bryant and Robert Monroe. 

Helping Others is All in a Day’s Work for Three Highway Services’ Employees

Earlier this month, MCDOT received an email stating that “leaf collection men helped save my dog – KUDOS.” The three intrepid MCDOT Highway Services’ employees were Donald Thompson, Keith Howard and Doug Jones – all from Highway’s Silver Spring Depot.

It all started on Saturday, December 3, when three large dogs that had bolted away from their dog walker attacked a dog being walked by its owner. The dog owner laid down on his beloved pet in the middle of the street to shield it from the other dogs. As he was lying face down, he heard a friendly voice telling him that it was safe to get up. Thompson, Howard and Jones had been nearby working on one of MCDOT’s leaf vacuum collection crews, and when they saw what was happening, came to the rescue by grabbing the attacking dogs’ leashes, pulling them away and returning them to the dog walker. The owner’s dog was unharmed, but the gentleman was so shaken that he didn’t feel he properly thanked the men who acted so quickly to help – and that’s when he wrote to MCDOT to explain what had happened.

“I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for their willingness to take this action,” said the dog owner.

“I commend Donald Thompson, Keith Howard and Doug Jones, who didn’t hesitate to go above and beyond during a difficult situation and take fast action to help someone,” said MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh upon receiving the email. “To the dog owner, these three employees are real heroes. And they are to us, too. Our MCDOT staff is special – they are dedicated and hardworking and do an exemplary job. That’s why it’s always so great to hear from residents not only about efforts that our staff make in extraordinary circumstances, but also about the great service they provide day in and day out.”

WSSC Offers Winter Weather Tips for Customers

When temperatures drop precipitously, water main breaks occur more frequently. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) encourages customers to report a suspected broken water main as soon as possible. It recommends keeping on hand a one-to-two gallon supply of safe tap or bottled water per person per day for a three-day emergency. Read more.

Snowden Farm Parkway Segment Now Open

Snowden Farm Parkway, from the boundary of Clarksburg Village to Ridge Road, is now open to traffic.  This important link provides the Clarksburg community with another access point to MD-27.  The road was constructed under a developer agreement with Montgomery County.

Coming Soon: Improvement Projects on the Capital Crescent Trail

Use caution at all times at trail crossing.
Two projects are starting on the Capital Crescent Trail:
  1. Montgomery Parks will begin safety improvements in late December at the Little Falls Parkway and the Capital Crescent Trail crossing. Look for a new traffic pattern; Little Falls Parkway will merge from two lanes to one each way in the vicinity of the intersection and the speed limit will change from 35 mph to 25 mph.  Additional signs alerting motorists of pedestrians and bicyclists will also be installed. Read more.

  2. In November, PEPCO crews began a three-month electric infrastructure replacement project with a mobile work zone from River Road to MacArthur Boulevard. The trail is open during construction, but bikers and walkers are advised to use caution when traveling through the designated work zone areas.
New traffic pattern to be installed at Little Falls Parkway and CCT

Holiday Schedule for Christmas and New Year’s

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays:

Ride On – Saturday, December 24: Saturday schedule with limited late evening service. Trips scheduled to depart from the terminal at 10:01 p.m. or later will NOT depart.  Sunday, December 25: Sunday schedule.  Monday, December 26: Sunday schedule (Christmas Day - observed).  Sunday, January 1: Sunday schedule; Monday, January 2: Sunday schedule (New Year's Day - observed)

Metrorail and Metrobus – Information available at

TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed

A complete list of schedules for other County services is available online.

Now Available: Updated Transportation Directory for People with Disabilities and Seniors

The County's Commission on People with Disabilities and the Department of Transportation recently released an updated directory of useful transportation services to help County residents better coordinate their transportation needs. The guide can be used by anyone, although its emphasis is on people with disabilities and adults 50 and older.

The guide provides a comprehensive listing of public, private and non-profit transportation options in the Washington metropolitan region and the state of Maryland and beyond that includes travel alternatives to airports, escorted transportation and information on reduced fees on Metro. 

The guide is available on the County’s Department of Health and Human Services website and in hard copy by downloading the PDF version.

Two Options Available for Those Without a Designated Driver

Enjoy the holidays, but don’t risk your life or the life of others. Two programs offer options to get you home safely:

1)    In an effort to help prevent drunk driving this holiday season, the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) is partnering with a local transportation service, Dryver, to offer $20 gift cards towards a designated driver and $5 off the first 10 Lyft rides used.  The gift card and coupon are available at all County liquor stores. Read more.

2)    SoberRide, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, offers free cab rides home (up to a $30 fare) during the holidays, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly starting Friday, December 16 through Sunday, January 1, 2017. To receive a free cab ride, call 800-200-8294 (TAXI). AT&T customers may dial #WRAP from their wireless phones. SoberRide participants must be 21 or older to use the service. Learn more.

Roshdieh, Officials Celebrate Takoma Langley Crossroads Transit Center Opening

Montgomery County Department of Transportation Director Al Roshdieh joined federal, state and local officials to celebrate the opening of the Takoma Langley Crossroads Transit Center by the Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). The Transit Center is located at 7900 New Hampshire Avenue, Takoma Park. Operations at the Center will begin on Thursday, December 22. Read more.

Montgomery County Looking for a Development Partner for New Silver Spring Mixed-Use and Arena Project

Image on right shows the two Bonifant Street garages that the county is offering for the proposed arena
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is leading the effort to identify creative, viable proposals from qualified teams that will design, construct and operate an approximately 5,000-seat multi-purpose indoor sports, public assembly and entertainment facility, as well as adjacent retail and residential facilities.   Read more.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ride On’s New Training Facility Featured in News Story

Photo provided by Bethesda Magazine
WHAG-TV featured the new Ride On training classroom and outdoor track in a recent story. The star of the feature was Rex Thompson, a 32-year bus driver with Ride On who said, “If I was a younger man, I would want to come to Ride On and do it all over again.” View the story online.  

Leggett and Public Safety Officials Provide Information to Help Community Stay Safe This Holiday Season

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Police Chief Tom Manger, Fire Chief Scott Goldstein and other officials provided information to help community members “Stay Safe this Holiday Season.” Safety information under the categories of Be Seen, Be Alert and Be Responsible included: driver and pedestrian safety, safety in parking lots, impaired driving prevention and respecting disability parking spaces. Read more. 

Don’t Forget to Vote for a BRT System Name – and Become Eligible to Win Contest Prizes

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a new mode of transportation coming to Montgomery County that will make it easier for residents, workers and visitors to get where they need to go safely and efficiently. Vote now to name the new BRT system and be automatically entered to win an iPad among other great prizes.  Learn more about BRT at GetOnBoardBRT.comTwitter or like BRT on Facebook.  

Montgomery County's Ride On Encourages Kids to Use Transit

An article in the December issue of Washington Parent magazine encourages kids to use transit and features Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system. Kids (those 18 years of age or younger) ride free on Ride On Monday through Friday from 2 to 8 p.m. Those under five years of age ride free anytime when accompanied by a paying passenger. In addition, Ride On offers a Youth Pass for $11 a month that provides unlimited rides. In the summer, the Summer Youth Pass for only $18 is an even better bargain – with the pass, kids get unlimited rides in June, July and August. See the full article in Washington Parent and learn more online about Ride On’s special fares for kids.

Seat Belts and Minimum Age Drinking Laws Saved Thousands of Lives in 2015

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved nearly 13,941 lives of occupants five and older and front air bags saved the lives of an estimated 2,573 occupants 13 and older. In addition, an estimated 537 lives were saved due to minimum-drinking-age laws. Read more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ceremony Honors Winners of the Keep Montgomery County Clean and Green Competitions

Ruppert Landscape Company won Award of Excellence for six landscaping projects
throughout Montgomery County. 
MCDOT, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection, announced 61 winners of its 30th annual Keep Montgomery County Clean and Green landscape beautification contest. Others honored were 18 amateur photographers and two Adopt A Road program Clean Sweep Award winners. Read more.

Leggett, Sarbanes, Kittleman, Berliner, Roshdieh and Coalition of Supporters Launch Naming Contest for Bus Rapid Transit System

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett launched the start of a naming contest to brand the County’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which in the next few years is expected to greatly expand the transportation options available in the County. A broad coalition of supporters attended the event along US 29, which is expected to be the first BRT in the State of Maryland and could serve both Montgomery and Howard counties.  Read more.  

MCDOT Leads the Way with White Flint Projects to Enhance Walkable Streets

Montgomery County has started working on the first of two phases of the White Flint West Workaround transportation project, an effort designed to create a pedestrian-friendly community where residents and visitors can walk to work, shops and transit. The first phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of calendar year 2017. Read more.


MCDOT’s Division of Transportation Engineering is Making Progress on Major Construction Projects

 Division of Transportation Engineering Website

MCDOT’s Division of Transportation Engineering (DTE) designs and constructs transportation systems and infrastructure, including bikeways, sidewalks, transit facilities, ADA ramps, roads and storm drains; inspects, maintains and builds bridges; and acquires property for projects.

DTE has a number of major projects under construction and uses Twitter to keep the public informed about its progress on these efforts, including:

Tobytown Celebrates Launch of Ride On Bus Service

Tobytown residents held a celebration on November 15 to thank County officials and others for starting a new Ride On bus service, Route 301, that operates between Tobytown Drive in Potomac and Rockville Metro Station. View Mymcmedia’s coverage of the event.  Ride On began charging regular fares on the Route 301 on Monday, November 21. Learn more. 

MCDOT Honors Outstanding Staff at Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony

 Pictured (from left to right) are Parking Division Chief Jose Thomanna,
Veeda Wilkinson and MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh.
On November 15, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) held an annual recognition for its “best of the best” employees.  Each Division and the Director’s Office nominate candidates and only 30 were chosen out of 1,320 MCDOT employees. In addition, those with 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service with the County were also honored. Read more.

MCDOT’s Celebration of Parking Day Featured in Parking Professional Magazine

In September, MCDOT observed International PARK(ing) Day by making selected public parking spaces available to be creatively transformed into fun, parklike spots. The successful event was featured in the Parking Professional magazine along with events in other communities. See the full article. MCDOT is featured on page 4. 

 ISSUU November 2016 Issue

Metrorail SafeTrack Surge 10 Ends November 22

The last SafeTrack Surge to affect the Metrorail Red Line, the system’s busiest line, ends November 22. To help travelers, Ride On operated free shuttle buses between Silver Spring, Takoma and the Fort Totten Metrorail stations during weekday rush hours, carrying between 1,500 and 2,000 daily riders. MCDOT also assisted in other ways. Learn more.

Visual and Literary Arts to be Incorporated into Purple Line Station Designs

This handout image shows what the exterior of the Purple Line light railcars would look like. The rendering is based
 on the railcars used in Houston. (Courtesy Maryland Transit Administration)

The Purple Line team invites the public to attend a “Meet the Artists” public meeting on November 30 and share information about their community’s unique history and culture with 87 invited artists. The artists will use the information to prepare proposals for artwork to be incorporated at stations along the route. Learn more.

In addition, the Maryland Transit Administration Project Management Consultant for the Purple Line seeks literary artists to create a story to be integrated into the design and infrastructure of the future Purple Line transit corridor. Qualifications are due December 1.  Read more.

 Art-in-Transit Meeting

Thursday, November 10, 2016

MCDOT Wins $240,000 Grant to Install Bikeshare Stations in White Flint and Twinbrook

Look for seven new Bikeshare stations in White Flint and Twinbrook in 2018. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has won a $240,588 Maryland Bikeways Program grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to establish five Bikeshare stations: a four-station satellite Capital Bikeshare network in White Flint and a station in Twinbrook.  In addition, working cooperatively with MCDOT, the City of Rockville received a grant award for two stations in Twinbrook.  Read more.

New Bikeshare Station Installed

MCDOT is installing its 58th Bikeshare station.  It has 15-docks and is located at the corner of Sligo Avenue and Carroll Lane in Silver Spring. Cyclists using the new Bikeshare station can easily reach the Silver Spring Metro, which is about a mile away, by riding on the marked, wide road shoulders on Sligo Avenue.

MCDOT to Begin Improvement Project at MD 28 and Riffle Ford Road

On Wednesday, November 9, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) began construction of a project to improve safety and traffic flow at the intersection of MD 28 (Darnestown Road) and Riffle Ford Road. Read more.

Street Smart Launches Fall Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Campaign

The regional Street Smart pedestrian and bicyclist safety initiative is promoting safety this fall with stepped up enforcement of traffic laws and public education throughout the region. Safety experts warn that the end of daylight savings time brings darker evening commuting hours and greater risks for pedestrians and bicyclists. Read more.

MCDOT Prepares for Winter Storm Season

On November 1, Highway Services held a mock snow clearing exercise to test the preparedness of the County’s snow plans and fleet. On the following day, MCDOT held its annual snow summit to discuss its snow plan and new initiatives. County Executive Ike Leggett was a featured speaker. Read more.

Annual Snow Summit held at the Gaithersburg Depot

Leggett, Roshdieh Participate in Ribbon Cutting for Public Service Training Academy Opening

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Director Al Roshdieh took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA). The facility has new training classrooms and a training track for Ride On bus operators. Read more.  

MTA Utility Work to Close Lanes on Wisconsin Avenue this Weekend

On Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13, utility relocations will occur in preparation for construction of a new Bethesda Metrorail Station South Entrance that will require double lane closures on both northbound and southbound Wisconsin Avenue between MD 410 (East-West Highway) and MD 191 (Bradley Boulevard). Read more.

Leaf Vacuum Collection Began November 7 and Continues Through Mid-December

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services (DHS) began its annual collection of leaves in the vacuum leaf collection district on November 7. DHS provides two collections on every district street during the fall. A third collection may also be provided on an as-needed basis. Read more.

Ride On Seeks Members for Transit Advisory Group

Ride On is looking for Montgomery County residents who use the bus service and would like to volunteer to serve on the Transit Advisory Group, which provides a user perspective to the Division of Transit Services. Members serve a two-year term. Expressions of interest are due November 15. More information is available online.

Reminder: Call-n-Ride Eligibility Age Has Been Reduced to 65

MCDOT’s Call-n-Ride program provides subsidized taxi trips for low-income persons with disabilities and seniors.  The eligibility age was recently reduced to those 65 and older. Learn more

Friday, October 28, 2016

SafeTrack Surge 10 Begins October 29 – Are You Ready?

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) SafeTrack Surge 10 will affect the Red Line from October 29 through November 22. This surge is expected to cause delays on the entire Red Line -- the Metrorail system’s busiest line. WMATA is urging commuters to find alternatives, particularly during weekday, peak travel hours. Surge 10 is the last surge that will directly affect Montgomery County.

Critical Information About SafeTrack Surge 10
  • Metrorail stations at Brookland-CUA and Rhode Island Ave. will be closed.
  • Red Line trains will run in two segments -- Shady Grove to NoMa-Gallaudet U every six minutes and Glenmont to Fort Totten every ten minutes.
  • For those riding other sections of the Red Line, there will be fewer trains arriving less often.
  • Metro will run free shuttle buses to replace trains between NoMa-Gallaudet U and Fort Totten.
  • Ride On will run free shuttle buses between the Silver Spring, Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations during extended rush hours.
  • The Green/Yellow Line provides a good alternative between Fort Totten and Gallery Place.
  • Other alternatives include the MARC train; additional Metrobuses along key north-south routes; and Park and Ride lots at Green/Yellow Line Metrorail stations.
  • Overall, Red Line customers are urged to consider telecommuting, off-peak travel, bus, MARC and other alternatives. Commuters should expect trains to be extremely crowded.

Help for Riders
Transportation alternatives available using buses, MARC train, Metrorail or bikes.
Get more information about transportation alternatives available using buses, MARC train, the Metrorail Green/Yellow Line or bikes: Read more.

Help for Drivers
Learn more about park and ride, ride-sharing, car share, telecommuting and what MCDOT is doing to help drivers. Read more.

Explore Commuter Services Options
Get help to start telecommuting and flex time programs and learn more about the County’s FareShare program that reduces the cost of some commuting options. Read more.

Other Ways MCDOT is Helping to Educate Travelers
Look for Ride On staff, signs and other information at affected Metrorail stations or check out Ride On’s social media. Read more.

Additional information:
Montgomery County Press Release