Friday, January 27, 2012
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett unveiled his six-year Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Capital Budget and FY 2013-2018 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) that strikes a careful balance between meeting capital construction priorities and the continued need to put the County’s fiscal house in order. The transportation portion of the budget includes important projects that will help relieve traffic congestion and improve pedestrian and vehicular safety.
- A close alliance between the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Environmental Protection has been forged as they work together to meet State stormwater management requirements.
Mass Transit: Mass transit is a critical element in keeping the County moving.
- A new Montgomery Mall Transit Center is funded.
- Through a combination of federal and local funds, 39 Ride On buses will be replaced through the CIP.
- Included in the CIP are planning funds for the Bethesda South Metro Station project and funds to construct bus stop improvements and transit parking lot renovations.
- New bridge projects will replace the Gold Mine Road Bridge over the Hawlings River and replace two of the existing Whites Ferry Road Bridges.
- Design work is funded for the Garrett Park Road Bridge and the Beach Drive Bridge.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety: The budget continues to provide for increased opportunities for safe and convenient travel for bikers and walkers.
- New project funding has been recommended to design a shared use path along the south side of Needwood Road between Equestrian Lane and Muncaster Mill Road.
- Construction funding has been added for the Maryland Route 355 sidewalks project in Hyattstown.
- Funding has been continued to complete the Bethesda Bikeway and Pedestrian Facilities Improvements, Dale Drive sidewalk, Frederick Road bike path, MacArthur Boulevard bikeway improvements and the Greentree Road sidewalk projects, as well as a grant to Takoma Park for Flower Avenue sidewalks.
- Federal funding will be used to improve Maryland Route 355 vehicular and pedestrian traffic around the Walter Reed National Medical Center, the National Institutes for Health and the National Medical Center Metrorail station.
Roads: Three new road projects are included in the recommended capital budget.
- East Gude Drive improvements will increase roadway capacity and enhance vehicular and pedestrian safety from Crabbs Branch Way to Southlawn Lane.
- Planning funds have been included for the Seminary Road intersection at Brookeville Raoad, Seminary Place, Linden Lane and Second Avenue and roadway improvements that will enhance traffic flow and improve safety for drivers, bikers and pedestrians.
- Leggett has included a new Clarksburg Transportation Connections project to fund roadway and intersection improvements to increase capacity and reduce congestion. Agreements have been reached to implement this public-private partnership.
- Other road improvements that will be completed include Travilah Road, Thompson Road connection and Redland Road from Crabbs Branch Way to Baederwood Lane.
- Progress will continue on the Century Boulevard, Chapman Avenue Extended, Goshen Road South, Platt Ridge Drive Extended, Montrose Parkway East, Snouffer School Road, Snouffer School North and Wapakoneta Road improvement projects.
- Improvements on roads in the White Flint area will continue as part of larger redevelopment efforts.
- Leggett has increased funding for road resurfacing to address the backlog of roads needing repair.
- Funding for core transportation infrastructure has been maintained or increased for items such as Americans with Disabilities Act compliance; the Advanced Transportation Management System; bridge preservation and renovation; guardrails; intersection improvements; neighborhood traffic calming; sidewalks; streetlights; pedestrian safety, sidewalk and infrastructure improvements; streetlighting; street tree preservation; traffic signals and the related traffic signal system; and Colesville depot improvements.
- The old traffic signal system will be retired in FY12, and ongoing funding has been included to provide additional capabilities and tools to optimize traffic flow – an important element in enhancing road network capacity and minimizing the environmental impacts of traffic.
- Storm drain projects in the Town of Chevy Chase and on Maple Avenue will be completed by FY13 and FY14, respectively. Funding for general storm drain activity, facility planning and outfall repairs has also been maintained with modest increases planned in later years.
Parking: A number of parking projects are moving forward through partnerships with private developers, including:
- The Bethesda Lot 31 Parking Garage will begin construction in FY12 and be completed in FY15, providing 940 County-owned spaces and 295 spaces owned by the developer.
- The Silver Spring Lot 3 Parking Garage will be completed in the spring of 2016 and will provide 152 County-owned and operated underground parking spaces.
Budget highlights and the entire recommended CIP can be viewed online.
POSTED AT: 7:00:00 AM