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   Newsletter Vol 27 | July, 2006 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 

Construction Projects Update— back to top

Montrose Parkway West – Progress continues with construction of new water and sewer facilities and additional storm drain pipes. Crossings for all three streams in the area have been completed on schedule. Next steps include the final clearing of trees and brush; construction of retaining walls along the south side of Montrose Road; installation of the foundations for noise walls; and relocation of utilities.

Montrose Parkway West, the largest County road project ever undertaken, should open in late 2008. Montrose Road will be widened to six lanes from the Parkway to Tower Oaks Boulevard. The Parkway is a cornerstone of Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan’s transportation initiative to reduce traffic congestion, and will soon provide relief for North Bethesda. The County Executive and other officials celebrated the start of construction of Montrose Parkway West in November 2005.

Skylark Road - The Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT) has completed improvements to Skylark Road along the boundaries of Wells Park, providing a continuous connection south to Maryland Route 27. A further extension of Skylark Road to Piedmont Road is planned for the future.

Snouffer School Road – DPWT has completed Phase I of Facility Planning to evaluate improvements to Snouffer School Road. Phase I project results are used to determine if the project will go forward to partial design. Under the area’s master plan, Snouffer School Road becomes a four-lane section between Centerway Road and Woodfield Road (Maryland Route 124). The recommended design includes sidewalks and bike lanes. Snouffer School Road is an important link in the County’s north-south transportation system.

Grosvenor Metrorail Turn Backs to be Eliminated This Fall — back to top

There is good news for residents who travel the Metrorail Red Line to Shady Grove. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is going to eliminate the turn backs of Red Line Metrorail trains at Grosvenor, three months earlier than originally planned. Starting in October, all trains coming from downtown Washington will continue on to the Shady Grove station. Currently, half the trains that travel from downtown along that portion of the Red Line during off-peak hours only go as far as Grosvenor before “turning back” to head downtown again. Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan made eliminating these turn backs a priority in his Go Montgomery! transportation initiative. The County is continuing to push for elimination of turn backs on the other portion of the Red Line at Silver Spring.

Wheaton Metro Station Metrobus and Ride On Bus Bay Locations Change — back to top

On July 20, several Ride On and Metrobus bus stops at the Wheaton Metro Station were relocated, as construction continues on 175 new residential units above the Kiss & Ride lot.

Phase II of the construction affects the following Ride On routes (click on map link below):

  • Ride On Route 38 is temporarily relocated to Bus Bay G.
  • Ride On Routes 9 and 31 returned to their original location at Bus Bay H.
  • Ride On Routes 6, 7 and 8 are temporarily relocated to Bus Bay J.
  • Ride On Route 34 returned to Bus Bay K.

The map (pdf) is available on MC website;:

The following Metrobus routes also changed (click on map link above):

  • Silver Spring Metrobus Routes Q2, Y5, Y7, Y8, and Y9 were temporarily relocated to Bus Bay A.
  • Metrobus Route L7 was temporarily relocated to Bus Bay B.
  • Metrobus Routes C2 and C4 were temporarily relocated to Bus Bay C.
  • Montgomery General Hospital Metrobus Routes Y5, Y7, Y8, and Y9 were temporarily relocated to Bus Bay D.

For more information, contact Ride On’s Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433, or go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/RideOn. For information about Metrobus, call 202-637-7000 or go to Metro’s website.

Websites Let You Calculate Commute Costs and Plan Transit Trips — back to top

With gasoline prices steadily rising, ever wonder what you're really spending each month driving to work? What would it cost to take Metro instead? The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority --Metro-- offers a convenient website calculator that quickly provides the answers to both questions. Visit Metro's Savings Calculator to compare the costs of commuting. For information on connections from your neighborhood to Metro, visit Ride On's website.

Metro riders can now use Web-enabled cell phones and other mobile devices, such as Palm Pilots and Blackberrys, to get travel itineraries from Metro’s online Trip Planner. The Trip Planner provides instant itineraries for trips on Metrorail, Metrobus and local bus and rail systems. Users enter their start point and destination, and the travel plan provides information on trains, bus schedules, transfers, fares, and walking directions. To use the Trip Planner, go to www.wmata.com/mobile, using your mobile device, and select the “Plan Trip” option.

Ride Free on Code Red Days — back to top

Hot weather this summer can also mean Code Red days, when unhealthy air quality and high ozone levels pose threats to health. Residents are reminded that the Montgomery County Ride On bus system and Metrobuses operating within the County offer free rides on forecasted Code Red days.

Residents who are most at risk from exposure to ground-level ozone -- asthmatics and people with other medical conditions, children, outdoor workers and the elderly – are advised to limit outdoor activity on Code Red Days. Ground-level ozone is an air pollutant that damages human health, vegetation, and many common materials and is the key ingredient of urban smog. Repeated exposure to ground-level ozone may cause permanent damage to the lungs. Inhaling ozone may trigger a variety of health problems including chest pains, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion. It can also worsen bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema, and asthma and reduce lung capacity. Particulate matter in the air can cause or aggravate a number of health problems, as well, and has been linked with illnesses and deaths from heart or lung disease. At highest risk from particle pollution are people with heart or lung disease, older adults (possibly because they may have undiagnosed heart or lung disease), and children whose lungs are still developing, who are more likely to have asthma and are more active outdoors.

On Code Red days, Montgomery County takes voluntary actions to reduce the emissions of smog-forming chemicals and particulate matter by refueling County vehicles after dusk and curtailing center line painting, median strip spraying, mowing and asphalt paving. Residents can reduce their impact on air quality by carpooling, telecommuting, or taking mass transit to work. Other effective actions are deferring driving or combining trips; refueling after dark; postponing lawn and garden chores that use gasoline powered equipment; waiting for a cooler day to use oil-based paints (or better yet, switching to other types of paints that don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)); postponing using aerosols and household products that contain solvents (or switching to non-aerosol products and solvent-free products); bringing a lunch to work so car trips around noon are unnecessary; and conserving energy at home, at work, and elsewhere.

For more information, visit the County Department of Environmental Protection’s website, or call 240-777-7727. For information on Ride On bus schedules, call the Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433, or check the County’s Ride On web site.

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Last edited: 7/20/2006