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   Newsletter vol.7 | July. 21, 2004 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 


Grosvenor Metro Garage Opens — back to top

Access to Metro became a lot easier on July 6 when Federal, State and local officials joined Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail Station parking garage. The new 1,500-space parking garage increases parking by 200 percent to serve transit users and Strathmore Hall Arts Center patrons when the concert hall is completed next year. The County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation managed the construction project. The garage will be operated and maintained by Metro.

With six levels of parking, served by several stairways and four elevators, the garage features customer assistance phones, glass-enclosed stair towers, and an open design to enhance visibility and security. Only the SmartTrip fare card is accepted for payment, as is now the case for all of Metro’s parking facilities.

Duncan Proposes New Initatives to Improve Pedestrian Safety— back to top

At a new mid-block crossing in downtown Silver Spring, County Executive Douglas M. Duncan asked the Montgomery County Police and Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee to study whether ticketing pedestrians engaged in risky traffic safety behavior could help reduce deaths and injuries. This would be a departure from past practices that have targeted enforcement at drivers but education efforts at pedestrians. However, with eight pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2004, compared to three during the first six months of 2003, Duncan stated that it may be time to consider other enforcement measures.

Duncan also announced three new initiatives:

  1. New and reconstructed traffic signals throughout the County will get pedestrian countdown signals.
  2. A ‘No Right Turn on Red’ policy is in effect throughout the Silver Spring Central Business District.
  3. A stepped-up summer enforcement campaign will target pedestrians and traffic law violators.

The new mid-block crossing is located in downtown Silver Spring at Georgia Avenue and Ellsworth Drive and incorporates the latest countdown pedestrian safety technology. A countdown pedestrian signal allows pedestrians to gauge whether they have enough time to cross a street safely by indicating the number of seconds that remain before the light turns red. In addition, the traffic signal includes an audible signal to assist the visually impaired and a raised and landscaped median designed to discourage people from crossing at other less safe locations along busy Georgia Avenue.

County Offers Free Bus Rides On Code Red Days— back to top

With summertime here, the region could experience Code Red days when the air quality is unhealthy. To help, Montgomery County offers free Ride On bus rides on Code Red days – and was the first jurisdiction in the D.C. area to do so. There are many other voluntary actions that Montgomery County takes to reduce the emissions of smog-forming chemicals -- such as refueling County vehicles after dusk, and curtailing center line painting, median strip spraying, mowing, and asphalt paving.

Ground-level ozone is an air pollutant that damages human health and vegetation. Citizens can reduce their impact on air quality by reducing driving through carpooling, telecommuting, or taking mass transit; refueling after dark; and postponing lawn and garden chores that use gasoline-powered equipment. Every summer day, gas-powered lawn and garden equipment releases more than 100 times the volatile organic compounds of a typical large industrial plant.

For information on Ride On bus schedules, call the Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433, or check the County’s web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon.

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Last edited: 10/14/2004