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Newslette | May, 2008 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive

Approved 2009 Budget to Affect Parking and Transit Fees - top

The County's Fiscal Year 2009 Operating Budget, which begins July 1, includes increases in some Ride On fares and parking fees in Silver Spring and Wheaton. These changes will:

  • Create a new Ride On monthly pass costing $25;
  • Increase the cost of a 20-trip Ride On pass to $25, beginning October 1; and
  • Increase hourly, daily and monthly parking fees in the Silver Spring and Wheaton Parking Lot Districts. Changes will make short-term parking fees in Silver Spring the same as fees in Bethesda.

Detailed information about the new parking fees in Silver Spring and Wheaton are located on the County Council's website.

Capital Improvements Budget Addresses Long Term Needs - top

The County's six-year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget provides funding for the following transportation projects:

  • The first phase of the North County Maintenance Depot in Clarksburg will eventually house 150 Ride On buses.
  • A new southern entrance to the Bethesda Metro Station will provide easy access to the Bethesda Row area.
  • A new 1,200-car parking garage will be built at the corner of Bethesda and Woodmont avenues in Bethesda.

Potholes - top

We've survived another winter, but our County roads have had to endure a season of freezing and thawing, which causes pavement cracks and those annoying potholes. The Department of Public Works and Transportation's (DPWT) Highway Maintenance crews and contractors will be working all spring and summer making needed repairs to roads and undertaking resurfacing projects.

Drivers who encounter potholes can report them to the Division of Operations' Customer Service Center at 240-777-6000 or report them on the County's website. Details about the potholes exact location -- the nearest street address or a landmark -- will help Highway Maintenance locate the problems and fix the holes quickly. During the colder months, workers must temporarily fill the potholes until warmer weather allows permanent repairs to be made.

New Sidewalk to Replace Temporary Pedestrian Bridge Along Montrose Road - top

As work continues on the Montrose Parkway West project, a new sidewalk is underway along the south side of Montrose Road from its intersection with Montrose Parkway east to Evelyn Drive. During sidewalk construction, the pedestrian bridge on the north side of Montrose Road will be removed. Pedestrians and motorists should follow signs and use caution when walking or driving through this construction zone.

Last winter, the final phase of work began on reconstructing a portion of Montrose Road, closing it between Tildenwood Drive and East Jefferson Street and diverting traffic onto the Parkway. Montrose Road should re-open by July. Work on the Montrose Parkway West project should be fully completed by the end of the year.

DPWT thanks everyone for their patience with the detour. Staff continue to make adjustments to the signal timing and signage along the Parkway to improve traffic flow during these final stages of construction. For more information, go to the Division of Capital Development.

DPWT Repairs and Resurfaces Neighborhood Streets - top

With the return of warmer weather, DPWT's Highway Maintenance Section (HMS) has resumed its neighborhood street resurfacing program. HMS is responsible for maintaining over 3,800 lane-miles of streets in Montgomery County. Crews focus on repair and resurfacing of roads, which extends their usefulness, protects the road base and sub-base, seals small cracks, and levels minor imperfections.

The Brookville Knolls and Tanterra neighborhoods in Olney and the Bradley Park, Cohasset and West Bethesda Park neighborhoods in Bethesda are currently scheduled for improvements. HMS notifies residents in neighborhoods before resurfacing begins. Residents may also see DPWT's paving, repair and resurfacing schedules online by checking the map at Highway Maintenance.

"Stuff a Bus" Collects Almost 10,000 Pounds of Food for the Needy in One Day; Leggett Assists as 'Celebrity Bagger' - top

On May 14, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett helped Manna Food Center celebrate its 25th anniversary by participating as a celebrity bagger in a "Stuff a Bus" food drive promotion at the Rockville Whole Foods Market.

During the Stuff a Bus food drive, a Ride On bus was parked in the lot of each County Whole Foods store. Volunteers helped collect donated food at the buses, reminded shoppers as they entered the stores about the Stuff a Bus promotion, and collected food in the stores from shoppers.

The promotion collected 9,778 pounds of food for Manna in just one day, thanks to a partnership with Ride On and the four Whole Foods Market stores in Montgomery County. In addition to hosting the event, Whole Foods contributed five percent of its sales from the county stores that day, which amounted to nearly $20,000.

Food donations went to Manna's food bank. According to Manna, it is seeing a record number of people turning to the center for help feeding their families.

If residents are still interested in contributing to Manna, canned goods, non-perishable food and children's items such as disposable diapers, formula, baby or toddler food, and juice are always welcome. Plastic containers are preferred. Or, residents can make donations by sending a check to Manna.

Ride On Ridership - top

Compared to the same month in 2007, Ride On ridership grew by 7.7 percent in April with an average daily ridership of 98,711. For the first 10 months of Fiscal Year 2008, ridership increased by 5.6 percent. During the past four years, ridership has grown by 28 percent.

New Ozone Standard May Increase Region's Air Quality Action Days; Montgomery County Will Continue Free Bus Service on Code Red and Purple Days - top

As the summer season approaches, Montgomery County residents are reminded that the County's Ride On bus service will continue to offer free rides on Code Red and Code Purple Air Quality Action days. Residents in the Washington D.C. region may experience more Air Quality Action days this year because in March the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone to better protect public health and welfare. Now, a Code Orange air quality forecast indicates air quality that fails to meet the new strengthened Federal standards.

Montgomery County was the first jurisdiction in the region to offer free rides on Code Red days, because vehicles generate 30 to 40 percent of the pollutants that cause ozone in the Baltimore/Washington area.

Ozone has been shown to cause bronchitis, nonfatal heart attacks and premature death; increase hospital and emergency room visits; and aggravate asthma. Repeated exposure to ozone also damages sensitive vegetation and trees, leading to increased susceptibility to disease, pests and damaged foliage.

Residents can reduce their impact on air quality if they:

  • Carpool, telecommute, or take mass transit to work (ONLY Code Red and Purple are ride free days in Montgomery County for Ride On);
  • Limit driving and combine errands;
  • Refuel after dark;
  • Avoid using gasoline-powered lawn equipment, including mowers;
  • Wait for a cooler day to use oil-based paints or switch to non-solvent or low VOC-based paints;
  • Avoid using aerosols and household products that contain solvents;
  • Bring a lunch to work to avoid mid-day driving; and
  • Conserve energy at home, at work, and everywhere.

For information on Ride On bus schedules, call the Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433, or check the Ride On web site

Last edited: 5/29/2008