The EPC held its monthly meeting on January 24th and discussed the following topics.
The installation of the Town Hall generator is nearly complete. The generator will exercise for a few minutes on Tuesday afternoons. The required visual and noise barrier remains to be installed, and the Pepco connection to the 200-amp upgrade is pending. The EPC submitted a notice about the new generator in a “Winter Weather Preparedness” message for the February Town Bulletin.
The EPC discussed recent work by County DOT to respond to the December traffic hazard associated with stormwater overflow onto Railroad Street. The DOT did clear the drainage pipes under Railroad Street and the CSX railroad tracks, and follow-up work by is expected.
The County updated the Hazard Mitigation Plan, including a project to lower the stormwater drainage pipe under Railroad Street and submitted the MEMA approved version to the County Council for their adoption. The Council formally adopted the plan on January 29th pending FEMA final review and approval. The updated County Plan subsequently will be distributed to all jurisdictions and our Town will be able to adopt it to remain eligible for FEMA disaster relief and grants.
The County DOT Engineer Mark Terry reported on Railroad Street safety. The EPC noted continued soil erosion at the edge of the pavement at the highest portion of Railroad Street where turning vehicles exit the bridge. Engineering solutions will likely be needed to stabilize and shore up the road, but will have impacts on nearby trees on Town property. In addition, there are three pairs of RideOn bus stops without crosswalks, making pedestrian access dangerous. The EPC recommends discussions with County DOT regarding pedestrian and traffic safety strategies regarding these points.
The EPC discussed replacement of the gate on Brown Street near Hickory Road, noting the gate has not been opened since its installation for emergency vehicle access. The Committee recommends replacement of the red gate with bollards to serve the primary purpose of safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. Town maintenance should be consulted to determine if removable bollards are practical at this location.
The EPC identified road intersection visibility concerns where certain vegetation on town land obstructs vision and impairs traffic safety. They will consult with the Forest and Beautification Committee on trimming a bush on the southeast corner of Brown Street and Grove Road. Other intersections will be revisited in the Spring.
The EPC Chair participated in the Communication Working Group’s (CWG) November meeting. EPC encouraged the CWG to explore improved methods for emergency communications and alerts. Also, the Montgomery Municipal Cable (MMC) is promoting opportunities to use their facilities to build video capabilities within our community and enhance connection with our residents. The Town is a participating member of MMC. Here is a YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koDUnG1QslI&t=159s with a promotional video.
The EPC is compiling examples of house number signs with improved visibility for safety to display at the Annual Town Meeting in May. An archived document from the Montgomery County Police entitled “Street Numbers are Lifesavers” will be included in an upcoming Town Bulletin.
The EPC recommends $1,000 be included in the Town’s FY 2020 Annual Budget for Committee activities. The next EPC meeting will be on February 28, 2019.