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   Newsletter Vol 10 | Dec. 2004 & Jan. 2005 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 


Duncan Testifies at InterCounty Connector Hearing — back to top

On January 5, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan testified at a public hearing on the recently completed Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Evaluation for the Intercounty Connector (ICC). Duncan reiterated his commitment to the project because of his concern that traffic congestion in this region is threatening the economic prosperity of Maryland. Duncan endorsed the Corridor 1 alignment for the road, the original route identified on the County’s Master Plan 40 years ago. He stated that the EIS showed that the road could be built in an environmentally sensitive way.

Duncan also:

  • Urged the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) to reinstate a bikeway along the ICC project that it dropped from the project. He suggested ways the proposed costs for the bikeway could be significantly reduced.
  • Recommended only a limited number of interchanges along the ICC.
  • Asked that no rezoning take place that would promote additional growth at the new interchanges. He stated the building of the ICC should not be used as a backdoor way to encourage sprawl development.

For a full copy of Duncan’s testimony, click here.

SHA’s last public hearing will be held Saturday, January 22 at James Blake High School, 300 Norwood Road, Silver Spring from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The snow date is January 29. Written and verbal comments will be accepted at the hearings. The hearings will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Speakers may register in advance by calling the ICC Study toll-free line at 1-866-462-0020, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Speakers may also register by going to www.iccstudy.org. SHA is reserving a limited number of slots for speakers who sign up at each hearing location on the day of the hearings.

Snow Plowing Basics for Winter’s Approach — back to top

With the temperature dropping, it won’t be long before the snowflakes start to fall. When snow is predicted, 200 County Highway Maintenance employees and contractors with 175 pieces of equipment take action to keep you moving.

Here’s a snapshot of the County’s snow response plan:

  • When snow begins to cover roads, salt crews spread salt on all main County roads and emergency routes.
  • When snow accumulates to three inches, plowing and salting crews continue to clear all main County roads and emergency routes For cost and environmental reasons, crews only salt major County roads and primary neighborhood streets.
  • Once the snow stops, crews begin plowing neighborhood roads.
  • Crews complete plowing and spread abrasives on hills, at intersections and on roads around schools.

Please give operators some time to finish your area before reporting a street as missed. Neighborhood streets are not plowed to bare pavement. Instead, the County’s goal is to make them passable following a snowstorm. You may see snow plows in your neighborhood, but not on your street. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have missed your road. Sometimes a smaller vehicle, designed to plow courts, may be following behind.

You can help the plowing operation by parking cars off the street or on the even numbered side of the road. For more information, go to the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dpwt or call the Highway Maintenance Section at 240-777 ROAD (7623).

Duncan Signs Taxi Reform Legislation — back to top

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan signed taxi reform legislation approved by the County Council that will dramatically change the way taxicabs are regulated in Montgomery County, increase competition and improve service to customers. The legislation goes into effect on March 1.

The taxicab reform measure sets goals and standards to improve service, raises the cap on taxi licenses issued, sets on-time performance targets, and requires companies to provide information for a review or audit of performance criteria. Poor service can result in revocation and denial of taxicab licenses. Taxi companies must submit management plans that detail how they will meet customer service performance measures and improve service. Companies must also participate in County programs that provide taxicab service for seniors, low-income residents or people with disabilities. Performance goals under the new legislation include specific time limits for providing service.

For more information, go to Taxicab Regulation. To comment on taxicab service, call the Taxicab Hotline at 240-777-2625.

New Pedestrian Bridge Named for Carlton Sickles Opens — back to top

On November 22, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan joined other officials at the dedication of a new 330-foot long pedestrian Sky Bridge connecting the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail station with the Music Center at Strathmore that was named for Carlton R Sickles. Sickles, a former Metro Board member known as “the father of Metro,” spent a lifetime in public service to the Washington region. He played an instrumental role in the development of the 103-mile Metrorail system, and served on the Strathmore Board of Directors. The Sky Bridge pedestrian walkway, connecting the 1,500-space Grosvenor-Strathmore parking garage with the Music Center, was built by Montgomery County. Look for the plaque honoring Sickles at the garage entrance to the walkway. The Music Center will open in February.

''Give and Ride'' Program Helps Feed Area's Neediest Families — back to top

This year, Montgomery County’s 18th annual “Give and Ride” food drive campaign successfully collected enough donated food to feed nearly 200 needy area families. County residents donated canned and non-perishable food on the County’s Ride On buses. In exchange, donors were able to ride the bus for free. All donated food was given to Manna Food Center. The weeklong “Give and Ride” food drive is held every year in November.

For more information on Ride On or its 82 routes, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon or call 240-777-7433.

A Reminder – Montgomery County’s Ethanol Fuel Station is Open to the Public — back to top

There is an alternative to using unleaded gasoline for those driving flexible fuel vehicles. The County’s ethanol fuel station has been open for public use since Spring 2003. The station is located at the Department of Public Works and Transportation Depot at 16640 Crabbs Branch Way in Rockville and is open for unattended use 24-hours a day, seven-days a week for purchases with a Visa or MasterCard credit card. Ethanol fuel (or E-85) is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn, wheat, barley or any other starch-based product.

The cost of the ethanol fluctuates with market conditions and is currently competitive with the price of gasoline. Using ethanol reduces oil imports and increases sales of this domestically produced fuel. Montgomery County is committed to the use of environmentally-friendly alternative fuel vehicles that will help cut energy consumption. The County has been working towards expanding its alternative fuel capabilities, and currently has more than 60 flexible fuel vehicles that can run on ethanol fuel or gasoline.
Other alternative-fuel vehicles that the County operates include nearly 100 compressed natural gas buses, vans, cars, and pickup trucks. In addition, the County owns hybrid electric cars powered by gasoline and electricity.

For more information on the ethanol fueling station, call 240-777-5730.

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Last edited: 1/12/2005