Protests Over Closure of County MARC Train Stations Successful — back
On February 10, Maryland transportation officials announced that they will drop their plans to close four MARC train stations, including Boyds and Dickerson in Montgomery County, in March. The action from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) came as a result of protests from elected officials and citizens, and the introduction of Senate Bill 366 and House Bill 756 in the Maryland General Assembly to prevent the MTA from closing the Boyds and Dickerson MARC train stations before March 6, 2007. The bill was widely expected to pass, prompting MTA to reevaluate their decision.
In January, MTA announced they intended to close the Montgomery County stations, as well as the Jessup stop in Howard County and the St. Denis station in Baltimore, on March 6. The bills in the legislature cite the impact the closing of the Boyds and Dickerson stations will have on traffic congestion along Interstate 270, and Maryland State Routes 117 and 28, especially with the growth projected for upper Montgomery and southern Frederick Counties State Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Montgomery) and Del. Jean B. Cryor (R-Montgomery) are the primary sponsors of the Senate and House bills.
In December, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan and Councilmembers George L. Leventhal, Nancy Floreen, and Michael Knapp wrote to Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan objecting strongly to the proposed closure of the Dickerson and Boyds MARC train stations in Montgomery County. In the letter, they stated, “At a time when hard working people are stuck in traffic and need public transportation options to provide relief, it is deeply troubling that MDOT is cutting back on their options. We strongly oppose the proposed closure of the Dickerson and Boyds MARC commuter rail stations, and urge MDOT to reconsider its proposal.”
Update on Montrose Parkway West — back to top
Last November, County Executive Duncan and other officials celebrated the start of construction of Montrose Parkway West, a cornerstone of the County Executive’s $1 billion Go Montgomery! transportation initiative. The new road will provide congestion relief in the North Bethesda area, where about 40 percent of the County’s employment is located.
Work on the Parkway is proceeding and includes setting up sediment control fences to protect streams in the area from runoff, clearing trees, grading, and building a large storm water management pond near East Jefferson Street. Construction has begun on the bridge that spans Old Farm Creek. Next steps include construction of new water and sewer facilities and additional storm drain pipes.
Clearing work has also begun on the segment from Tower Oaks Boulevard to the Parkway where Montrose Road will be widened to six lanes with a median. Next steps include the construction of retaining walls on the south side of Montrose Road. PEPCO, Verizon and other utility companies will then be able to complete the relocation of their facilities prior to roadway construction. Work has also begun on installing a large underground water retention facility that will allow contaminants to settle out of run-off from the road and water to be released slowly into the ground.
Montrose Parkway West, the largest investment in a road project ever undertaken by the County, should be completed in the fall of 2008. For more information on this project, visit the Division of Capital Development’s website.
Intersection Improvements at Oakview Drive and New Hampshire Avenue — back
A public hearing was held on February 2 to consider a proposal to construct improvements at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue (Maryland Route 650) and Oakview Drive. The proposed improvements include constructing a seven-foot wide lane on the south side of Oakview Drive at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue; constructing a new sidewalk and ramps along Oakview Drive that meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements; constructing new storm drain structures at the intersection; and installing a new concrete overlay along Oakview Drive.
Written statements will be accepted through February 16 and may be submitted to Bruce E. Johnston, Chief, Division of Capital Development, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, Maryland 20850. For more information, call the Division at 240-777-7220.
Project Updates on Greencastle Road and Valley Park Drive — back to top
DPWT has completed design work and will soon advertise a construction contract to widen Greencastle Road to four lanes from Greencastle Ridge Terrace to the Fairland Park entrance. Construction should start this spring, with the projected completion in fall, 2007.
Construction work has started on an 1,100-foot extension of Valley Park Drive between Ridge and Woodfield Roads, providing an east-west connection. The project should be completed by late fall this year.
For more information on DPWT projects, visit the Division of Capital Development's website. For regular updates on what else we’re doing to relieve traffic congestion, go to the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov. Click on “Stuck in Traffic” to sign up for our email newsletter.
Tips for Winter Snowstorms — back to top
When it snows, road plowing begins when temperatures are below freezing and three or more inches of snow accumulates. The County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation strives to completely clear primary neighborhood routes first, then secondary streets.
When snow is in the forecast, the following safety tips can ease frustration and reduce dangerous situations.
It is safer to park in driveways or close to the curb on the EVEN numbered side of the street. If snow covers your driveway, face the street and shovel snow to the right into your yard rather than into the street. This will prevent snow from piling up in your driveway when the plow comes through.
Prevent risks by riding public transportation or equipping your vehicle with snow tires or chains. Steer away from roads that have not been sanded, and avoid pulling out in front of trucks in order to speed up a hill.
Roads labeled with red and white signs are snow emergency routes. If a snow emergency is declared, it is illegal to drive without snow tires, mud/snow radials, or chains or to park vehicles on these routes.
Within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm, all residential and commercial property owners are required by County Law to clear their sidewalks. Residents are encouraged to help elderly or ill neighbors with this task. In the event of a major snowstorm, the County’s Volunteer Center will institute its “Neighbor to Neighbor Program” that helps match people who have volunteered to shovel snow with disabled or elderly residents who need help with the task. Call the center at 240-777-2600.
For more information about snow removal operations, call the Division of Operations at 240-777-6000, or visit the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/snow.
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