The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) 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 receive attention during the months when in the spring once the weather became warm enough to allow for the use of paving materials.
The work consists of the following steps:
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.
Replacing roadway lane markings.
This fall, MCDOT will continue improvements to the County’s road network. The following arterial and residential roads will be resurfaced, patched and/or repaired:
Democracy Boulevard between Seven Locks Road and Falls Road, Bethesda area;
Battery Lane between Old Georgetown Road and Rockville Pike, Bethesda area;
Shakespeare Boulevard between Maryland Route 355 and Observation Drive, Germantown;
Tenbrook Drive between Forest Glen Road and Dennis Avenue, Silver Spring area;
Barnesville Road between Bucklodge Road and Mount Ephraim Road (this project is funded using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds), Barnesville;
Avery Road, from Muncaster Mill Road to the end of County maintenance, Gaithersburg East service area;
Observation Road from Ridge Road (Maryland Route 27) and the end of County maintenance, Gaithersburg West service area;
Eldwick Way between Falls Road (Maryland Route 189) and Broad Green Drive, Gaithersburg West service area;
Fields Road and Omega Drive between Key West Avenue to and Sam Eig Highway, Gaithersburg West service area;
Fairland Acres neighborhood, Briggs Chaney area; and
Brighton Knolls neighborhood, Colesville area.
Concrete curb and sidewalk repairs in the Kensington Heights and Oranges neighborhoods, Silver Spring area.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett celebrated the completion of a pedestrian refuge island on Grubb Road that is enhancing safety, not only for children at Rock Creek Forest Elementary School (ES), but for the entire community. This innovative improvement has successfully been used by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) in other locations and has proven to be effective in reducing motorist speeds and making it safer for pedestrians to cross. The project was initiated by a request from two members of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association. The school is located across Grubb Road from the Rock Creek Shopping Center, which is a popular destination for students and residents.
The pedestrian refuge island located between lanes of traffic provides pedestrians a safe place to wait for traffic to clear, reduces the crossing distance for pedestrians, and narrows travel lanes on the roadway to reduce vehicle speeds. MCDOT also installed a marked crosswalk, school crossing signs, “State Law: Stop for Pedestrians” signs, lane markings and raised pavement markers.
Before deciding to install the refuge island, MCDOT analyzed traffic volumes and speeds along Grubb Road. It found a high volume of traffic using the road, with 38 percent of vehicles traveling at 30 mph or more on the 25 mph road, and seven percent of vehicles traveling 35 mph or more. MCDOT will conduct a re-evaluation of traffic speeds this fall.
To promote pedestrian safety as local children started school, County Executive Leggett announced the installation of new speed cameras at the White Oak Middle School, where speeding has been a chronic problem. Over a seven-day period, Police clocked nearly 6,000 vehicles traveling more than 60 miles an hour on New Hampshire Avenue near the school. The posted speed limit is 40 miles per hour.
Montgomery County Commuter Services’ TRiPS Commuter Store in Friendship Heights recently marked its first anniversary. The store, located at 17 Wisconsin Circle, is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
TRiPS stands for “Transportation Resources, Information and Places to See.” The store sells bus passes and tokens for Montgomery County’s Ride On buses, as well as fare media for Metrobus and Metrorail, including the SmartTrip Card. Regional transit fare media is available along with trip planning information and resources.
The TRiPS Commuter Store staff promotes environmentally friendly travel modes, including transit, car/vanpooling, biking, walking and car sharing at both the Friendship Heights and Silver Spring TRiPS stores. Staff also provides complimentary services to help Montgomery County employers and their employees beat traffic, save time and reduce expenses. Transportation marketing specialists are available to visit businesses and set up customized commuting benefits programs tailored to their needs.
For more information, call Commuter Services at 240-773-TRiPS (8747) or 240-777-8380, or visit the Commuter Services’ website. The promotion of alternate transportation is a component of the Division of Transit Services within MCDOT.
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.
The following bills passed in the last legislative session will promote alternative transportation and improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Members of the Montgomery County delegation were prime sponsors of bills 1), 2) and 5) listed below.
All the bills went into effect October 1, except Chapter 525, which went into effect on July 1. The bills are:
Bicycle Safety: Chapter Number 517 requires motorists to provide cyclists a three-foot buffer when passing on a roadway.
Bicycles and Motor Scooters - Rules of the Road: Chapter Number 518recognizes bicyclists and motor scooter riders as legitimate road users and helps bring Maryland law in conformity with the vast majority of other states.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, Funding and Reporting: Chapter Number 145 declares that it is the policy of the State that, in developing the annual Consolidated Transportation Program, the Maryland Department of Transportation will work to ensure that there is a balance between funding for specified transportation projects for pedestrians and bicycle riders and specified highway construction projects.
Smarter Transportation Choices for Maryland Bill: Senate Bill 760 and House Bill 1155requires the Maryland Department of Transportation to evaluate all State-funded transportation projects against existing state transportation goals, which include safety and security, environmental stewardship, and fixing existing roads and bridges first.
Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding: Chapter 525establishes a Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding that will review, evaluate and make recommendations concerning funding sources and structure of the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund. The commission will also look at short- and long-term transit, highway, pedestrian and bicycle facility construction and maintenance funding needs; the impacts of economic development and smart growth on transportation funding and options for sustainable, long–term revenue sources for transportation.
Sidewalk or Bicycle Pathway Construction: Chapter Number 700requires the State Highway Administration to give funding priority to sidewalk or bicycle pathway construction projects that are located in a priority funding area. It also authorizes the State to fund the entire cost of specified sidewalks or bicycle pathways.
Recent news reports indicate that the first few miles of the InterCounty Connector (ICC), between the I-270/370 corridor and Georgia Avenue, could be open by early 2011.
When the State Highway Administration completes the entire ICC, the road will be a six-lane, toll highway connecting Gaithersburg to Laurel. Tolls will be collected electronically with E-Z Pass transponders. The toll for the first 5.5 mile segment of the ICC is expected to cost $1.45 during peak hours, $1.15 during off-peak and 60 cents during overnight hours. The peak travel period is between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.