Leggett Outlines Transportation Plans for FY10 Budget;
Proposes Increased Spending on Pedestrian Safety — back
Faced with a $587 million deficit, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced his recommended operating budget for fiscal year 2010 that begins July 1. His proposed $3.8 billion budget recognizes the need to cut spending while protecting public safety, education and the safety net for the most vulnerable. It eliminates nearly 400 government positions, dispenses with cost-of-living raises for public employees, lowers all department budgets and reduces the capital budget.
For transportation, the County Executive recommended allocating an additional four million dollars from speed camera revenues to improve pedestrian safety. The County will focus engineering improvements in areas with the most pedestrian collisions and enhance outreach, education and enforcement.
Proposed transportation reductions include service changes on more than two dozen Ride On routes and less funding for traffic studies, road maintenance and signal modernization.
The County Council will hold public hearings April 13 through 16 on Leggett's recommendations prior to approving the final operating budget on June 1. For more information on the County Executive's proposed operating budget, see the County's press release.
County Begins New "Boot" System for Parking Scofflaws;
Motorists Will Be Able to Pay On the Spot - and Get Going Immediately — back
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation's Division of Parking Management has begun a new parking enforcement program that will make it easier for parking violators with three or more delinquent parking tickets to pay their fines on the spot without being towed. The "PayLock" system uses a vehicle-immobilizing "boot" that can be instantly unlocked by the driver once the violator pays outstanding fines using a cell phone and a credit or debit card.
To receive the combination to the boot, the motorist must also agree to return the boot to either of two county parking stores. If the driver cannot lift the 16 pound boot, a parking enforcement officer will be sent to the site to retrieve it.
Motorists targeted by the boot program are those who have ignored all tickets, as well as several mailed letters notifying them of their delinquency. Car owners with more than $1,500 in unpaid parking violations will continue to be towed rather than booted.
Drivers can also pay parking fines with cash at the County's parking stores, which are located at 809 Ellsworth Avenue in Silver Spring(inside the Town Square Garage) and 4720 Cheltenham Drive in Bethesda (inside the Cheltenham Garage). Both stores are open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except County holidays.
Any driver with outstanding parking tickets is encouraged to pay them online, by phone or in person before they are booted. Online, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov, and click on "Residents," then "Pay Parking Tickets." By phone, call Parking Citation Services at 240-453-0113. In person, go to either of the parking stores listed above, or the County's Treasury Division located at 255 Rockville Pike, Rockville (enter from Monroe Street), which is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday,except County holidays.
For more information about parking locations and regulations in Montgomery County, go to the County's website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/parking.
Montgomery County Home to First Project Under Federal Stimulus Funding — back
The first project in the nation to receive federal stimulus funds is in Montgomery County. A mile-long section of Maryland Route 650 (New Hampshire Avenue) will be resurfaced and receive added safety features. The improvements will be made between Milestone Drive, just north of New Hampshire Avenue's intersection with US29/Columbia Pike, and Venice Drive, just south of Randolph Road. The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration (SHA) project will create 60 jobs and should be completed this fall.
Another State Project Will Resurface Part of Rockville Pike — back
The SHA has begun resurfacing and adding safety improvements along a one-half mile section of Maryland Route 355, Rockville Pike, between Hubbard Drive and Halpine Road in Rockville. Construction will be completed by late summer 2009, weather permitting, and is on a separate schedule from the much larger MD 355/Montrose interchange project immediately to the south.
The $204,000 project also includes cleaning, repairing or replacing existing inlets, pipes, the concrete median, curbs and gutters. Safety improvements include upgrading sidewalks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliancy and adding new pavement markings.
For more information, call SHA's District 3 Office at 301-513-7300 or toll free at 1-800-749-0737.
"Move Over" Save Lives and Reduces Congestion — back
Drivers encountering stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights are urged by local Police, Fire and Rescue, and transportation personnel to MOVE OVER a lane, if possible, or SLOW DOWN. The greatest danger facing law enforcement officers in Maryland is getting hit by a passing motorist.
Besides keeping emergency responders safe, drivers will also help keep traffic moving. Traffic incidents account for about one-quarter of all congestion on U.S. roadways. For every minute that a freeway travel lane is blocked during a peak travel time, four minutes of travel delay results after the incident is cleared. Safer, more efficient traffic incident management reduces congestion by reducing incident duration and reducing the risk of secondary crashes.
For more information on the national campaign to "Move Over," visit their website.
Leggett Joins Ervin in Celebrating Pedestrian Safety
Improvements in Silver Spring — back
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett joined County Councilmember Valerie Ervin and community members in celebrating a number of pedestrian safety improvements the County's Department of Transportation (MCDOT) made along 2nd Avenue in Silver Spring. The changes will improve access to public transportation and safety for seniors and people with disabilities.
At the celebration, Leggett also announced several transportation improvements that will benefit seniors, resulting from the Senior Transportation Initiative. MCDOT selected options that are highly used by seniors, low in cost and could be completed this fiscal year with minimal or no impact on existing budgets.
For more information about the improvements, view the full press release.