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   Newsletter Vol 24 | April, 2006 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 

New Hybrid Buses are Latest Addition to Ride On’s Fleet  back to top

This month, the Montgomery County Ride On bus system began operating its first five hybrid diesel/electric buses. The County’s air quality protection strategy commits to taking advantage of emerging technologies to reduce air pollution. The County has purchased more than 175 alternative fuel buses, vans and trucks and has already been at the forefront in using compressed natural gas and ethanol-fueled vehicles. Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan’s proposed fiscal year 2007 budget recommends funds for an additional nine hybrid buses.

These buses deliver significantly better fuel economy than traditional buses and produce up to 60 percent fewer nitrogen oxide emissions and 90 percent fewer particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. The buses are much quieter than conventional diesel buses, with sound levels comparable to passenger cars.

Ride On is operating the buses on Silver Spring routes, as hybrid buses are most fuel efficient in urban areas with stop-and-go traffic. The buses have accessible, low floors, feature General Motors’ diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system and are manufactured by Gillig.

More Ride On News: Ridership Continues to Break Records  back to top

For the 12th consecutive month, ridership on the County's Ride On bus service has surpassed 2 million passengers. For the 22nd consecutive month there has been an increase in ridership from the same month the previous year.

Here’s some more information about Ride On’s popularity:

  • The ridership increase in February 2006 was 8.6 percent over the same month last year.
  • So far in fiscal year 2006, ridership is up nearly eight percent.
  • Ride On is on track to reach more than 27 million riders for the year.

For more information on Ride On, call the Transit Information Center at
240-777-RIDE (7433). Or, plan your trip by using the free “Ride Guide” at Ride On’s website.

Clarksburg Road Projects Underway — back to top

A number of publicly funded road projects are either underway or planned for the Clarksburg area. The reconstruction of Skylark Road is about 40 percent complete and should be finished this summer. A new four lane segment of Stringtown Road between Maryland Route 355 and I-270 is about 20 percent complete and should be done this fall.

The County’s Recommended Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget includes funds to resurface five Clarksburg roads: Piedmont, Hawkes, Newcut, Clarksburg, and Stringtown starting in July. A supplemental appropriation will allow repairs on Stringtown Road to begin this spring.

County Executive Duncan also requested funds to widen Clarksburg Road and provide grade separation of the Green Trail at two locations. Two other projects are already in the planning phase -- Mid-County Highway and Observation Drive.

Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues to Get Pedestrian and Bike Improvements — back to top

This month, construction began in Bethesda for pedestrian and bike improvements.

Improvements at the intersection of Bethesda and Woodmont avenues will include:

  • Expansion of the existing pedestrian refuge island (a raised island in the center of a street located at the intersection or mid-block to help protect pedestrians from motor vehicles);
  • Addition of a bump-out at the northwest corner of the Bethesda Avenue/Woodmont Avenue intersection to guide northbound traffic;
  • Expansion of the existing 12-foot wide crosswalks to 16 feet;
  • Expansion of the existing four-foot wide handicap ramps to six feet; and
  • Modification of the existing traffic signal to accommodate new crossing distances.

Improvements to Norfolk Avenue between Rugby/Glenbrook avenues to Woodmont Avenue will include:

  • Providing intersection bump-outs at the Woodmont Avenue intersections with Rugby Avenue/Glenbrook Avenue; Auburn Avenue; Del Ray Avenue; Cordell Avenue; St. Elmo Avenue; and Fairmont Avenue; and
  • Modifying the existing traffic signals to add Pedestrian Countdown Timers.

Parking restrictions will be in place during construction through mid-May on the west side of Woodmont Avenue from Bethesda Avenue to Elm Street and for a few spaces on the north side of Bethesda Avenue.

To receive a free newsletter about the project, contact Marsha Wheeler-Christ at
240-777-6174. For more information on the project, visit the Division of Capital Development's website.

Walkable Communities Workshops — back to top

On Tuesday, May 2, the North Bethesda Transportation Management District will hold two Walkable Communities/Pedestrian Safety workshops. One workshop will focus on the Executive Boulevard employment center and the other on the area around the Twinbrook Metro station. The session for the Executive Boulevard area will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, and the workshop for the Twinbrook Metro Station area will be from 1 to 5 p.m.

The workshops are being held in conjunction with the Maryland State Highway Administration and the National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Presentations will include successful pedestrian design, safety, education, and enforcement. Each workshop will also include a “walking audit” to help identify areas of concern. Participants will have the opportunity to suggest short- and long-term solutions and improvements to make both the areas more walkable and pedestrian friendly.

The workshops are free, but space is limited. For more information, or to register for one or both workshops, contact the North Bethesda Transportation Management District at 301-770-8108 or at pschwartz@nbtmd.org.

To Make the Potomac Watershed Trash Free,
Regional Trash Summit Develops Action Plan — back to top

The Alice Ferguson Foundation sponsored a Trash Summit on March 16 that was a call to action to work toward a Trash Free Potomac River by 2013. The summit was attended by more than 260 elected officials, government and nonprofit staff, students, teachers, exhibitors, and interested citizens. Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan had previously signed the region’s Trash Treaty, along with other Federal, state and local jurisdiction officials.

To help reduce litter and trash that eventually ends up in our rivers, here are some simple steps to take immediately:

  • Report graffiti to the Graffiti Abatement Partners (GRAB) Graffiti Line – 301-607-4722;
  • Report illegal dumping to the County’s Department of Environmental Protection – 240-777-DUMP (3867);
  • Join the Adopt-a-Road program by calling the County’s Community Outreach Hotline – 240-777-7155;
  • Report animal carcasses larger than a possum to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter – 240-773-5960; on State roads in the western portion of County, call 301-948-2477; or, on State roads in the eastern portion of the County, call 301-572-5166; and
  • Report illegally posted signs to the Department of Permitting Services – 240-777-6240.

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Last edited: 5/1/2006