The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, will discuss a supplemental appropriation of $1 million to continue preliminary studies of a future Countywide Rapid Transit System. The committee also will hold a worksession with a panel of experts who will offer a variety of innovative methods to fund transportation projects.
The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, will meet in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov
County Executive Isiah Leggett is recommending an amendment to the County’s Capital Improvements Program that would provide for additional studies as precursors to the full-fledged project planning students for rapid transit system. The Montgomery Transit Task Force previously issued a report recommending a 160-mile rapid transit system—to be built in three phases—that would have specially designed vehicles transporting residents on dedicated lines separate from other traffic.
Currently, there are three rapid transit routes in various stages of project planning. The Corridor Cities Transitway would run between the Shady Grove Metrorail and Clarksburg. The Veirs Mill Road route would run between Rockville and Wheaton. The Georgia Avenue route would connect Olney and Glenmont.
At 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Navarro and includes Councilmember Riemer and Valerie Ervin, will hold a worksession on Bill 32-12 that would require regulations permitting the noncompetitive appointment of a qualified person with a severe developmental, physical or psychological disability to a County merit position. On Nov. 6, voters approved an amendment to the County Charter to allow the program.
The GO Committee also will discuss actions that can be taken to assist County cable consumers when they have issues with their service that the cable franchise company does not resolve. In November, Councilmember Ervin wrote to the County’s Office of Consumer Protection and its Office of Cable and Broadband Communications to ask for methods to allow consumers to know what avenues are already available to help solve cable problems. She also wanted to know if there were other options to help consumers when the cable franchise operators were not responsive to complaints.
At 2 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, will begin discussions regarding a draft of a new housing policy for the County. The Department of Housing and Community Affairs created the draft, which would replace the housing policy adopted in 2001.
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