Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Miles of connected multi-use trails are planned for the DMV region as part of the Capitol Trails Network. “When we finish building the Capital Trails Network, nearly four million Washington area residents will live in close proximity to a trail and have easy access to an equitable, sustainable transportation system,” according to Capitol Trails Network plans.
Currently, the Capital Trails Network offers 479 miles of completed trails throughout the region and the network has 152 planned projects, totaling 402 miles of segments or connectors still to be built.
Montgomery County has 113.3 miles of built trails that will be part of the network, and 42.5 more miles are planned to be built.
The Capital Trails Coalition is a collaboration of public and private organizations, agencies, and volunteers working to advance completion of an interconnected network of multi-use trails for the Washington metropolitan area. Started in 2015, the Coalition has worked with each jurisdiction to identify planned trails that, once complete, will connect the region.
Planners believe that the $1.09 billion investment to connect the 881 miles between Maryland, Washington and Virginia, will result in a $2.05 billion economic impact, including $4.9 million saved on gasoline expenses each year, 19,580 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions prevented each year, $517 million in public health savings each year, 2.2 million of gasoline saved from being used each year, and 49.1 million less vehicle miles travelled each year.
People responded to the County Executive Marc Elrich’s Vision Zero Plan, which seeks to eliminate all traffic, pedestrian and bicycling fatalities by 2030. Between 2015 to 2019, police reported 1,419 collisions that resulted in 1,461 serious injuries and 163 fatalities to drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists. The county averaged 30 fatal collisions a year from 2015 to 2019. The number of serious injury crashes for people biking and walking increased from 72 in 2015 to 80 in 2019.Fatal collisions declined from 2015 to 2017, but increased since 2017. People biking and walking represented 45% of fatal collisions.
“The number of serious and fatal injuries remains higher than we can accept,” said County Executive Elrich. The Vision Zero concept for roadway safety originated in Sweden in 1997 and is credited for making that country’s roads some of the safest in the world—even with increases in driving, walking, and biking. Vision Zero has been adopted by more than 40 jurisdictions in the United States. Montgomery County is one of the first counties in the United States to adopt a Vision Zero initiative.
People in the county (52.7 percent of residents) who have received at least their first dose vaccination, as of Monday, May 3. 383,332 residents have been fully vaccinated, 36.5 percent of county residents, according to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
Percent of Black people who have received at least their first vaccination, even though Black people account for 18.68 percent of the population. Hispanic people are also underserved; they have received 13.9 percent of vaccinations, even though they account for 20.05 percent of the county’s population, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
New Covid cases in the county reported Monday, May 3 by the Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services. The cumulative number of covid cases in the county is 69,964, including 1,866 in the 20854 zip code; 1,477 people in the county, including 63 people in the 20854 zip code, have died since the pandemic began.
Percent of vaccinations have been given to women (44.91 to men) in the county. Women account for 49 percent of the population.
When 60 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, the county will increase gathering limits to 250 people indoors and no limits outdoors. Now that the county has passed 50 percent of the population receiving a vaccination, gathering limits have increased to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. When 60 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, food establishments and religious facilities can move to 75 percent of maximum capacity; sports will increase capacity for participants and spectators to 250 people indoors and no limit outdoors and may engage in play with teams from outside Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia. And convention and banquet facilities will be increased to 50 percent of the facility's maximum capacity per State restrictions.
Person can make a difference for county roads, streams, stormwater ponds and eventually our rivers and waterways. Sign up to Plog at the Department of Environmental Protection website at https://mygreenmontgomery.org/2021/greenfest-plogging-challenge/ and receive trash and recycling bags, gloves, one litter grabber and hand sanitizer.
“All of the trash that we see on the sides of the roads, on curbs, in streams, and in stormwater ponds eventually ends up in our rivers and waterways,” said Department of Environmental Protection Director Adam Ortiz. “Imagine how much trash we can collect if everyone were to plog even a little bit every day.”
See https://mygreenmontgomery.org/2021/greenfest-plogging-challenge/ and help the county record the amount of litter picked up.
On April 28, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and One Montgomery Green (OMG) kicked off “Eco Evenings with DEP and OMG,” a series of virtual town halls open to County residents to discuss relevant environmental topics.This series will have new discussions on the last Wednesday of each month. Eco Evenings will be hosted by Ortiz and Wendy Howard, executive director of OMG.
For more information about DEP, go to https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dep/.
For more information about OMG, go to https://onemontgomerygreen.org.
County acres that the Montgomery County Department of Transportation is responsible for mowing on county property. In order to reduce noise pollution, air pollution and fuel consumption and costs, Montgomery County Department of Transportation deployed its first all-electric mowing team that will use only electronic equipment that produces zero emissions and is noticeably quieter than traditional gas-powered equipment. MCDOT will review the efficiency of the equipment following the mowing season to determine if the program will be expanded in future years.
“While it looks like a standard mower, its large electric battery makes it weigh 200 pounds more than standard equipment,” according to MCDOT documents. “The mowing crew reports that the battery backpacks are heavy, but that a heavy backpack with lighter trimmer and blower equipment is much more comfortable to use than gas-powered blowers and trimmers where the hand-held equipment is much heavier and harder on the body.
“The biggest challenge so far has been the limitations of battery life and related ability for the crew to cover the same amount of mowing area as a traditionally outfitted crew. The mowing battery can provide up to four hours of run time from a full charge and currently needs to return to the depot to charge for 12 hours.
Minute film, “My Name is Josiah Henson,” begins a self-guided tour of the newly opened Josiah Henson Museum and Park. Proceed to the museum exhibits that tell the story of Rev. Henson’s early life located inside the historic Riley/Bolten House and attached log kitchen.
MontgomeryParks new historic site, Josiah Henson Museum and Park, is open Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take the virtual tour: https://t.co/41ib044pot.
Get timed tickets at https://t.co/VOgTf3dKqT. https://twitter.com/montgomeryparks/status/1387785009860390913?s=27
Parking is only available at the Kennedy-Shriver Aquatic Center, located across the street at Wall Local Park, 5900 Executive Blvd, N. Bethesda. Follow signage for the "Pathway to Freedom" that leads to the Josiah Henson Museum and Park.
The date of this year’s Bike-to-Work day, May 21, 2021. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) promotes this year’s Bike To Work Day by featuring a different bike path/trail in Montgomery County each week through Sunday, May 30. Bike riders are asked to submit a favorite picture of themselves enjoying their ride along the featured trail to be entered into a weekly drawing. This week’s featured location is The Bethesda Trolley Trail. Previously featured trails were the Capital Crescent, Sligo Creek, Carl Henn Millennium and Matthew Henson trails. More information on the contest and future locations can be found at: tinyurl.com/4r7kd52w.