Help Us Secure FY21 Funding For Georgia Avenue Improvements

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The letter below was sent to the Montgomery County Council to ensure funding is available for the long proposed Georgia Ave improvements. Please consider sending a letter to help us secure the funding:

February 5, 2020

Montgomery County Council

Council Office Building

100 Maryland Avenue, 6th Floor

Rockville, MD 20850

Sent via email to:

Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov

councilmember.hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov

councilmember.jawando@montgomerycountymd.gov

councilmember.albornoz@montgomerycountymd.gov

councilmember.glass@montgomerycountymd.gov

Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov

Councilmember.Rice@montgomerycountymd.gov

councilmember.friedson@montgomerycountymd.gov

Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov

Re: County Budget: MD 97 Georgia Avenue Improvements in Montgomery Hills and Forest Glen

Dear Council President Katz and Councilmembers,

The following named Civic Associations and Advocacy Groups urge you to include funding in the FY 21 Capital Improvements Plan budget for the proposed reconstruction of Georgia Ave between 16th Street and Forest Glen Road.  These associations and groups consist of well over 10,000 households and represent the neighborhoods that surround the Montgomery Hills/Forest Glen project planning area.

The SHA Georgia Ave road improvement project enjoys widespread, unparalleled support from the surrounding residents, local businesses, and myriad community organizations. These improvements have been recommended in the County’s Approved and Adopted Master Plans continuously since 1978, including, once again, in the current draft Sector Plan now before the PHED Committee.  While SHA has made significant progress over the past year, notably securing federal NEPA approval for Alternative 5B, we remain in need of a firm commitment for construction funding.

In past meetings, the County Executive assured us that the County would cost share a percentage of the construction costs with the State. In fact, at our last meeting with Maryland DOT Secretary Slater, (then SHA Administrator), he noted the County’s $10 million commitment would be an important factor in having this project proceed from design to construction.  We are very appreciative of the County’s previous commitment, realizing it may be the linchpin for the project to proceed. Unfortunately, we did not see this funding commitment reflected in the proposed CIP budget.  Consequently, we urge the Council to include the funding in the FY 2021-2026 Capital Improvements Program, specifically dedicated in FY 2021 and 2022.

We acknowledge that Georgia Ave is a State road – however, the vast benefits that will result from the road improvements will accrue to both County and State.  The SHA Project Design with the cycle track will establish a balanced approach to transportation, improving pedestrian safety, provide a safe route for bicycles, and further leverage accessibility to the Red and Purple Line stations.  Further, these road improvements will help small local businesses in the corridor to thrive and help to reverse the disturbing trend of increasing vacancies and businesses closing.

Without the improvements the corridor is unsafe for all users: vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.  Commuters and residents alike cannot travel through the area easily, and the existing conditions creates create an economically untenable environment for most businesses.

We urge you to commit the County’s share of funding in the CIP to demonstrate to the State the County’s willingness to be an active partner in the road improvements.

We appreciate your time and consideration of our request. Should you desire any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the representatives listed below.

Best,

Michelle Foster, Geoff Gerhardt, Ted Martin, Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills

Alison Gillespie, President, Forest Estates Community Association

Phil Olivetti, President, Linden Civic Association

David Cox, President, North Woodside Citizens Association

Bill Scanlan, President, Woodside Civic Association

Dan Hattis, President, Woodside Forest Civic Association

L. Adriana Gonzalez, President, Woodside Park Civic Association

Peter Gray, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA)

 

CC:

County Executive Marc Elrich, marc.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov

Chris Conklin, Director, Montgomery County Department of Transportation, christopher.conklin@montgomerycountymd.gov

Greg Slater, Maryland DOT Secretary, gslater@mdot.state.md.us

Tim Smith, MDOT SHA Acting Administrator, TSmith2@mdot.maryland.gov

2 thoughts on “Help Us Secure FY21 Funding For Georgia Avenue Improvements

  • Would love a solution to the litter/trash issue along the west side of Georgia Ave. As of the traffic and lighting wasn’t bad enough, this makes walking this area even more unpleasant.

    Like

    • Hi Evan – We agree! We are working on several solutions including having some of the local businesses help clean-up and trying to have the DTSS Red Shirts come to Montgomery Hills a few times a month for clean-up. We are also looking for more trash bins along the corridor. We are meeting with the county this week, but it also helps if you email you Councilmember Tom Hucker to tell him this is a problem so he is not just hearing from us: councilmember.hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov

      Like

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