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   Newsletter Vol 28 | August, 2006 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 

Construction Projects Update  back to top

Glenbrook Road/Rugby Avenue, Bethesda – Starting this month, construction will begin at the intersection of Glenbrook Road and Rugby Avenue in Bethesda to improve safety and bicycle access. The intersection will be narrowed to improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles. Here is a map with a plan of the improvements (pdf) .

First Day of School August 28: Make Safety a Priority  back to top

Monday, August 28 is “back-to-school” time in Montgomery County – and time to encourage all community members to make child and pedestrian safety a top priority.

All drivers should be on the lookout for young pedestrians who will be walking to and from school. Parents should take a minute to remind their children of the following: cross streets only at marked crosswalks and look both ways before crossing the street; don’t cross the street between parked cars; and if there isn’t a sidewalk and it is necessary to walk in the street, walk on the left side facing traffic. Adults and children should follow the directions of crossing guards, who are there to assist and protect students.

Students who ride bicycles to school should follow all traffic rules and signs, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights. By law, all children under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet when riding or being carried on a bicycle.

Many students will be riding buses to school. All drivers are reminded that they are required to stop at least 20 feet from school buses that are stopped with flashing red lights. It is also recommended that adults accompany young children to bus stops, and remain with them until the bus arrives.

County Police will be enforcing driving safety laws in school zones. Speeding in a school zone incurs a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 5 points on a driver’s license, and passing a school bus with flashing red lights incurs a fine of $550 and 3 points against a license. Parents dropping off or picking up children at school are reminded to obey the “No Parking, No Stopping, and No Standing” signs in a School Zone. A violation of this sign incurs a fine of $50.

More Parking Planned for Kensington MARC Riders — back to top

The Town of Kensington got a long awaited change last month with the demolition of a former cement plant and the help of Montgomery County. Thanks to successful negotiations between the Town, the County and Konterra Limited Partnership, owner of the cement plant site, new retail development and additional MARC train commuter parking will be coming to Kensington.

In January, the County approved a contract to allow Konterra to swap 22,500 square feet of their Kensington property, which is valued at $640,000, for a County-owned two-acre site on Southlawn Lane in Rockville that is valued at about $1.2 million. In exchange, Konterra agreed to build a commuter and retail parking lot containing at least 50 spaces. If the cost of building the parking lot is less than the price difference between the land parcels, Konterra will reimburse the balance to the County. The Town will be responsible for maintaining the parking lot once it is constructed and receives final approval from the County.

Construction on the parking lot is expected to begin later this summer.

Transportation Public Hearings/Forums in August — back to top

Shady Grove Metro Access Bike Path

A public hearing will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22 on a proposal to provide a new bike path along the east side of the Shady Grove Metro Access Road. This proposed project will construct a new 10-foot wide bikepath from Shady Grove Road along the east side of the Metro Access Road for nearly a mile; a bikeway ramp from the new path to the existing bikeway at Crabbs Branch Way; and a signalized at -grade pedestrian/bikeway crossing to the Shady Grove Metro Station. The project is expected to cost $2.7 million.

The hearing will be held in the Lobby Level Auditorium of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Public comments will assist the County Executive in determining whether or not to authorize this project.

The proposed project is currently identified in the County's Capital Improvements Program as project #500600. Project related data and files are available in the offices of the Division of Capital Development, Department of Public Works and Transportation, located on the 11th floor of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. For more information, call 240-777-7226 or view project information on the Division’s website.

Changes to Ride On Routes 41, 45, and 66

A public forum will be held on Tuesday, August 22 to discuss the following proposed changes to Ride On routes 41, 45 and 66:

  • Route 41: Adjust Saturday frequency from 20 to 30 minutes, with no changes to weekday service.
  • Route 45: Extend this route to the Fallsgrove Transit Center via Jay Lane, Casey Lane, Oak Knoll Terrace and Fallsgrove Drive on weekdays and Saturdays. Modify some midday trips so every run does not stop at the Rockville Senior Center during the week, and discontinue Saturday service to the Center.
  • Route 66: Provide service to the Dundee/Wooton Parkway. Additionally, run Route 66 in both directions to and from the Shady Grove Metro Station during rush hours.

The forum will be held at the Fallsgrove Community Center, located at 400 Casey Lane in Rockville, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending after the last speaker. If the forum needs to be rescheduled due to inclement weather, the new date will be Wednesday, August 30.

Individuals and representatives of organizations wishing to speak at the forum must register by August 18 at 5 p.m. by providing their name, home address, telephone number and organization by mail, fax or email to:

Montgomery County

Carolyn G. Biggins, Chief
Division of Transit Services
101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850
240-777-5801 (fax)

Sign language interpreter services will be provided at the forum if requested no less than 72 hours prior to the date of the meeting. Large print format for informational materials are also available upon request.

All comments will be considered before any changes to the routes are finalized. Comments may be written, faxed or e-mailed -- until 5 p.m. August 31 -- to the address listed above. For more information, call the Division of Transit Services at 240-777-5800.

County Offers Free Bus Rides On Code Red Days — back to top

This summer, the Washington region has already experienced 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.

Unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone, which are damaging to human health and vegetation, occur mainly in the summer during hot, sunny days when the flow of air is limited or stagnant and a mixture of the right pollutants are present. The main ozone-causing pollutants come from many sources, such as the fumes from vehicles, lawnmowers, and boats, or emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.

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, one of the major ozone-causing pollutants, of a typical large industrial plant.

For information on Ride On bus schedules, call the Transit Information Center at
240-777-7433, or check the County’s web site at montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon.

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Last edited: 8/16/2006