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The EPC met on November 29th to discuss their accomplishments this year and to consider items for attention in 2019.

EPC-Related Accomplishments in 2018 with reference to recommendations in the Emergency Preparedness Task Force Final Report (June 2016) were identified:

Town Hall Generator – Installation underway including upgrade to 200-amp service and construction of visual barrier.

Master Plan Input – The EPC submitted a proposed new section on “Emergency Preparedness with Risk Management and Hazard Mitigation” for the 2019 Master Plan.

County Hazard Mitigation Plan – EPC members participated in the County’s update of the Hazard Mitigation Plan, providing input on items of Town interest that require County action, e.g. the stormwater drainage pipe under Railroad Street. The Town will adopt the updated County plan to remain eligible for FEMA disaster relief and grants.

Street Sign Restoration Project (in collaboration with HPC) – Town volunteers continue restoring street name signs using reflective glass beads to improve safety and visibility. Latest report is 125 signs restored for placement.

Fire Hydrant Marking – Fire hydrants in Town have been marked with red/silver retroreflective tapes to facilitate visibility of location in the dark.

Guy Wire Visibility Covers – Yellow visibility covers were added to guy wires on two utility poles along Brown Street that EPC identified as safety hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Light at Crosswalk on Railroad Street – The EPC initiated a request for a street light at the crosswalk by the Washington Grove MARC/RideOn bus stop. MC-DOT has confirmed a light will be added at the crosswalk to increase safety for those crossing Railroad Street.

Intersection Visibility – The EPC identified a few road intersections with existing obstructions to visibility, e.g. shrubbery over 3 feet in height within 25 feet of the intersection of two streets. The EPC recommends bush trimming on Town parkland at Brown Street and Grove Road.

Railroad Street Pavement Marking – The EPC noted recent MC-DOT actions intended to improve traffic safety, e.g. wide white lines painted along both edges of the Railroad Street pavement. To increase traffic safety on the Town side of the Deer Park Bridge, the EPC recommends the Town contact MC-DOT to request the two painted stop bars on Railroad Street at the junction with East Deer Park Drive be upgraded with more visible pavement marking tape.

Ridge Road Access to Bounding Bend Court – The EPC noted recent County Council action to adopt the Bicycle Master Plan which includes a connection between the end of Ridge Road and Bounding Bend Court. Since the Washington Grove Hills annexation in July 2000, the end of Ridge Road has been within the Town’s corporate limits. The EPC recommends the Town contact the County to request a safer bikeway connection between Ridge Road and Bounding Bend Court.

EPC Items for 2019:
House Number Signs – Continue examination of safety-related signage in Town by compiling some examples of house number signs for display at the Annual Town Meeting in May.

Brown Street Gate Near Hickory – Continue to discuss alternatives to replace the gate on Brown Street near Hickory Road, noting the gate has not been opened since its installation for emergency vehicle access. Other gate configurations have been considered as well as use of bollards, all intended to provide an easier and safer pass through for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Risk Management and Safety Procedures – Continue review of the draft document “Town of Washington Grove Risk Management and Safety Procedures” compiled using material from the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT). The document includes chapters on risk management, accident investigation procedures, driver training and accident prevention, emergency plans, semi-annual inspections, and a collection of forms.

First Aid Kit Review – Review contents of the Town Hall First Aid Kit and prepare an order for supplies as needed. Review Town Hall signage for locations of the First Aid Kit and AED unit.

Speed Bumps on Chestnut Road – The EPC noted the efficacy of the speed bumps being tested at stop signs along Chestnut Road, but also some reports of safety hazards that such speed bumps have been declared as not suitable for use on public roads. EPC will monitor their use with expectations that more suitable, compliant speed humps will be placed on Chestnut Road.

The EPC Chair met with the WG Communications Working Group to share information on local government use of contracted services for emergency communications and alerts, and our town situation with Grove Alerts. Also discussed was person-to-person communications such as was envisioned with the earlier Neighborhood Watch program.

The next EPC meeting is scheduled on January 24, 2019.

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