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   Newsletter Vol 31 | November, 2006 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 

Construction Projects Update  back to top

Silver Spring Transit Center Project Begins

On November 27, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan hosted a kick-off ceremony to celebrate the start of the long-awaited Silver Spring Transit Center. Among the many dignitaries attending the event were Senators Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, Congressmen Albert Wynn and Chris Van Hollen, State Senator Ida Ruben, County Council President George Leventhal, Federal Transit Administrator James S. Simpson, Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert Flanagan, WMATA Alternate Board Member Gordon Linton and others. The $75 million dollar project will combine Metrorail, Metrobus, Ride On, MARC and inter-city bus service in one facility.

At the celebration, Duncan announced that the Center will be named the “Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center” for the retiring Senator. He said that Sarbanes’ steadfast commitment brought in the Federal funds that made the project a reality. In his remarks Duncan commended Sarbanes for his service. “No one person has contributed more to the successes of our transportation system than our good friend, Senator Paul Sarbanes,” said Duncan. “Elected five times to the U.S. Senate, Paul Sarbanes is an outspoken advocate for public transit – for bringing people to their jobs, reducing air pollution, conserving fuel, and reducing congestion. Throughout his 28 years on Capitol Hill, Paul Sarbanes has helped shape and enact every major piece of transit legislation in use today.”

Fairland Road

The Fairland Road project began this month to widen the road between U.S. Route 29 to the Prince Georges County line near Briggs Chaney Road to three lanes. The planned improvements include a center turning lane, new curb and gutter, a new storm drain system, storm water management, a five-foot concrete walk on the north side of the road, an eight-foot hiker/biker path on the south side of the road, landscaping and street lighting. Improvements will also be made to the intersections of Fairland Road with Brahms Avenue, Musgrove Road/Marlow Farm Terrace and Galway Drive. Construction is expected to take about two years.

Halloween Pedestrian Safety  back to top

As Daylight Savings Time ended and Halloween approached, County public safety and school officials held a press conference at Ashburton Elementary School in Bethesda to offer safety advice to make crossing the street less scary. The end of Daylight Savings Time marks the start of the darker days of winter when pedestrian deaths and injuries tend to increase.

The speakers who offered pedestrian safety tips included Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, Fire Chief Thomas W. Carr, Jr., Ashburton Elementary School fifth grader and safety patrol Vanessa Sazesh, Ashburton Elementary School Principal Dr. Barbara Haughey, Montgomery County Councilmember Howard Denis, State Delegate William Bronrott (D-District 16), and Chair of the Montgomery County Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee Bill Frick.

Annual Leaf Collection Well Underway — back to top

Our Highway Maintenance crews are more than halfway through the annual collection of leaves. Leaves in the southern part of the County are collected by vacuum trucks from early November through about mid-December. The crews typically collect 140,000 cubic yards of leaves—enough to fill a football field 10 stories high.

Crews make two passes on each street. Signs announcing the collections are posted, with green signs announcing the first collection and red signs indicating the final collection date. Please be patient if crews have to block traffic on a street with parked cars.

Leaves should be placed in piles on the grass or behind the curb. Putting leaves in the street can disrupt traffic, interfere with water drainage, or pose a fire hazard. Collections are for leaves only. Sticks, branches or garden debris should be placed in containers or tied in bundles and put out at the curb for recycling.

For more information, call our Customer Service Center at 240.777.6000 or go to our website at montgomerycountymd.gov/dpwt.

Public Meeting to be Held for Seven Locks Road Sidewalk and Bikeway Facility Planning Project — back to top

DPWT Gets Ready for Winter Weather; Citizens Can Do the Same
The Department of Public Works and Transportation’s Highway Maintenance Section conducted an all day exercise earlier this month to test the readiness of its snow plans and plows. Crews took vehicles equipped with plows on a test drive covering almost all of the County’s 2,400 miles of County-maintained roads. The all day exercise was designed to orient drivers to routing improvements and increase efficiency – before the first flake falls. DPWT also held a Snow Summit to ensure that contractors and other agencies are prepared to coordinate resources and work together.

Residents can also take steps to prepare their homes and cars for winter precipitation:

  • Ensure you have enough food, water, medication, and batteries to last 2 to 3 days.
  • Check portable radios, smoke detectors, and flashlights to ensure the batteries are fresh.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly winterized. Keep a blanket, snow shovel, cell phone, flares, and sand or kitty litter in the trunk.

For information on DPWT's snow removal program, visit the Division of Operations' website. When a snow storm hits, residents can track overall progress of snow plow operations from the website.

DPWT’s Customer Service Center Improves Accessibility for Customers — back to top

Last year, DPWT’s Division of Operations created a new consolidated Customer Service Center to provide residents with a single phone number to use to access most services. Since last fall, the Center has received more than 51,000 inquiries.

The Customer Service Center is staffed by friendly information specialists Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Questions, concerns, or requests for information on highway maintenance, traffic, and some parking issues are all handled by this consolidated Center, including potholes, sidewalk repairs, road paving, tree maintenance, storm drain maintenance, leaf vacuuming, snow removal, traffic signals and signs, streetlights, crosswalks and information about parking lot districts.

The Customer Service Center can be reached at 240-777-6000.

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Last edited: 12/4/2006