County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Andrew Friedson Join in Launch of Completed Dedicated Bus Lanes Project on University Boulevard in Wheaton


The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) issued the following news release on Friday, March 8:
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Council President Andrew Friedson today gathered at Wheaton Forest Local Park to celebrate completion of the dedicated bus lane project on University Boulevard (MD 193) between Amherst Avenue and Dennis Avenue in Wheaton.

Also joining today’s event were Councilmember and Transportation and Environment Committee Chair Evan Glass, Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz and Natali Fani-González, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Senior Vice President for Bus Services Leroy Jones, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administrator (MDOT/SHA) Will Pines and Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Director Chris Conklin.

The brightly painted red dedicated bus lanes run along the park border on University Boulevard and were opened for use on late February. The dedicated bus lanes along the more than two-mile section of roadway will allow buses to travel with minimal motor vehicle traffic obstruction along one of the area’s busiest and most congested corridors.

The dedicated bus lanes on University Boulevard are part of a larger MCDOT program, the Bus Priority Project, that will advance similar bus-only lanes. The bus lanes will provide faster, more reliable service along a route with critical service connections to MetroRail, Ride On, Metro buses and the Silver Spring Transit Center. The lanes are designated with solid red paint and “Bus Only” text.

“We are redesigning our approach to transit, to prioritize transportation options that are equitable and climate-friendly,” said County Executive Elrich. “The University Boulevard dedicated bus lanes will improve the daily commute for thousands of workers, students and residents along this corridor who depend on public transportation. Additionally, these new bus lanes will also attract new riders to Metrobus and Ride-On services as a more convenient, safe and cost-effective option as compared to using automobiles. I appreciate the work of MCDOT and our partnership with Metro and Maryland State Highway to make commuting via bus better throughout Montgomery County.”

The University bus lane corridor serves three Ride On bus lines (Route 7, Route 8 and Route 9) and WMATA’s C2 and C4 Metrobus lines. The C2 and C4 Metrobus lines carry about 9,300 riders each weekday, the second-highest ridership route in the Washington, D.C., region.

“I want to thank MCDOT for their efforts to create a better bus experience for our customers,” said Metro Senior Vice President Jones.” Frequent, reliable bus service provides pathways to opportunity for riders by connecting them to jobs, education, healthcare and vital services across the region. Our region as a whole will benefit from these improvements to our bus service by spurring economic development, reducing traffic congestion and improving health outcomes through the increase in physical activity and reduction in air pollution. Better bus service builds better communities.”

MCDOT will monitor the effectiveness and safety of the bus lanes as a pilot program for 12 months. An evaluation will be done in December 2025 to confirm that the bus lanes are beneficial on this corridor.

“The new bus lanes allow us to improve service for thousands of riders with minimal impact on drivers,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “A previous study conducted by the Maryland Department of Transportation showed that the lanes added, on average, fifteen seconds to vehicle commute times during rush hour.  WMATA bus speed data showed that bus lanes will benefit transit operations and bus customers. Additionally, if we can make bus service more appealing by increasing speed and reliability, more people will choose bus service over driving. These lanes will move more people, faster.”

WMATA partnered with MCDOT to seek approval for the project from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT/SHA), which maintains jurisdiction over the State road.

“We are grateful for MCDOT advancing this project to improve Maryland’s multimodal transportation system,” said State Highway Administrator Will Pines. “Efforts such as these benefit the region by providing better transit connections to life’s opportunities. This project serves as a model for the importance of state and county partnership in Montgomery County and across the state.”

The new bus lanes will allow use by emergency vehicles and bicycles. Cars can only enter and utilize the bus lane approximately 100 feet prior to making a right turn, as indicated by striped, red lines.

Details about the dedicated bus lane project on University Boulevard can be found on MCDOT’s  University Boulevard Dedicated Bus Lane project page.

For more information on MCDOT programs and services visit montgomerycountymd.gov/mcdot, follow @MCDOTNow on X, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to MCDOT’s “Go Montgomery!” newsletter.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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