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.
In addition to road paving and sidewalk repairs, the Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services (DHS) is intensifying its maintenance efforts to complete work that can only be accomplished during the warmer weather months. Staff is flushing bridge decks and drainage systems of winter debris; repairing road shoulders; and patching potholes.
DHS continues its street sweeping on arterial roads and residential streets that began in mid-March. This joint effort with the Department of Environmental Protection removes abrasives and other debris after the winter snow season. Sweeping typically removes more than 3,000 tons of road debris each year that would otherwise be washed into streams.
“Refresh Montgomery” has also begun. For almost two months, three road crews will work full-time picking up litter. Each year this effort collects about 20 tons of trash. Crews coordinate their work with the volunteer-based Adopt A Road program, which sponsors 260 volunteer groups who conduct roadside cleanups.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s pavement preservation program is using long-term strategies to preserve and enhance the County’s transportation infrastructure. Under this program, roadways rated as fair or worse are receiving attention now that the warmer weather allows for the use of hot mix asphalt.
The work consists of:
Full depth patching removes and replaces distressed pavement areas to restore the pavement’s structural integrity and ability to support vehicle loads.
Edge and full width pavement milling removes the entire surface of the roadway to a depth of one to two inches.
Utility adjustments to bring storm drain and sewer manhole covers and valves to the same grade as the renewed pavement.
Crack sealing to repair large cracks with a flexible filler.
Concrete curb replacement(if needed or appropriate) to remove and replace damaged and misaligned curbs.
Paving with hot mix asphalt.
Replacement of roadway lane markings.
Work on the following residential neighborhoods is scheduled to begin this spring: Glenview, Silver Spring; Regency Estates, Potomac; Rosemont and Walnut Hill, Gaithersburg; and Goshen Hunt, Damascus.
Arterial roads that will be resurfaced this spring using hot mix asphalt are: three miles of Seven Locks Road between Democracy Boulevard and Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda; three-and-one-half miles of Gainsborough Road between Tuckerman Lane and Democracy Boulevard; more than five miles of Twinbrook Parkway between Veirs Mill Road and Rail Road Bridge; and Travilah Road between Darnestown Road and Dufief Mill Road.
Arterial roads that will be resurfaced this spring using a micro surface process are: nearly seven miles of Tuckerman Lane between Seven Locks Road and Falls Road; 2.75 miles of Tilden Lane between Old Stage Road and Old Georgetown Road; and more than six miles of Observation Drive between Route 118 and Ridge Road.
In addition, DOT will repair sidewalks and curbs in the Connecticut Avenue Estates neighborhood, Rockville. The work involves removing and replacing damaged sidewalks and ensuring that curb ramps are accessible to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, removal and replacement of damaged and misaligned curbs and restoration of disturbed areas with soil, grass seed and straw mulch. While DOT is in the neighborhood, residents can take advantage of the competitive price offered by the County to replace driveway aprons (the portion of the driveway that is within the public right-of-way) and lead walks (the sidewalk from the edge of the road to a homeowners property line).
Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Residential Road Rehabilitation program continues in the Glen Echo community. In response to County Executive Isiah Leggett’s call for a more systematic approach to maintaining the County’s transportation infrastructure, MCDOT responded by rating the condition of every road. Under this program, Glen Echo had many streets rated very poor.
Due to the size and scope of the project, improvements are being made in two phases, with work in Tulip Hill and Mohican Hills completed last summer, and improvements to Glen Echo Heights starting this spring. A total of 18 lane-miles of road will be reconstructed at a projected cost of almost $4 million dollars.
This summer, 16 lane miles of concrete and asphalt work will begin in Forest Glen to rehabilitate that neighborhood.
DOT does not widen or alter the character of the streets in these communities and takes special care to preserve the trees in the right-of-way during construction.
For more information, visit the County’s website or call MCDOT’s Customer Service Line at 240-777-6000.
Work has begun to replace the Clarksburg Road Bridge and rehabilitate the deteriorated concrete bridge abutments. The project is part of the approved Damascus Master Plan. The existing concrete and steel superstructure will be replaced with a new concrete bridge and 450 feet of the approaching roadway will be reconstructed. The bridge will have two 11-foot wide travel lanes and four-foot wide shoulders on each side of the roadway, for a total width of 30 feet that will allow for on-road bicycle traffic.
One lane of the bridge will be open at all times to allow through traffic while work is completed. Traffic will be controlled by a temporary traffic signal that will be installed prior to the start of construction. Clarksburg Road will be open to two-way traffic throughout construction.
The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2011.
For more information, call the Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation Customer Service Line at 240-777-6000.
Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has recently updated its online publication of vital statistics about the department and its services, presenting statistical highlights from each of the five divisions and numerous photos.
Some of the interesting facts in the new brochure include: Did you know Traffic Engineering controls 775 traffic signals and maintains 60,000 street lights? Did you know Ride On carries 29 million passengers a year on 86 routes? Or, that Highway Services has to plow snow from over 5,000 lane miles of road each time we have a winter storm? Did you know that Parking Services operates 41 parking lots and garages, and the Transportation Engineering division has built 77 miles of sidewalks in the past five years?
The publication is a great item for classrooms or to provide residents a better understanding of where their tax dollars go. It’s available on the County’s website.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) began a $300,000 project to improve traffic flow along Maryland 28, Norbeck Road. Currently, left turning vehicles cause significant delays for through traffic on this two-lane road, so SHA will install two new left turn lanes on Maryland 28 between Maryland 97, Georgia Avenue, and Maryland 182, Layhill Road. The project should be completed this summer.
SHA will construct a new left turn lane at Radwick Lane and Barn Ridge Drive. To accommodate the new turn lanes, both east and westbound lanes on Maryland 28 at these locations will be widened. Other work includes new pavement at Radwick Lane and Barn Ridge Drive, signs and pavement markings, and new curb and gutter at Barn Ridge Drive. (Source: SHA Project Information Newsletter)
Montgomery County is faced with a projected budget shortfall for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011) of nearly a billion dollars. In order to close this gap, the County Executive has submitted to the County Council reductions to 34 of Ride On’s services to save $2.7 million in FY 2011. If approved by the Council, the service changes would begin as early as July 4, 2010.
The proposed cuts would eliminate three weekday routes, 10 Saturday routes, and five Sunday routes. Another 16 services would have fewer trips or a branch eliminated. The recommended service reductions were selected because they impact the least number of riders, or are in areas where alternative service is available. A public forum on the recommended changes with a comment period was held in February.
The State Highway Administration (SHA) is resurfacing University Boulevard (MD 193) between Veirs Mill Road (MD 586) and Arcola Avenue. Most of the work is occurring during the evening to help prevent significant delays for motorists and ensure worker safety. Work will continue through mid-May, weather permitting.
Removal of the old pavement creates a rough and possibly bumpy driving surface for motorists, so they are urged to use caution while traveling through the work zone.
Drivers and pedestrians are urged to be extremely cautious when approaching any road work site while the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) or other agencies make much needed improvements to the transportation infrastructure. Repair work underway means personnel and construction vehicles are moving around the site, or construction materials may be stored in the area. When driving through the area, follow the direction of flaggers and temporary signs and traffic control devices.
For a listing of selected construction or maintenance activities affecting traffic, bike, and pedestrian travel, visit MCDOT's website.
Photos of winning entries from the annual Keep Montgomery County Beautiful (KMCB) photography and beautification contests are now displayed on the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Community Outreach website.
The annual beautification contest is open to community groups, businesses, public institutions, and other organizations undertaking landscaping projects that enhance the appearance of non-residential properties. The photo contest is open to residents whose photographs capture the beauty of landmarks, people, and places within Montgomery County.
Twenty years ago, concerned volunteers formed the KMCB Task Force to work with the County to develop beautification projects, anti-litter and recycling programs, and to educate and change citizen attitudes about littering and graffiti.
Nominations forms for this year’s competition will soon be available. For more information, see the website or call the Office of Community Outreach at 240-777-7155.
On April 19, a plan was released that details a clear path to restore and revitalize the entire Anacostia watershed over the next 10 years. Two years in development, the Plan is a result of a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District, Montgomery County, the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of the Environment, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Committee.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett joined Governor Martin O’Malley; U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny H.. Hoyer; U.S. Representatives Donna Edwards, Chris Van Hollen and Eleanor Holmes Norton; Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson and other key state and local officials for the release of the Anacostia River Watershed Restoration Plan.
Local efforts are playing an important part in restoring the Anacostia watershed. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) supports programs that play an important role in keeping local streams clean. Adopt A Road participants reported picking up nearly 2,000 bags of roadside litter in fiscal year 2009. Volunteers in the Storm Drain Marker Program placed signs on hundreds of storm drain inlets urging the public not to use storm drains as trash cans for litter or other pollutants.
For more information on these programs, call MCDOT Community Outreach at 240-777-7155.