Winter/Spring Happenings

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County Health Report and Zip Code Ranking Project

Staff attended a County Council briefing during which the county’s Health Officer, Dr. Travis Gayles, summarized the outcomes of two studies that have relevance to Montgomery Village residents. The first study, “Health in Montgomery County 2008-2016,” indicates that health outcomes in the county are better than state and national averages, but there are several health conditions showing trends and disparities by race, ethnicity, age, sex and geographic area that warrant special attention. Some concerning trends include increases in sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis rates, substance abuse, including opioids, and utilization of emergency rooms for the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

The Zip Code Ranking Project provides a report on health outcomes based on data from 2014 to 2016. The goal of the study was to see how health and longevity is impacted for residents living in zip codes in the county. Dr. Gayles noted that due to the county’s geographic size and diverse population, there can be substantial variation in health factors and outcomes as demonstrated by the zip code research. Montgomery Village zip code of 20886 ranked overall 25 out of 36. 20886 ranked low in the following subdomains of the study, including health behaviors and physical environment. Dr. Gayle hopes to use the zip code study to further target resources to improve health “hot spots.” Both reports can be seen on the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services website at www.montgomerycountymd,gov/HHS.

Goshen Road South

The County Executive recommended no changes for this project this year in the CIP. $300,000 dollars is allocated in 2020 to review the scope of the project. Over $100M was removed from this project last year to support other CIP projects, namely schools. It is interesting to note that the County Executive reduced Transportation CIP in the amended CIP. According to a council staff memo: “Transportation is the only sector that took a major reduction: it would go down by about $129.9 million (-11.4%). The largest reduction is due to the Executive's proposal to delete the Montrose Parkway East project (about $86.7 million in the six-year period, about $127.4 million if FY25 were included). Other reductions are due to the deferral of the Dorsey Mill Road Bridge, Bradley Boulevard Improvements, Forest Glen Passageway, White Flint Metro Station North Entrance, and Seven Locks Bikeway and Safety Improvements projects, and scope reductions in the Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas and Sidewalk and Curb Replacement projects.”

Status of P3 I-495 and I-270 Congestion Relief Study

This spring there will be opportunities for resident input on the state’s initiative to improve congestion on major sections of I-495 and I-270. The Public-Private Partnership (P3) Program will include improvements for over 70 miles of interstate in Maryland, including: I-495 (Capital Beltway) from south of the American Legion Bridge over the Potomac River to west of MD 5 and I-270 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Highway) from I-495 to I-70, including the east and west I-270 spurs. The I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study is the first element in the P3 Program. 

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will include a review of existing and future traffic, roadway and environmental conditions to identify alternatives and assess potential impacts. The study limits for this first project will extend along I-495 from south of the American Legion Bridge to west of MD 5 and along I-270 from I-495 to I-370, including the east and west I-270 spurs. The second element of the P3 Program will extend along I-270 from I-370 north to I-70.

Village Center Development Update

The Village Center plan had to go back to the Planning Board on February 14 to get an extension to their previous approvals. They are working with the Department of Permitting Services to get final approval for their storm water management plans. Atlantic Realty Companies (ARC) is still hopeful that they will begin construction by the end of March.