The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Division of Transportation Engineering will host a workshop to solicit community comment on the Midcounty Corridor Study on Wednesday, June 6. The meeting will take place, from 4 to 9 p.m. in the Watkins Mill High School cafeteria, 10301 Apple Ridge Rd., Gaithersburg.
The Midcounty Corridor Study is looking at ways to improve north-south transportation options in the Clarksburg, Germantown and Gaithersburg areas to serve the planned land use and future growth.
Attendees at the workshop will be able to review concepts at their own pace and provide feedback. MCDOT staff and other agency representatives will be available to discuss the project, answer questions and address concerns. No formal presentation will be made.
Planning for the Midcounty Corridor Study (MCS) began in 2006 with 11 preliminary alternatives. The MCS is now at a critical milestone where the 11 alternatives have been reduced to six, based on the results of preliminary studies, agency input, stakeholder recommendations and public comments. More information about the study is available on the County’s website.
The public may also comment by contacting Project Manager Greg Hwang at
On Tuesday, April 10, the Division of Transportation Engineering (DTE) will host a public meeting to solicit community comment on the Forest Glen Passageway Feasibility Study.
DTE is studying the feasibility of building either a pedestrian tunnel or bridge at Georgia Avenue and Forest Glen Road, providing safer access to the Forest Glen Metrorail Station, Holy Cross Hospital and its offices, Montgomery Hills Baptist Church and nearby neighborhoods. The meeting will take place, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Sligo Middle School in the cafeteria, 1401 Dennis Avenue, Silver Spring.
The intersection of Georgia Avenue at Forest Glen Road has one of the highest roadway traffic volumes in Maryland. From 2005 to 2009, pedestrian-related crashes at this intersection were almost four times the statewide average.
In late 2008, the Montgomery County Council approved funding for the design of the new Forest Glen Passageway. Its construction has not been funded. MCDOT is seeking federal funds to help with the construction costs.
The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing on January 24 at 1:30 p.m. on proposed Bill 37-11 that would allow the installation of cameras on County school buses to monitor vehicles that illegally pass stopped buses.
A Maryland State Department of Education survey released in March 2011 reported that in a single day in February, more than 7,000 drivers illegally passed stopped school buses in Maryland.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) invites the public to provide comments on a bikesharing initiative proposed for an area stretching from the District of Columbia line to the Beltway along both Montgomery County portions of the Metrorail Red Line, including Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Forest Glen and Wheaton on the eastern metrorail leg, and Friendship Heights, Bethesda and Medical Center along the western portion. Staff is seeking input on bikesharing locations as part of a grant application to the Maryland Department of Transportation for a bikesharing system.
The open house will be held on Tuesday, November 29 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the lobby auditorium of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. The building is a short walk from the Rockville station on the Metrorail red line.
This grant is part of a larger MCDOT initiative to institute bikesharing throughout Montgomery County to increase options for non-automobile travel.
On November 1, the Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing to consider supplemental funding for the Maryland Route 355 Crossing project. The project will fund right-of-way negotiations, utility relocations and design and construction of a multi-modal, grade-separated connection between the Walter Reed Naval Medical Center and the Medical Center Metrorail Station. Funding also includes high-speed elevators to provide a direct connection between the Medical Center and the Metro Station mezzanine. The need for these improvements stems from Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) relocations that are bringing more than 2,500 new jobs to Bethesda and an increase of visits to the Center from 500,000 a year to nearly one million.
The Department of Transportation Division of Transportation Engineering held a Public Hearing on July 13 to obtain comments that will assist the County Executive in determining whether or not to authorize construction of Montrose Parkway East. The proposed road will extend Montrose Parkway West (which runs from I-270 to Maryland Route 355) to Viers Mill Road (Maryland Route 587). The road was recommended in the North Bethesda/Garrett Park Master Plan.
The proposed roadway would include a four-lane divided highway with curb and gutter, a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk on the south side, and a 10-foot wide asphalt path on the north side. The project would include a 350-foot highway bridge over Rock Creek; relocation and reconstruction of 800 feet of Rock Creek Trail – including a 107-foot long pedestrian bridge over proposed Montrose Parkway; reconstruction of approximately 2,000 feet of Veirs Mill Road; and several retaining walls designed to reduce environmental impacts. Streetlighting, landscaping and stormwater management are part of the design. The traffic signal at the Veirs Mill intersection will be modified to accommodate the new intersection.
The complete project would cost an estimated $119,495,000, including engineering, right-of-way acquisition, site improvements, and construction.
Residents, property owners, businesses, civic groups and other stakeholders are invited to participate in a multi-agency charette process about the White Flint Sector Plan proposed public amenities. These amenities include a recreation center, neighborhood library, community meeting space, civic green, a satellite Regional Services Center, modifications to Wall Park and a recreation trail that links these facilities to each other and other locations.
The initial public charette will be held on June 1 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Walter Johnson High School cafeteria, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda. Attendees will be asked for input about how the public amenities can meet existing and anticipated community needs, contribute to the vitality of the area and help to shape and define White Flint as a world-class center in which to live, shop, work and play. Staff will present examples of community-defining facilities and review the public amenities outlined in the White Flint Master Plan.
In smaller groups, attendees will develop ideas on the following issues:
How the public amenities can meet existing and emerging community needs;
How the facilities can help shape the identity of White Flint as a premier destination;
How to develop facilities that are environmentally, operationally and programmatically sustainable; and
How to plan facilities that are coordinated and do not duplicate services, nor unduly compete with privately provided amenities and businesses.
A second charette will be held on June 16 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. also in the Walter Johnson High School cafeteria. County staff will present a conceptual implementation plan based on input received at the June 1 meeting.
The charettes are being held by the Montgomery County Department of General Services in collaboration with public agencies including, Public Libraries, Department of Recreation, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, Department of Transportation and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Several White Flint developers have generously helped fund this effort, including Federal Realty Investment Trust, Gables Residential, JBG Associates, L.L.C., LCOR White Flint, L.L.C., Promark Real Estate Services, L.L.C., Saul Holdings Limited Partnership, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust and White Flint Mall, L.L.C.
Goals of the charette process are to develop a White Flint Amenities Implementation strategy that will:
Create an inviting and iconic sense of community and place;
Maximize the benefits to the public;
Create synergies with existing and planned public and private facilities;
Maximize use of a recreation loop and transit to promote greater accessibility, use and enjoyment;
Maximize use and efficiency of amenities;
Avoid unintended redundancy and competition between public and private facilities; and
Be affordable, “right-sized” and sustainable.
Anyone needing ADA, sign language interpreters or other special accommodations to attend the charettes must contact Rob Klein at 240-777-6016 or email@example.com at least three business days before each meeting.
The Montgomery County Council held a public hearing on April 26 on proposed transportation fees, charges and fares. These include reducing the discount on Ride On’s monthly pass, increasing long term parking rates in Silver Spring and Bethesda by 10 cents an hour, adding parking charges on Saturday for Bethesda’s lots and garages, and assessing fees for developers in the Greater Shady Grove Transportation Management District.
The Council will accept written comments for 30 days following the hearing. For more information call the Council at 240-777-7803, or visit the Council’s website.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will hold a public meeting on the River Road Bikepath project on Thursday, April 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Potomac Elementary School , 10311 River Road , Potomac . The bikepath is proposed for the north side of River Road (MD 190) from Riverwood Drive to River Oaks Lane.
At this public meeting, the Project Manager, along with other MCDOT staff, will present the latest project design, answer questions and discuss concerns that residents may have regarding the project.
For more information or to provide email or written comments, contact:
Rebecca Park, P.E., Project Manager Transportation Design Section Division of Transportation Engineering, MCDOT 100 Edison Park Drive , Fourth Floor Gaithersburg , Maryland 20878 Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents interested in receiving project newsletters may contact Marsha Wheeler-Christ in MCDOT’s Division of Transportation Engineering at 240-777-6174. For information on other transportation construction projects, visit the Division of Transportation Engineering's website.
The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing on the County Executive ’s proposal to raise the cost of the Ride On monthly pass to $45. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 26, starting at 7:30 p.m. The hearing will be held in the 3rd Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building , 100 Maryland Avenue , Rockville .
Currently, Ride On has a $30 monthly pass for unlimited rides on regular Ride On routes. The County Executive proposes an increase of $15 a month that will raise the cost to $45, beginning with the July 2011 Ride On Monthly Pass. Customers will still receive a substantial savings from the use of this pass. This increase is one of many actions proposed to help offset the County’s nearly $300 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012.
Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to speak at the public hearing should register by calling 240-777-7803 on or before April 25 by 4 p.m. Sign language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible but not less than 72 hours prior to the date of the hearing. Large print format is also available upon request.
Comments on the proposed Ride On fare changes may also be written, faxed or e-mailed to the Montgomery County Council by noon on Wednesday, April 27.
A new link on the Montgomery County homepage makes it even easier for residents to provide comments and ideas on government restructuring, cost savings and other thoughts about closing the County’s projected $300 million budget gap for the coming fiscal year (FY). The idea for the new link came from Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal.
Resident feedback will be used by both the Montgomery County Council, during its budget deliberations, and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, as he prepares his recommended operating budget, which will be presented to the County Council on March 15.
The County Executive held five budget forums in January throughout the County and the County Council is holding a series of Town Hall meetings to hear directly from residents about their suggestions.
The County Council approves the FY 2012 budget in May. The new fiscal year begins July 1. The budget form is available on the County’s website.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation(MCDOT) is seeking public input to assist in the development of a preliminary design for a sidewalk in Hyattstown along Frederick Road between Hyattstown Mill Road and the County line. Given the historic nature of the community, MCDOT is attempting to minimize impacts of the sidewalk to properties and mature trees.
MCDOT is seeking community opinions on the location of the sidewalk, the choice of materials for the sidewalk and retaining walls, crosswalk locations, drainage and erosion issues, signage and other considerations.
A public meeting will be held this spring to present a preliminary design. For more information about the project, go to the MCDOT’s website. To comment on the project, email email@example.com.
Montgomery County Commuter Services (MCCS) joined the Washington region in celebrating Car Free Day on Wednesday, September 22. This annual, worldwide event encourages the public to find alternatives to using cars or reduce the amount of driving that day. Organizers promote the idea that using transit, biking and walking – instead of driving – will reduce noise, pollution and stress.
To celebrate Car Free Day, Commuter Services staff distributed refreshments, offered drawings for valuable, donated coupons from local retailers, and provided transportation option information at several locations throughout the county.
Check the MCCS website for more information or call 240-773-2989. Those traveling near downtown Silver Spring or Friendship Heights can stop in at the County’s TRiPS Commuter Stores, located at 8413 Ramsey Avenue in Silver Spring and 17 Wisconsin Circle in Friendship Heights. Both stores are located within a short walk of Metrorail stations, sell transit fare media, and provide a variety of information on transportation alternatives.
Montgomery County provides and promotes a comprehensive and balanced transportation program that includes a wide variety of transit, ridesharing, bicycling, pedestrian and teleworking options for residents, businesses, employees and visitors. These alternative modes of transportation are effective and efficient solutions, reducing pollution and transportation costs, helping address climate change concerns and ensuring the economic and environmental vitality of the community.
Montgomery County’s Commuter Services is conducting a “Sustainable Commuting Workshop” for employers and businesses that will focus on ways to help employees shorten their commutes, including telework options. These programs can improve County employers’ ability to recruit and retain the best employees, while reducing traffic congestion and enhancing quality of life. They can also contribute to County certification as a “Green Business.” Funded by a grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the workshop will be held on June 10 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Lobby Level Auditorium, Rockville.
Workshop presentations by experts and industry leaders will focus on financial assistance programs and other benefits available to employers and employees, including County, the House Keys 4 Employees and Smart Keys 4 Employees programs, and telework resources for employers. Local employers and industry leaders will share their experiences during panel discussions. Technical assistance will also be available to interested employers.
Recent news articles and research confirm that work commutes are a heavy burden on businesses and employees, especially in the Washington region. Long commutes can sap productivity and impact a company’s profit margin. At the workshop, employers will learn about commute-reducing programs that can reduce turnover costs, improve morale and improve competitiveness.
Local businesses are also encouraged to participate as exhibitors. This free marketing opportunity provides exhibitors access to a variety of businesses to promote their programs and services related to commuting challenges and trip reductions; housing location; finance and affordability; energy and environment; telework services; family-friendly human resource policies, and eco-friendly business practices.
On April 27, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett sent a new proposed Transportation Policy Area Review (TPAR) strategy to the County Council. TPAR is a starting point for discussions about the best way to identify future transportation inadequacies and solutions in the development process in each of the County’s 21 Policy Areas. Most of those involved in the planning process agree that the current transportation test used to determine the adequacy of transportation facilities is confusing and flawed. The new proposed transportation review will be a significant step forward to address the congestion experienced by County residents.
The proposed TPAR policy:
Is simple to understand and monitor.
Classifies each Policy Area as urban, suburban or rural.
Establishes separate adequacy standards for transit and roadways for each Policy Area in the County. These standards reflect adequate balance between transportation and development for the upcoming 10-year period.
States that if the forecasted 10-year Policy Area adequacy standards are not met, the County should program the transit services and/or road improvements in the operating or capital improvement projects budgets to meet forecasted development activity and address present and future congestion issues.
Recommends funding the proposed improvements through a public-private partnership, with different levels of participation, based on public policy considerations of where growth is most desirable.
Allows balanced growth in all Policy Areas of the County.
Since Monday, February 22, residents and employees in the vicinity of the Silver Spring Transit Center site – bordered by Colesville Road, the Metro Red Line Station, Wayne Ave. and Ramsey Ave. – may have heard blasting as the County’s Department of General Services continues construction on the project. Blasting will last for four to six weeks and occur primarily between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The blasting will have little or no impact beyond the construction fence at the site. Traffic will not be impacted and pedestrian access should not be affected.
Those in the immediate vicinity of the site may hear a 30-second air horn five minutes before a blast occurs, and then three short horn tones five seconds before the blast explosion. Within about a minute of the blast, a 15-second all clear horn will blow once the Master Blaster verifies the completeness of the blast.
In the unlikely event that the Master Blaster determines that an area outside the project construction fence will be impacted, staff will stop pedestrians from entering the zone until the blasting is completed.
Go to the County’s website for more information about the Silver Spring Transit Center project.
Montgomery County is faced with a projected budget shortfall of $608 million for fiscal year 2011. To help close the gap, the County is proposing to reduce or eliminate Ride On routes that have the fewest riders or those where other alternative service is available, and raise fares by up to 20 cents.
Residents who wish to comment on Ride On’s proposed service reductions can attend a public forum on Monday, February 1, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level, located at 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. In case of inclement weather, the public forum will be held on Tuesday, February 2 at the same location.
The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed Ride On fare increases on February 4at 7:30 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville.
For information on the specific proposed route changes or rate increases, giving testimony at the forums, or submitting written comments, go to the Ride On website.