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Newslette | November/December, 2007 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive

Leggett Announces New Pedestrian Safety Initiative back to top

Meeting his pledge to make pedestrian safety a priority of his administration, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett released a Pedestrian Safety Initiative on December 5 that, for the first time, creates a blueprint for action based on measurable strategies. The plan spells out specific performance goals, timelines and budgets for achieving recommended actions. Ongoing evaluations will ensure the proposed engineering, enforcement, and education solutions are really working.

To fulfill Leggett’s vision for increased pedestrian mobility and safety, this plan establishes goals to:

  • Reduce pedestrian-related crashes, injuries, fatalities, and their associated social and economic costs; and
  • Ensure that all areas of the County provide safe and convenient travel options for pedestrians.

Leggett’s initiative identifies seven strategies to significantly enhance the County’s investment in educating motorists and pedestrians, keep enforcement efforts visible and intensive, and aggressively apply the most innovative and pedestrian-friendly road engineering design to prevent pedestrian injury and make Montgomery County a safe, livable, and accessible community.

The initiative proposes new spending on pedestrian safety activities of about $4.8 million per year and $32.4 million over six years. The County currently spends approximately $30 million annually in programs related to pedestrians.

The Pedestrian Safety Initiative can be viewed online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov. For more information, call 240-777-7155.

Leggett Attends Pedestrian Safety Vigil to Honor Victims of Collisions back to top

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett remembered pedestrian crash victims and their families at a multi-denominational pedestrian safety vigil designed to raise awareness about the effect these tragedies have on individual lives. Montgomery County co-sponsored the November 18 vigil with the Association for Safe International Road Travel to recognize World Remembrance Day for Road Crash Victims and Their Families. Community groups, clergy, legislators and the public attended the event, which had the theme “Remember, Reflect and Respond.”

The moving remembrance included pedestrian collision victims and their family members. The event was held at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, the site of a fatal pedestrian collision that took the life of Karen Shprintz-Grossman on March 23. The vigil was emceed by Samuel Galvez, news director for Radio America. The program included performances by the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Gospel Choir, a call to action emphasizing what individuals can do to make their communities safer, and a responsive healing reading led by clergy. For the call to action and more information about the event, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/walk.

Montrose Parkway back to top

Beginning Monday, December 10 after the morning rush hour, eastbound Montrose Road, between Tildenwood and East Jefferson Street, is scheduled to be closed for six months as the Montrose Parkway West project enters its final stage of construction. Eastbound traffic on Montrose Road was diverted onto the new Montrose Parkway. About two weeks later, westbound traffic on Montrose Road will also be diverted and all traffic will use the Parkway while Montrose Road is reconstructed and a new bridge over Old Farm Creek is built to eliminate flooding problems and provide a safe crossing for wildlife. The project should be completed in summer 2008.

During the temporary closure of 650 feet of Montrose Road, local traffic will still have access to homes, churches, and synagogues from either side of the construction project. A newly installed temporary pedestrian bridge along the north (westbound) side of Montrose Road, across Old Farm Creek, will provide safe pedestrian access along Montrose Road during the road closure.

The County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT) has posted detour and informational signs in the area. Montgomery County’s Traffic Management Center will monitor the detours, adjust traffic signal timings and take other measures to minimize traffic disruptions. However, DPWT does expect some delays while drivers become accustomed to the new traffic patterns. To avoid congestion, motorists are advised to use major roadways as alternate routes and avoid local side streets.

When the entire project is completed, it is expected to reduce traffic volume on Montrose Road between the Parkway and East Jefferson Street by nearly 50 percent. Check out the website for more information about the Montrose Parkway project.

Montrose Road Closing Will Also Affect Ride On Passengers back to top

With the temporary closure of Montrose Road, Ride On passengers on Routes 38 and 81 will experience detours, as well. Route 38 riders going towards Wheaton and Route 81 riders going towards White Flint should use bus stops on East Jefferson Street or Tildenwood Drive.

On or about December 13, Route 38 and 81 will begin detours in both directions. Riders going to either Wheaton or Montgomery Mall on Route 38 or those on Route 81 going to Rockville or White Flint should also begin using bus stops on East Jefferson Street or Tildenwood Drive. The detours continue until summer 2008.

Emergency Responders Unite for Safer, Quicker Clearance of Traffic Incidents back to top

On November 20th, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett welcomed the nation’s emergency responders to the County’s Transportation Management Center to launch a new national campaign to improve safety for responders and reduce traffic congestion.

In an unprecedented show of unity, highway agencies, emergency medical professionals, firefighters, tow truck operators, 9-1-1 call centers and 19 national organizations pledged to work together to minimize road clearance delays by improving communication and coordination at crash scenes. In turn, motorists were urged to slow down and move over when they approach traffic incidents. This simple action could reduce the number of responders injured and killed by passing vehicles and enable responders to more quickly re-open travel lanes.

For more information on the campaign, visit the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition's website at http://timcoalition.org. Up-to-date information on traffic incidents or construction projects impacting traffic is available at the Montgomery County Division of Operation.

Leggett, Knapp, Andrews Break Ground for New Germantown Fire Station back to top

Ground was broken on November 29 for the new Germantown/Kingsview Fire Station #22, which is expected to reduce emergency response times. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County Council President Mike Knapp and Councilmember Phil Andrews, chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, participated in the ceremony. The station will be located at the intersection of Route 117 (Clopper Road) and Route 118 (Germantown Road) and will serve a population of about 86,000 people. Construction should be completed by late winter 2008. The new station will cost about $10 million, and the total construction contract is $5.7 million.

The fire station will have six apparatus bays, administrative space, living space, private quarters, and support space and will initially have one engine staffed by four fire fighters. Other units may be added as needs are reassessed. Staffing will also include two Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units, each staffed by two people. Additional volunteer firefighters may be on-duty, as well, mainly at night and on weekends.

DPWT Prepares for Snow Removal Operations back to top

On a bright, sunny day, the Department of Public Works and Transportation’s Division of Operations conducted an all-day exercise to test the preparedness of the County’s snow plans and fleet. The preparedness exercise was held Wednesday, October 31 to orient drivers to routing improvements and increase efficiency. Vehicles equipped with plows covered most of the 2,400 miles of County-maintained roads during a simulated three-inch snow storm.

The preparation was put to the test on December 5 when the County received three to five inches of snow.
To learn more about the DPWT’s snow operations, go to Winter Snow Information and Updates on the homepage.

Public Forum to Be Held on Ride On’s Proposed Extension to Route 98 — back to top

The Division of Transit Services will hold a public forum on the proposed extension to Ride On’s Route 98, which serves the Germantown area. The forum will be held on December 12 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the UpCounty Regional Services Center, Conference Room A, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown. When Montgomery County schools are closed because of inclement weather, a new date for the forum will be announced on Ride On’s website. For more information on the forum, a map of the proposed route, or information on Ride On services, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon or call the Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433.

Riders Continue to Escape Traffic Congestion by Choosing Transit back to top

Ride On’s ridership continues to boom, surpassing previous year records month after month for 41 months straight.

After breaking the 100,000 riders a day mark this summer, Ride On’s weekday ridership routinely exceeds this record. September’s ridership levels represent an 8.5 percent increase over last September.

For information on taking Ride On for your next trip, contact the Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433.

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Last edited: 12/12/2007