October 9, 2011
Today’s highlight was a presentation from Tom Street and Mark Winston
about the rapid transit task force. They are preparing recommendations
for a county wide rapid transit system using advanced vehicle
technology on the street surface. Preliminary studies show that there
is a strong benefit to residents by improving mobility and reducing
congestion. Drivers are much better off with this transit system
since there are fewer new cars on the road.
The challenges include how much it costs, how to pay for it, how it
affects long standing priorities such as the Purple Line, and where to
start with it first.
October 7, 2011
I started off today meeting with Ana Lopez van Balen, the new mid
county services director, to learn more about her work and see some of
the social services that are provided out of the county building in
Wheaton. Then I stopped in to chat with Mr. Leo, my good friend who
runs Marchones Deli right there in Wheaton. We talked about the coming
redevelopment and how it may affect local small businesses.
Then into a great meeting with advocates from the senior community.
Patrick Lacefield in the county executive’s office is working with me
and a team from Senior Leadership Montgomery as well as nonprofit
service groups to help identify how we can more effectively inform
seniors about transportation options available through 311. We are
making great progress.
Then I met with community leaders from the Lyttonsville area,
including Ms. Charlotte Coffield. They have a challenge with how the
Purple Line will impact their community and I am glad to be able to
help them out. Coincidentally I heard from my dear friend Barbara
Sanders that the Purple Line received a new approval from the US DOT,
which will mean continued progress in design and construction.
Finally, a helpful presentation from Federal Realty about upcoming
development in White Flint.
The council was briefed today on results from the beefed up police
patrols in Silver Spring and Burtonsville. The additional enforcement
has cut crime significantly, which is great news.
Swirling in the background: my impact tax bill, the peace resolution,
the curfew, the fire commission, a big box community benefits
agreement bill with UFCW, politics with MCGEO, and a whole lotta