Today’s council session featured a presentation by the new Montgomery
County Business Development Corporation. This group of CEO level execs
are working to make recommendations for how we can create more jobs
here. I observed that according to our most recent economic report we
have fewer private sector jobs in the county than we did 10 years ago.
We need to get moving on building new economic development tools and
creating the infrastructure to grow our economy, particularly
Then this evening I joined my colleague Roger Berliner, chair of the
transportation committee, at a committee session in Bethesda about the
escalator problems and the proposal for a new entrance to the Bethesda
Metro. We heard a range of suggestions for how we can improve access
there and manage the crisis when the escalators all go out of
operation. WMATA said that current plans are for replacement of the
escalators to begin in January of 2014. We will look into what it
would take to accelerate that timeline.
The picture is my view at the Bethesda Metro hearing. The gentleman in
front on the right side is Art Holmes, Director of the county
department of transportation.
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Have you ever wondered what a member of the county council does on a daily basis? I get questions like that a lot, and I think it’s important for residents to have a better understanding of what their elected officials do to advance the public interest.
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This is an effort to promote transparency and accountability on my part, to show how I am engaging with residents and grappling with the challenges facing the county. I also want to educate residents (as I learn myself) about the role of a County Council member. I consider this the first initiative of an “OpenGovernment” council policy agenda that I am working on.
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Bethesda Metro Station Will Be Subject of
Special Montgomery Council Committee Meeting
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee
to Meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at
Bethesda-CC Regional Services Center to Discuss Problem
ROCKVILLE, Md., October 21, 2011—The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee will hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center to discuss what can be done to avoid another incident such as the one on Friday, Oct. 14, when all three escalators at the Bethesda Metrorail Station simultaneously had mechanical problems and were all put out of service.
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Service Center’s street entrance is at 4805 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda (corner of Old Georgetown and Edgemoor) and is marked with County and American flags. Take the elevator to Level 2 for the meeting room.
The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Council Vice President Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, is expected to exchange thoughts with Metro officials at the meeting.
The discussion will include plans for the replacement of the escalators at the Bethesda Station, as well as plans for the construction of a new station entrance on Elm Street. Representatives from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will testify before the committee.
Members of the public are invited to participate in a question and answer period.
“The incident last Friday, when all three escalators were broken down at the same time, underscores just how intolerable the situation at the Bethesda Metro has become,” said Council Vice President Berliner. “WMATA’s customers deserve better service and they deserve better answers – this has been going on for far, far too long. Our residents deserve to hear directly from WMATA what measures they will take to ensure the health and safety of all Metro riders. ”
“The Bethesda Metro station has one of the longest escalators in the western hemisphere,” said Councilmember Riemer. “It is unacceptable that the escalators break down and residents must climb their way out of that deep tunnel. This committee hearing is a timely opportunity for residents to hear about solutions from WMATA and to join us in holding WMATA accountable.”
Councilmember Floreen said: “WMATA owes Bethesda residents and workers a full explanation as to why this multiple year problem is still not fixed.”
Council Member At-Large
Hans Riemer | Montgomery County Council, At-large