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Newsletter | July, 2009 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive

Leggett Announces New Road Maintenance Project to
Upgrade and Preserve County's Transportation Infrastructure back to top

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced that a new project to rehabilitate four neighborhoods in Glen Echo is underway through a program begun last year that is taking a more systematic and comprehensive approach to maintaining the County's transportation infrastructure. As part of Leggett's commitment to using data-driven methods to ensure that critical services are provided in the most effective and efficient ways, the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is using a condition assessment of all 4,800 lane miles of County roads to prioritize the department's maintenance, rehabilitation and resurfacing efforts.

Roads in Glen Echo were evaluated as being in significant need of attention. Work in the Tulip Hill and Mohican Hills neighborhoods in Glen Echo began in early June. Due to the size and scope of the project, improvements will be phased in over two fiscal years, with the Glen Echo Heights and Fort Sumner neighborhoods scheduled for rehabilitation next summer in fiscal year 2011. A total of 18 lane-miles of road will be reconstructed in the four neighborhoods. MCDOT will not widen or alter the character of the streets throughout the community. To preserve the trees in the right-of-way during construction, every neighborhood tree was inspected by the County arborist and a tree protection plan was put in place.

Pedestrian Safety Video Receives NACo Achievement Award back to top

This year, Montgomery County received 15 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards - more than any county in the State - for its innovative and ground-breaking programs. Among the winning efforts was the Public Information Office's video called "WalkSafe!™: Keeping Pedestrians Safe in the Danger Zone."

WalkSafe!™ was developed to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths among non-native English speakers (NNESs), one of the groups at highest risk of being involved in pedestrian collisions. Survey results show that 76 percent of viewers now cross the street more carefully; 45 percent more viewers always obey walk signals; 93 percent more know what the pedestrian signal button does; 50 percent more rarely or never cross the street mid-block; and about 50 percent more practice safer walking behaviors.

More than 1,300 videos have been distributed to adult English-as-a-Second Language (ESOL) teachers at Montgomery College and in Montgomery County public schools, as well as to non-profit groups, churches and employers. Although aimed at adult non-native English speakers, the video is also appropriate for students and young adults who are not necessarily ESOL students.

To view WalkSafe!™ , go to the County's website and scroll down to the fourth item.

New County Pedestrian Safety Video Targets Inexperienced Drivers back to top

In July, County Executive Isiah Leggett announced the availability of a companion pedestrian safety education effort to WalkSafe!™ that aims to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths by raising awareness among new drivers. The new video, "Drive Safe!®: Keeping Pedestrians Safe When You're Behind the Wheel" was also prepared by the County's Public Information Office and features personal testimonials from people whose family members were killed in pedestrian collisions and drivers who struck pedestrians.

Drive Safe!®: will be distributed to driver training schools, community groups, and other organizations that work with teens, young adults or non-native English speakers.

One of the Leggett administration's highest priorities is to improve pedestrian safety. In December 2007, the Executive released a strategic plan to aggressively achieve that goal. Increased education is an important component, along with enhanced engineering and enforcement.

Drive Safe!® can also be viewed on the County's website.

Bethesda Parking Garage to Offer More Short Term Parking back to top

Starting in August, the County's Division of Parking Management (DPM) will reconfigure the ground and first floors of the Bethesda-Elm Parking Garage to allow for more short term parking. Located at 4841 Bethesda Avenue, the garage will have an additional 51 parking spaces at two-hour meters and 163 new four-hour meter spots. Entrances to the garage are located on both Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street.

With greater demand for short term parking in Bethesda, DPM made room for more short term meters by reducing the number of longer term parking spaces on the upper floors of the garage. The reallocation will be evaluated after 90 days to ensure it's working, and additional adjustments will be made if warranted.

For more information on parking options in Bethesda and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation's other parking lot districts, visit DPM's website or call 240-777-8740.

Primer on Meter Feeding back to top

Residents may not be aware that it is illegal to re-feed a parking meter in most jurisdictions in the country, including Montgomery County. These prohibitions exist to assist the business community by increasing the availability of parking for their customers. For example, during an eight hour period, four different patrons will be able to park in front of a business with a two-hour meter, as opposed to potentially one long-term parker.

To avoid being ticketed, those who park at meters should never re-feed the same meter to get more parking time. If an on-street meter expires, a car must move to another block. For example, if a car is parked in the 800 block of a street, the car cannot park in another parking space on that block (including across the street). Any address within the 800 address block would be considered the same block.

For parking meters in lots and garages, the entire lot and garage are considered part of the limit, so a vehicle cannot just move to another space with the same duration parking meter within that facility. If a person parks at a two-hour space in a garage, they can always move to a 15-hour space once their time is up. They are not required to leave the facility, but they cannot move to a new two-hour space without risking a parking ticket.

For more information on parking rates and regulations, go to the Division of Parking Management's website or call 240-777-6000.

MCDOT Adds Video Links to Website back to top

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) now has video links on its website, including "Transportation Update" that appears on County Cable Montgomery. Transportation Update runs every 30 minutes during morning and evening rush hour during the week and in the morning on weekends. The broadcast focuses on timely transportation events or general travel information of interest to residents and commuters. Previous Updates can also be viewed on the website.

Watch County Cable Montgomery on Channel 6 for Comcast and RCN subscribers, Channel 30 for Verizon subscribers or on the County's website.

Committee Vacancy: Deadline Extended for Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee back to top

The deadline to apply for a public member vacancy on the Montgomery County Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee has been extended to August 7. Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply.

The Committee provides advice to the County Executive, County Council, and elected officials on implementation of the County's Pedestrian Safety Initiative, priorities and needs in the area of pedestrian and bicycle safety and access. Committee members also gather information on pedestrian and bicycle safety and identify new issues that may emerge. To review the work the committee is involved with, visit the County's Pedestrian Safety website.

The 17-member Advisory Committee includes six government representatives, one public school representative, one Maryland Municipal League representative, and nine general public members who represent various regions of Montgomery County, including one representative of the bicycle advocacy community. Members serve without compensation. Meetings are generally held every other month on weekday evenings.

An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume, should be sent by mail to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD 20850, or by email to countyexecutive.boards@montgomerycountymd.gov. Applicants should include home and employment addresses, contact phone numbers and email addresses.

New Parking Rates In Bethesda and North Bethesda Go Into Effect back to top

In May, the Montgomery County Council approved new public parking rates in both Bethesda and North Bethesda that began on July 1. The County's Division of Parking Management is in the process of changing meters to reflect the new rates. Go to the County's website to see the new rates.

MCDOT Helps Make This Year's AT&T Golf Tournament a Success back to top

Montgomery County's Division of Traffic Engineering worked closely with County Police and AT&T National Golf Tournament planners to make this year's big golf event a success. With final attendance counted at 193,000 fans, the tournament boosted the County's economy, generating almost $17 million for Maryland, but also generating considerable traffic.

MCDOT staffed a Command Post to monitor traffic conditions and adjust traffic signal timings, providing traffic control locally and at satellite parking sites. Police enforced MCDOT's no parking restrictions in nearby neighborhoods to keep spectators out of residents' yards.

The County's next big golf event will be the U.S. Open, to be held at Congressional in 2011. The Tiger Woods tournament returns in 2012. For other summer events, visit the County's website.

Offices within MCDOT Relocate back to top

On July 1, four of Montgomery County's Department of Transportation's five divisions relocated to a newly purchased County building at 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg MD 20878. Staff and division phone numbers and email addresses stay the same. The new location formerly housed offices of the General Electric corporation, and originally was headquarters of the National Geographic Society.

The Division of Engineering Services moved from its location in the Executive Office Building in downtown Rockville. The divisions of Highway Services, Parking Management, and Traffic Engineering and Operations moved from leased space on Orchard Ridge Drive. The Division of Transit Services as well as the Office of the Director remain in the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville MD 20850.

For information on services provided by these divisions, see the Residents' Guide to Services.

Last edited: 7/31/2009