Council Committee to Discuss Transportation Issues
The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee will meet on April 26 at 9:45 a.m. on a number of transportation-related items that are addressed in the Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget and the FY13-18 Capital Improvements Program recommended by County Executive Isiah Leggett. The worksessions, which are part of the Council’s review of the Executive’s recommended budget, will include discussions that would keep projects such as the Purple Line, the Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance, Capital Crescent Trail improvements and Rapid Transit moving forward.
In April and May, the Council will review the Executive’s recommended budget as it works toward adopting the FY14 County operating budget in late May. The budget will go into effect on July 1.
The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, will meet in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
In his recommended adjustments to the Capital Improvements Program, the County Executive has recommended deferring the start of the design and construction of the Capital Crescent Trail project and the Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance project by about six months each. The Bethesda South Entrance is a vital part of the proposed Purple Line that would connect the Bethesda and New Carrollton Metrorail stations. The committee will discuss whether it agrees with delaying those projects.
The Executive also has recommended providing $7.6 million in planning funds for three routes that would be key elements of the proposed countywide Bus Rapid Transit system that would have specially designed vehicles travel on dedicated routes. The planning funds would study potential routes on Maryland Route 355 from the Lakeforest Transit Center to Bethesda; on Route 29 from Burtonsville to the Silver Spring Transit Center; and on Randolph Road from Rockville Pike to the Prince George’s County boundary.
The T and E Committee also will consider the Executive’s recommendation to increase Bethesda Parking Lot District fees to $2 per hour for on-street parking meters, $1.25 per hour in any parking lot space and 80 cents per hour in any space in a parking garage. The Executive has also recommended increasing the parking rate in Montgomery Hills to 50 cents per hour (from 25 cents per hour). Holders of permits in Montgomery Hills would have monthly rates increased to $90 (from the current $45).
At 9:30 a.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room, the Health and Human Services Committee, which is chaired by George Leventhal and includes Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Craig Rice, will hold worksessions on the County’s Behavioral Health and Crisis Services program and the special needs housing program.