County Executive Kicks Off Gift Outside the Box Campaign at Pike and Rose

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Acting Director Patty Bubar launched the County’s Gift Outside the Box holiday campaign on November 20. Other speakers included Executive Vice President of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Barbara Ashe and Director of Montgomery Parks Michael F. Riley.

The kick-off event took place at Pike & Rose located at 11920 Grand Avenue in North Bethesda. The DEP public awareness campaign aims to help residents make sustainable choices to reduce waste, support local businesses, and encourage volunteerism during the holiday season.

“This important holiday outreach effort challenges us to think about ways we can enjoy our holiday celebrations and reduce our impacts on the environment,” said Leggett. “I encourage all residents to ‘go greener’ the holiday season to protect our environment.”

The Gift Outside the Box campaign has five main themes:

  • Give to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Reduce waste by buying gifts made from recycled or reused materials and minimizing wrapping.
  • Gift Greener: Help the environment by greening how you buy and what you buy.
  • Give Back: Instead of a traditional gift, donate to charity or volunteer with others.
  • Gift Experiences: From theater tickets to Montgomery Parks classes, give your loved ones activities and experiences, instead of more stuff.
  • Buy Local: Support county businesses and purchase locally made products.

You won’t want to miss this important event

We are beyond thrilled that County Executive Ike Leggett  and Council President Roger Berliner will be joining MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh to cut the ribbon on the wonderful new striped crosswalks popping up all over the Pike District.

The ribbon cutting will take place at our third Walkable Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm at the intersection of  Nicholson Lane and Executive Boulevard . These new crosswalks — and other pedestrian improvements we should be seeing soon — are a direct result of our advocacy through the Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign.

Please join Ike Leggett, Roger Berliner, and Al Roshdieh tomorrow at 6 pm.

Join County Executive Ike Leggett at Walkable Wednesday September 27

We are beyond thrilled that County Executive Ike Leggett will be joining MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh to cut the ribbon on the wonderful new striped crosswalks popping up all over the Pike District.

The ribbon cutting will take place at our third Walkable Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm at the intersection of  Nicholson Lane and Executive Boulevard . These new crosswalks — and other pedestrian improvements we should be seeing soon — are a direct result of our advocacy through the Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign.

Please join Ike Leggett and Al Roshdieh and join us next Wednesday!

County Executive announces capital construction budget for FY 2018

Ike Leggett announced his proposed capital construction budget for FY 2018 and amendments to the six-year, FY 2017-22 capital improvements program. The County Council will consider the proposal over the next few months. It must vote on a new budget by the end of May, which then goes to the County Executive for final approval. The approved budget for FY 2018 goes into effect July 1, 2017.

RECOMMENDED FY18 CAPITAL BUDGET AND AMENDMENTS TO THE FY17-22 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM (CIP)

In case you’re interested, here are the links to the past and current projects that affect the Pike District:
FY17 CC Approved
FY17 CE Recommended

Nebel Street Bike Lanes Officially Opened by County Officials

Yesterday, County Executive Ike Leggett, MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh, and Councilmember Hans Reimer cut the ribbon on the new Nebel Street separated bike lanes.

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The Nebel Street six-foot-wide bike lanes are one-way and located against the curb on either side of the street with flexposts separating them from moving vehicles. A striped buffer area provides additional protection for cyclists.  Parking was removed on the west side of Nebel Street and relocated to the east side. The project includes the first, two-stage turn queue box, that was installed at the Nebel Street and Randolph Road intersection.  These boxes allow bicyclists to make left turns at multilane intersections from a right-side separated bike lane, or right turns from a left-side separated bike lane.

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“The Pike District is in the process of transforming itself into a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented community and the completion of the Nebel Street protected bike lane is one more step towards this goal,” said Leggett. “Creating a smart-growth community in the Pike District means more economic opportunities, more jobs and a better environment. It means making Montgomery County more competitive and brings greater prosperity and a stronger sense of community to this area.”

“MCDOT fully supports County Executive Leggett’s vision of the Pike District as a smart-growth community – one that provides a robust variety of transportation alternatives so people can get where they want to go without having to use a car,” said MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh. “I’m very proud that my entire department is committed to creatively using every opportunity to transform the County’s transportation infrastructure by expanding options for our residents, employees and visitors. We are building a balanced and comprehensive network – not only in the Pike District, but countywide – that is enhancing the quality of life for everyone in Montgomery County.”

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County Will Move Forward With Rapid Transit without Transit Authority

Ike Leggett announced that Montgomery County will move forward with planning, building, and operating one or two bus rapid transit corridors, despite his decision to at least temporarily ditch plans for an independent Transit Authority to build and operate the system.

In a press release, he said “Expanding our transit reach is critically important to creating 100,000 new jobs in White Oak, around Shady Grove, in White Flint and Wheaton. I still believe that, ultimately, we will need an entity that can that raise the resources needed. However, in the here and now, I have instructed my Department of Transportation, while continuing its work with the State on Bus Rapid Transit, to explore less-expensive alternatives that we could pilot on one or two routes.”

According to Bethesda Beat, the County Executive hopes to get a recommendation from MCDOT for the first one or two routes that would “at least be considered in the budget cycle that would come out next spring,” though he didn’t specify which corridors country transportation planners are considering or how the system would be paid for.

The Washington Post reported that Leggett hopes that if opponents see the bus lanes in limited operation, they might be more inclined to support a transit authority.

Of course, Friends of White Flint will be working with all of you to advocate for Route 355 being one of the first one or two routes that would be in that spring budget cycle.

Ike Legget will not Submit Transit Authority Legislation This Year

As reported by Bethesda Beat, Ike Leggett will not submit transit authority legislation this year. In a letter to the Transit Task Force, Ike Leggett wrote, “the public interest at the two recent hearings made it clear to me that there remains significant community concern about the proposal for a Montgomery County transit authority. Perhaps more importantly, County residents are unaware of the considerable benefits that a Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) would bring to our County and its residents.”

Council members George Leventhal and Roger Berliner had also suggested Leggett hold off on the Transit Authority enabling legislation until the county’s Rapid Transit System (RTS) was closer to fruition.

“To briefly summarize, we cannot say whether a proposal similar to what the report has outlined can pass the County’s legislative Delegation, work its way through the full legislative process, withstand the scrutiny of the Governor, and then obtain the necessary support of a majority of the County Council to be implemented,”  a statement from District 16 Del. Marc Korman and District 15 Sen. Brian Feldman said

A revised Independent Transit Authority?

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County Executive Ike Leggett has revived the group that first laid out how a countywide bus rapid transit system might work to examine his controversial proposal for an Independent Transit Authority.

In a letter to Transit Task Force Chair Mark Winston, the County Executive wrote:

As you know, last December I proposed enactment by the General Assembly of legislation (MC-24-15) that would have enabled Montgomery County to establish a transit authority, and accomplish other purposes.  That proposal became controversial and, since it was obvious that it would not be enacted in the 2015 Session of the General Assembly, I asked that it be withdrawn.  However, while I have been open to other proposals that might be made that would allow the County to pursue its goal of having a comprehensive transit system at the earliest practicable time, I continue to believe that my proposal for a transit authority is the best approach.

I ask that the Task Force study the legislation that I proposed, develop procedures for soliciting community and commercial input to its deliberations, offer its comments, and provide advice and recommendations on how it may be improved.

Winston said the Task Force, composed of county government leaders, regional transportation officials, transit advocates, chamber officials and several community representatives, hopes to finalize its recommendations by Sept. 30.

The Task Force meets at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 at the Executive Office Building in Rockville, The meeting is open to the public.