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   Newsletter Vol 14 | June, 2005 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 


Road Projects Underway  back to top

The County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation’s Division of Capital Development plans, designs and constructs new roads and road improvement projects.

A sampling of current projects in various stages of completion include:

  • Construction should begin this month on the Briggs Chaney Road widening and reconstruction east of U.S. 29, from Automobile Boulevard to Dogwood Drive. This improved roadway will provide more east-west travel options in the eastern part of the County. Included in the project are pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and a bikeway, as well as landscaping.
  • Bethesda improvements to enhance pedestrian and bicycle access are making it even easier to enjoy this bustling downtown. Later this year, more construction will begin at Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues and Norfolk Avenue from Rugby/Glenbrook Avenues to Woodmont Avenue that will widen crosswalks, reduce street widths at intersections for safer pedestrian crossings, add bike lanes, and install pedestrian countdown signals.
  • A study is examining the feasibility of extending Chapman Avenue in North Bethesda to improve traffic circulation and connections, provide better access to commercial and transit centers, and improve pedestrian accessibility.
  • A public meeting held earlier this month gave citizens an opportunity to comment on a proposal to widen Longdraft Road to four lanes from Maryland Route 124 (Quince Orchard Road) to Maryland Route 117 (Clopper Road). This added road capacity will improve future connections to Watkins Mill Road extended.

Region Launches “Street Smart” Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign  back to top

On June 1, regional leaders met in Silver Spring to launch Street Smart, a multi-year safety campaign to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries. Local leaders vowed to heighten awareness of pedestrian safety and crack down on traffic violations at locations with the greatest number of pedestrian incidents.

The campaign features advertising that focuses on:

  • Boosting driver awareness of pedestrians and cyclists;
  • The need for drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and share the road with cyclists; and
  • Educating walkers and bicyclists on steps to reduce street-crossing risks, including heeding signs and signals.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that a pedestrian is killed or injured every seven minutes on our nation’s roadways. On average, more than 2,600 pedestrians and bicyclists are injured in the Washington metropolitan area every year.

The campaign kick-off was held at a mid-block crossing that incorporates the latest pedestrian countdown signal technology, provides assistance to the visually impaired, and has a pedestrian “refuge” in the middle of the intersection. Immediately following the press event, Montgomery County Police set up a pedestrian safety checkpoint and conducted an enforcement action against aggressive drivers.

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 also 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 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. These compounds are a major source of ozone-forming pollutants.

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.

Penguin Mural Panels to Come Down as Restoration Project Begins — back to top

For 16 years, transit users in Silver Spring have identified their commute with the “Penguin Rush Hour,” mural outside the Metro. For the next several months, this symbol of Silver Spring will have a new home as the process of restoring the popular local birds begins. Artist Sally Callmer will refurbish the mural she was commissioned to create.

When asked why she chose penguins, Callmer said, “I wanted a design connected to public transportation and penguins fit the bill, with the image they presented of masses hustling along.”

Funds to support the restoration project -- to cost an estimated $30,000 -- are being raised through the “Pennies for Penguins” campaign begun last May by the Silver Spring Regional Services Center. Anyone interested in helping to support the refurbishing may donate cash and/or purchase penguin items such as mugs ($5 each), t-shirts ($10 each) and prints ($5 and $10 each). The items are on sale at the Silver Spring Regional Center office and at the Thursday night summer concert series at Silver Plaza. Donations are also being accepted through the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC). Contributions can be mailed to: “Pennies for Penguins – AHCMC,” Silver Spring Regional Services Center, 8435 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910. For more information on donations or purchasing penguin items, call 301-565-7300.

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Last edited: 6/27/2005