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.