Teen Driver Safety Efforts and Information — back to top
County and school officials are continuing their intensified effort to improve teen driver safety and prevent teen driving accidents. Expanded outreach to parents and students, new State legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly, and increased enforcement activities are all part of a comprehensive campaign to address the dangers faced by inexperienced young drivers.
GEICO has agreed to partner with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to develop an information packet for parents that will be distributed to high school families in the fall. Comcast has agreed to air a series of MCPS public service announcements that are targeted at parents as part of the company's promotion of this critical safety issue. Also, Comcast has created bracelets with the Drive, Think, Live logo that have been distributed to high school students across the County.
The new legislation, spearheaded by Delegates Bill Bronrott and Adrienne Mandel, mandates increased time for supervised learning for young drivers, contains a ban on teen cell phone use while driving with learner's or provisional licenses, and stipulates certain passenger restrictions for new drivers. Additionally, MCPS is working with local law enforcement agencies to provide guest speakers in high school health education classes. High school health education teachers are working with the Department of Police to schedule the Gator Aid driving simulation program that allows students to experience the sensory changes that alcohol produces.
Officials launched a new County website that emphasizes the key role that parents play in ensuring the safety of teen drivers in their family. The site is designed to provide parents and guardians with practical information that can assist them in guiding their children as they begin to take on the responsibilities of driving. To visit the website, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov and click on “Teen Driving Safety.”
Selected Ride On Routes Are Free Starting in May — back to top
Starting May 1, Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system launched a new initiative called Free Wheeling that provides free rides on selected routes for three months. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the offer and use Ride On to reach Metro or other destinations. The new initiative is designed to help relieve traffic congestion along the busy I-270, U.S. Route 29, and certain east-west corridors on the following routes:
- I-270 routes — 70, 75, 79, and 82
- U.S. 29 routes — 22 and 39
- Cross-county routes connecting the two branches of the Metrorail Red Line — 1, 5, 6, 11, 34, and 38
- Starting May 29, four new routes in Germantown will be added to the Free Wheeling initiative — 83, 97, 98, and 100
For more information on Ride On schedules and routes, go to the County’s Ride On website. Or call the Transit Information Center at 240.777.RIDE (7433).
Bike to Work Day 2005 — back to top
Bikers and supporters of alternative transportation celebrated this year’s Bike to Work Day on May 20 at six pit stops in the County. Bicyclists help improve the quality of life in our communities by enhancing air quality, reducing traffic congestion, conserving energy, and reducing traffic noise.
The County has a number of on-going bicycle and pedestrian improvements projects, including:
- The Bethesda Bikeway and Pedestrian Facilities Project. A series of 12 improvements costing $3.3 million that are spelled out in Bethesda’s master plan will enhance safety and accessibility.
- North Bethesda Trail. Beginning construction this summer, the trail will connect the new pedestrian bridges over I-495 (that occur between Cedar Lane and the Twinbrook Metro Station) and fill in gaps in the current trail.
- Capital Crescent Trail Connectors. Last fall, two more connectors were constructed under the Go Montgomery! transportation initiative that included bicycle ramps.
- Silver Spring Transit Center. The County is working with the developer of the new transit center to add a bike station with safe parking for bikes.
- The Silver Spring Green Trail. This innovative European-model path will provide separated bike and pedestrian access. When completed in 2008, it will run along Wayne Avenue from Sligo Creek all the way to the Silver Spring Metro Station.
- The Metropolitan Branch Trail. Already running from the Montgomery College Takoma Park campus to the District of Columbia Line, the Metropolitan Trail is now in design, and when completed will run from the District Line to the Silver Spring Metro.
- The Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge. Located north of the Silver Spring Central Business District, the bridge is ahead of schedule and should be finished next winter. This innovative bridge will provide safe access for neighborhoods over
I-495 ramps and under the beltway bridge at Georgia Avenue.
- Silver Spring Bicycle Route Signing Plan and Map. Work is progressing on a bicycle route signing plan and map that will encourage walking and cycling and inform pedestrians and cyclists how to get into and through the Central Business District.
For more information about this year’s regional Bike to Work celebrations, click here.
Transportation Awards Ceremony Honors U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes — back to top
Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan paid tribute to U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes for his lifetime achievements in promoting transportation solutions at Montgomery County’s 19th Annual Transportation Awards Ceremony. Duncan was joined by U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen in honoring Sarbanes, who for his 28 years on Capitol Hill, has helped shape and enact every major piece of transit legislation existing today.
The annual Transportation Awards ceremony, sponsored by Montgomery County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation Commuter Services, honors employers and individuals who have excelled in promoting the use of transit, vanpools, and other alternatives to single occupancy vehicles.
Click here for more information about the awards and this year’s winners.
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